Acclaimed orchestra in Athens

One of America’s greatest symphony ensembles, the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, will charm audiences at the Athens Concert Hall tonight and tomorrow. Conducted by Michael Tilson-Thomas on both evenings, the orchestra is scheduled to perform works by Aaron Copland, Rachmaninov and Jean Sibelius with pianist Leif Ove Andsnes tonight and works by Shostakovich and Debussy tomorrow. Founded in 1911, the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra has performed numerous world premieres of works by 20th century composers, including William Walton, Toru Takemitsu and Steve Reich. It has performed all over the world and is currently very active with educational programs, radio broadcastings and other activities. The orchestra was greatly developed under Pierre Monteux, who was its chief conductor from 1935 to 1952 and counts some memorable recordings under his baton. Michael Tilson-Thomas became the orchestra’s 11th music director in 1995; he is particularly keen on promoting the work of 20th century composers. At 19, he became music director of the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra, in 1987 he founded the New World Symphony Orchestra, and in 1988 he was named chief conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, of which he is now principal guest conductor. Leif Ove Andsnes, who will perform Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2, has played solo and with large orchestras worldwide. Athens Concert Hall, 1 Kokkali & Vas. Sofias, tel 210.728.2333.