American Mavericks
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Adieu, Mavericks

MTT slicing ingredients

With the American Mavericks Festival and Tour now complete, Davies Symphony Hall is quiet without percussion polyrhythms coming up through the floors, Paul Jacobs on the Ruffatti organ making us wonder if we just had a minor earthquake, and running into an array of props, sets, and weirdo instruments backstage.  Not to say we’re not […]

American Mavericks opens at Carnegie Hall

Michael Tilson  Thomas (center) in John Cage's Song Books

Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony’s American Mavericks Festival opened at Carnegie Hall tonight, in the first of four concerts, with a rare, fully-staged performance of John Cage’s Song Books, with soloists Joan La Barbara, Meredith Monk, and Jessye Norman. Another highlight of the evening: the New York premiere of John Adams’ new […]

Backstage: The sets for John Cage’s Song Books

Cage stage set 2

Before Michael Tilson Thomas and the orchestra, Joan La Barbara, Meredith Monk, and Jessye Norman set foot on stage, before the ushers arrive and the box office starts cooking, and long before concertgoers file in to tonight’s San Francisco Symphony concert for John Cage’s Song Books, the unsung heroes of the stage crew are unloading […]

VIDEO: Rehearsal timelapse of John Cage’s Song Books

John Cage's Song Books, Davies Symphony Hall, March 10, 2012

Here’s a neat 20-second timelapse video of the stage set-up and dress rehearsal for John Cage’s Song Books, with Michael Tilson Thomas, Joan La Barbara, Meredith Monk, and Jessye Norman and the San Francisco Symphony. You can’t hear the blender whir, but you can get some idea of what will unfold when the musicians perform […]

Processing Cage

Jessye Norman types, MTT slices and dices, Amos Yang dribbles

Tomorrow night and on Wednesday, March 14, MTT, Joan La Barbara, Meredith Monk, and Jessye Norman will stage John Cage’s Song Books.  They will be joined by several SF Symphony musicians, a few miniature houses, some fruit, a blender, a typewriter, card games, and electronic musician Jesse Stiles on stage. (There were so many unusual […]

Mavericks Family Tree

Mavericks Family Tree

The mavericks play Six Degrees of Charles Ives:

American Mavericks: GO!!

The Davies crew works on building the sets for John Cage's Songbooks

The first rehearsals are underway! Michael Tilson Thomas and the Orchestra are here, and the hall is full of interesting sounds, instruments, and stage props. Pianist Jeremy Denk just finished his first rehearsal with the musicians of Henry Cowell’s Piano Concerto, and next up is Ives’ A Concord Symphony. Tomorrow is opening night, and we’re […]