Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Forward 50 2011

Michael Tilson Thomas

The Yiddish theater’s influence on Broadway is well documented, but this year, conductor Michael Tilson Thomas showed that its legacy stretches to the concert hall as well. Tilson Thomas, music director of the San Francisco Symphony and founder and artistic director of Miami Beach’s New World Symphony Orchestra, paid tribute to his grandparents, Yiddish theater stars Boris and Bessie Thomashefsky, in “The Thomashefskys: Music and Memories of a Life in the Yiddish Theater.” A traveling multimedia performance that pieces together the Thomashefskys’ music and stage routines, the project involves some of the country’s leading orchestras.

At the same time, Tilson Thomas, 66, has received numerous awards and accolades for his work in the classical music world. The winner of 10 Grammy awards for his recordings, he was named a French Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Obama.

In addition to his work in San Francisco and Miami, Tilson Thomas collaborated with the groundbreaking YouTube Symphony Orchestra in 2009 and he hosts the “Keeping Score” educational television series on PBS. Tilson Thomas has also won acclaim for his own compositions, including “From the Diary of Anne Frank,” “Shówa/Shoáh,” “Poems of Emily Dickinson,” and “Urban Legend.”

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.