Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen leads the San Francisco Symphony in the Re-Opening Night Concert featuring Esperanza Spalding, a jazz trio, and dancers from Alonzo King LINES Ballet on October 1, 2021 at Davies Symphony Hall

“To have gone without live music for as long as we did through the months of lockdown was a hardship, and re-emerging again in midyear felt like unimaginable bounty,” writes Joshua Kosman in Wednesday’s (12/22) San Francisco Chronicle. “In more sorrowful news, the Bay Area lost a stalwart champion for the arts, education and civic engagement in Michael Morgan, the longtime music director of the Oakland Symphony…. Yet these and other considerations formed the backdrop for what suddenly felt like a flood of musical opportunities…. [Matthew Aucoin], the prodigiously gifted composer, conductor and writer … led Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale in the Aug.  25 world premiere of ‘The No One’s Rose,’ an elusive but utterly compelling dance-opera hybrid…. The California Symphony’s shapely performance [of Vaughan Williams’s Fifth Symphony] under Music Director Donato Cabrera on Sept. 18 was a reminder of how much invaluable music goes by the wayside…. [Music Director] Esa-Pekka Salonen [led] the San Francisco Symphony’s incendiary opening night festivities on Oct. 1…. Just seeing the San Francisco Symphony’s music director laureate [Michael Tilson Thomas] back on the podium in Davies Symphony Hall on Nov. 12, after undergoing surgery in July for a brain tumor, was enough to inspire joy and optimism.”