American Public Media and The San Francisco Symphony’s The MTT Files Wins Peabody Award

Contact: Brad Robideau
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American Public Media and The San Francisco Symphony’s The MTT Files Wins Peabody Award

(St. Paul, Minn.) April 4, 2008—The MTT Files, a public radio series produced by American Public Media and the San Francisco Symphony and hosted by the renowned San Francisco Symphony music director Michael Tilson Thomas, has won a 2007 Peabody Award.

Michael Tilson Thomas, also known as MTT, is acclaimed for his work as a conductor, composer and as one of the great communicators about music in the world today. In The MTT Files, Tilson Thomas metaphorically pulls out some of his “files”—files full of ideas about music and art, and reminiscences of the legendary artists he has known throughout his career—to create eight very original and personal one-hour radio programs. The series includes an episode featuring Tilson Thomas in conversation with James Brown, in one of the soul singer’s final interviews before his death.

Announcing the Peabody Award, Horace Newcomb, director of the Peabody Awards, said, “In these beautifully crafted radio pieces, conductor Michael Tilson Thomas examines a series of his personal files that range over an expansive world of music from Igor Stravinsky to James Brown. The subjects and topics in Tilson Thomas’s explorations broaden our knowledge as they delight our brains and our imaginations.”

The Peabody Awards are the oldest honor in broadcasting and widely considered electronic media’s most coveted award. The Peabody Awards recognize excellence and meritorious work by radio and television stations, networks, Webcasters, producing organizations and individuals. For more information, visit www.peabody.uga.edu.

The Peabody Awards will be presented June 16, 2008, at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. Brian Williams, anchor of NBC Nightly News, will host the ceremony.

The MTT Files was produced and mixed by Tom Voegeli of American Public Media. Voegeli also wrote, produced and mixed American Mavericks, a public radio series also produced in association with the San Francisco Symphony and hosted by Tilson Thomas. American Mavericks won a Peabody Award in 2004. Voegeli is also the executive producer of From the Top, a weekly radio showcase of America’s top young classical musicians, hosted by acclaimed pianist Christopher O’Riley.

The MTT Files are supported by a grant from Koret Foundation Funds and by members of Minnesota Public Radio. The MTT Files are part of Keeping Score, made possible with lead funding from the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund and with generous support from The James Irvine Foundation, Marcia and John Goldman, Nan Tucker McEvoy, William and Gretchen Kimball Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts, and others.

In November 2006, the San Francisco Symphony launched Keeping Score, a national television series aimed at making classical music more accessible to people of all ages and musical backgrounds. The Keeping Score project features PBS telecasts, a national radio series, interactive websites, and a K-12 education program. For additional information, visit www.sfsymphony.org and www.keepingscore.org.

American Public Media has the largest broadcast audience reach of any classical music radio producer in the United States. Through global partnerships with leading music organizations, the European Broadcasting Union, the BBC, orchestras, festivals, vocal ensembles, and artists, American Public Media’s classical music service delivers performances and insight from around the world to its listeners. American Public Media’s classical music portfolio includes nationally renowned programs Performance Today, SymphonyCast, Pipedreams, and Saint Paul Sunday.