Press Release

Look West: Bank of the West and The New York Times Hosted On-Stage Conversation With San Francisco Symphony’s Acclaimed Music Director, Michael Tilson Thomas,
San Francisco | Mar 31, 2016

On March 22, Bank of the West and The New York Times (NYT) hosted the seventh event of their “Look West” series − featuring conductor, composer, and pianist Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT), who is currently in his 21st season as Music Director of the world-renowned San Francisco Symphony – making him the longest tenured music director of any major U.S. orchestra today. NYT classical music and dance reporter Michael Cooper spoke with MTT about his life in music, from his mentorships with iconic composers to his own groundbreaking work across the world.

The conversation revealed remarkable details about MTT’s life, such as the history of his grandparents, Boris and Bessie Thomashevsky, who were “superstars” of Yiddish theater; his father, a gifted pianist, despite not being able to read sheet music; and how MTT believes in the power and emotion of classical music speaks to everyone, and described how playing a piece like Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2 is like hiking a trail that’s new and varied each time out – each performance is unique and irreplaceable.

Look West was held in SoundBox, MTT’s and the San Francisco Symphony’s intimate and experimental performance space located at 300 Franklin Street in San Francisco. Highlights from the March 22 conversation can be watched online via YouTube at:

Michael Tilson Thomas, a 12-time Grammy Award winner, is renowned for serving as founder and artistic director of Miami’s New World Symphony and Principal Guest Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra. His popular “Keeping Score” PBS series has made classical music more accessible to people of all ages and musical interests.

Look West is an event series that brings game-changing innovators in the arts, media and technology on stage for engaging discussions with NYT journalists before live, local audiences in states throughout the Western United States. The series is presented by Bank of the West, one of America’s most reputable banks according to a 2015 Reputation Institute/American Bankersurvey. To learn more about upcoming Look West events in 2016, such as artists Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin talking with NYT’s Patricia Cohen, please visit:

About The New York Times Company 
The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT) is a global media organization dedicated to enhancing society by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news and information. The company includes The New York Times, International New York Times,, and related properties. It is known globally for excellence in its journalism, and innovation in its print and digital storytelling and its business model. Follow news about the company at @NYTimesComm.

About Bank of the West
Bank of the West is a regional financial services company chartered in California and headquartered in San Francisco with $75.7 billion in assets as of December 31, 2015. Founded in 1874, Bank of the West provides a wide range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services through more than 600 offices in 22 states and digital channels. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 75 countries with 185,000 employees. Follow us on Twitter: @BankoftheWest.

Media Contacts:
Michele Rene Scott, Bank of the West

Angela He, The New York Times

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