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American Mavericks Festival 2000

  • World premiere of Ballet Mécanique in its original version for 16 player pianos, sirens, airplane propellers, doorbells, and percussion. Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor. American Mavericks Festival, Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco. George Antheil concert in association with Other Minds. 

The American Mavericks Festival at the San Francisco Symphony in the summer of 2000 was an unprecedented triumph on multiple levels. Foremost, of course, was aesthetic: superb performances by Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony, together with guests from around the world. The programming was significant both as an historical survey of the maverick tradition and as a glimpse of its future. The festival also demonstrated the potential of innovative programming to draw large, enthusiastic audiences. For all these reasons, American Mavericks attracted attention far beyond those who could actually attend.

The mavericks were as disparate in personality and musical style as the American landscape, but, as Michael Tilson Thomas says, “what these composers all have in common is their enormous excitement in the experience of sound itself.” The American Mavericks Festival offered a unique opportunity to explore music and musicians across an eclectic mix of styles, genres, and media.


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