The San Francisco Symphony knows how to throw a party. Celebrating its centennial in 2011-12, the orchestra has invited to its own hall the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the BSO . Each of these groups will appear separately over the course of the season, with the Bostonians slated for Dec. 6 and 7, 2011.
On those dates James Levine will lead two programs drawn from the center of the current Levine/BSO repertoire including Elliott Carter's Flute Concerto (with Elizabeth Rowe), John Harbison's Symphony No. 4, Mahler's Symphony No. 1, and the Second Suite from Ravel's "Daphnis et Chloe." A BSO spokesperson confirmed that the West Coast dates will be part of a larger tour but could not confirm the additional cities or dates at this time. The BSO last played the Bay Area in 1996.
Also slated for San Francisco's centennial party is a two-week "American Mavericks" festival with world premieres by John Adams and Mason Bates as well as works by John Cage, Morton Feldman, Carl Ruggles, Edgard Varese and Charles Ives. Meredith Monk, Jeremy Denk, and the St. Lawrence String Quartet will be among the soloists. Most ensembles have not yet announced their 2011-12 seasons, but it's easy to predict that this mavericks festival will be one of the most exciting events that any big American orchestra will put before its public next year. The San Franciscans under Michael Tilson Thomas will also tour portions of the festival repertoire to Chicago, New York, and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The maverick programs won't be coming to Boston.