Cristian Măcelaru Photo Credit: Adriane White

Guest Conductor Series at SF Symphony

A series of guest conductors for the San Francisco Symphony gets underway this spring with a number of intriguing interludes.

The April 21–23 concerts are conducted by Music Director of Orchestre National de France and Chief Conductor of the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cristian Măcelaru. The program includes selections from Wynton Marsalis’ Blues Symphony, marking the San Francisco Symphony’s first performances of music from this work. “The blues helps you remember back before the troubles on hand and in mind and they carry you on the wings of angels to a timeless higher ground,” says Marsalis about the piece.

The concerts also highlight the United States premiere of Outi Tarkiainen’s Milky Ways, commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony for SF Symphony English horn player Russ de Luna. Tarkiainen says about the work, “Transporting us through the concerto is the hypnotic sound of the cor anglais that soars from Mother Earth to the celestial Milky Way; to the sweet, solid, loving cradle of life.” The program concludes with Symphony No. 1 by Dmitri Shostakovich, who, at age 19, wrote the work as a graduation exercise at the Petrograd Conservatory.

Tickets for concerts at Davies Symphony can be purchased via or by calling the San Francisco Symphony Box Office at 415-864-6000.


Cristian Măcelaru Conducts Shostakovich

Friday, April 21, 2023 at 7:30pm Saturday, April 22, 2023 at 7:30pm Sunday, April 23, 2023 at 2pm

Cristian Măcelaru conductor Russ de Luna English horn San Francisco Symphony

WYNTON MARSALIS Selections from Blues Symphony [First SF Symphony Performances]

OUTI TARKIAINEN Milky Ways [San Francisco Symphony Commission & U.S. Premiere]


Ticket link:

Pre-concert talk: A pre-concert Q&A with composer Outi Tarkiainen will be presented from the stage one hour before the concert on April 21 from 6:30–7:00pm. Free to all ticketholders.

Broadcast / Archived Stream: A broadcast of these performances will air Tuesday, May 2 at 8pm on Classical KDFC 90.3 San Francisco, 104.9 San Jose, 89.9 Napa, and where it will be available for on-demand streaming for 21 days following the broadcast.