The San Francisco Symphony and Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas won the Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance on Sunday for a live recording of works by Bay Area composer John Adams.
The works included "Harmonielehre" and "Short Ride in a Fast Machine," which were both commissioned by Tilson Thomas in the 1980s. The new live recordings were released in March 2012 as part of the orchestra's America Mavericks festival and tour.
"The award is especially meaningful because it recognizes the music of such a close friend and partner to the Orchestra, John Adams," said Tilson Thomas to The Huffington Post. "Having commissioned these works almost 30 years ago and revisiting them in this recording was extremely rewarding."
The works were also the stars of the symphony's opening night gala in September.
In a video interview, Adams recalled the process of composing the works back in the '80s. "Part of what I wanted to write for the orchestra was a music that would strum the strings of its repertoire, that would play to its strengths," he said.
"Hearing the orchestra play it now is thrilling because the orchestra is aware of its tradition, but has built on top of it," said Tilson Thomas.
The win is the fifteenth Grammy Award for the San Francisco Symphony.
Watch a live performance of "Short Ride in a Fast Machine" in the video above, and listen to "Harmonielehre" in the playlist below. And congratulations to John Adams and the San Francisco Symphony!