Black and white photo of Michael Tilson Thomas wearing a black turtleneck.

San Francisco to honor Michael Tilson Thomas with street name

San Francisco mayor London N. Breed has introduced legislation that would rename the Civic Center block near Davies Symphony Hall after celebrated conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, a Thornton alumnus and Judge Widney Professor at USC.

The block between Franklin Street and Van Ness Avenue will be named “MTT Way” in honor of Thomas’s contributions to classical music, arts and culture in San Francisco. A sign displaying the new street name will hang underneath what is currently called Grove Street.

“The story of the classical music, arts and culture scenes in San Francisco is intertwined with the artistic journey of Michael Tilson Thomas,” said Mayor Breed. “Today, we not only recognize him as a vital part of the cultural makeup of the City, we also celebrate the fact that he has been San Francisco’s proud ambassador on the world stage.”

Thomas served as music director of the San Francisco Symphony for 25 years and is now the orchestra’s music director laureate. His tenure was marked by an expansion of the symphonic repertoire, cutting-edge performances and experimental new concert formats.

“What a tremendous honor, and what fantastic fun,” he said. “I will always treasure that symphony goers will pick up their Davies Symphony Hall tickets, and that Ballet and Opera goers will get their after-performance transportation on ‘MTT Way.’”


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