Michael Tilson Thomas leads the San Francisco Symphony in Mahler’s Symphony No. 5, Jan. 25, 2024. Photo by Jana Asenbrennerova/San Francisco Chronicle.

In Wednesday’s (2/6) San Francsico Chronicle, Joshua Kosman writes, “The San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas spent 50 years making music together, 25 of them with him as the orchestra’s music director…. It can sometimes feel too easy to take this fact for granted, as if it were simply the natural course of events. But it wasn’t. It was a gift, and an extraordinarily rare one. The number of partnerships between an American orchestra and a music director that have been so productive for so long is vanishingly small, to the point where it’s easy to list them off the top of your head: Serge Koussevitzky in Boston, Eugene Ormandy in Philadelphia, George Szell in Cleveland and Georg Solti in Chicago. These are the pairings for which the identity of conductor and orchestra merged so thoroughly that speaking of one meant speaking of the other…. This partnership—arguably the most consequential in the orchestra’s 113-year history—has officially come to an end. So it’s a good time to outline and celebrate the scope of Thomas’ achievements.” The article provides a chronology with photos of Tilson Thomas’s time at the San Francsico Symphony.