My South Florida: Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas

A Miami resident for 26 years, 11-time Grammy Award winner Tilson Thomas has contributed to the city’s rich musical history with the formation of the New World Symphony in 1987, as well as America’s Orchestral Academy with Ted and Lin Arison. Nurturing musicians to reach their fullest potential, the symphony has since traveled the globe and performed in some of the world’s greatest venues. However, it’s right here at home that residents are proud to call it its hometown musical gem.

What music did you grow up listening to as a child?

I listened to all kinds of music—classical, rock, world music and a lot of musical theater. My grandparents, Boris and Bessie Thomashefsky, were stars of the Yiddish Theater in America so I loved that brand of Broadway, Tin Pan Alley.

Proudest achievements in your career?

Touring the world with the London Symphony Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony, receiving the National Medal of Arts Award from President Obama, winning my first of 11 Grammy Awards, launching the New World Symphony and guiding its young musicians at this crucial moment in their lives.


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