Michael Tilson Thomas
Photo: SFS

In recognition of a career of visionary leadership, and on the occasion of his 25th and final year as Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony, conductor, composer, and educator Michael Tilson Thomas has been announced as a recipient of the 2019 Kennedy Center Honors for lifetime artistic achievements.

In response to receiving this honor, Michael Tilson Thomas states, “The life of an artist, or of an arts institution, has essentially two moments. The first is inventing yourself which takes vision and gumption. The second is going the distance, sustaining the vision, and sharing it. I was fortunate to grow up around people who did both. My family and my devoted teachers lived every day reaffirming the highest standards and ideals of the arts and of our nation. They understood that the arts really matter when they have a creative role in a living tradition. I am honored that the Kennedy Center, which is a living center of both arts and ideals, has chosen to recognize my work. I hope that I can be thought of as a representative for all American classical musicians at this remarkable event.”

The Kennedy Center Honors medallions will be presented on Saturday, December 7, at a State Department dinner.

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