About Keeping Score™

Keeping Score provides innovative, thought-provoking classical music content on PBS television, the radio, the web, and through an education program, a national model for classroom arts integration for K-12 teachers.

Keeping Score Components Include:


Through nine one-hour documentaries, Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony trace the lives of eight influential composers from around the world. Michael Tilson Thomas explores the motivations and influences behind major classical works by Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Copland, Stravinsky, Berlioz, Ives, Shostakovich, and Mahler. Each episode is accompanied by a one-hour concert program by the San Francisco Symphony.

WEB SITE: www.keepingscore.org

The Keeping Score web site is designed to give people of all musical backgrounds an opportunity to explore the music and life of the composers featured in the Keeping Score television series in depth, and at their own pace. Extensive audio, video, and critically acclaimed interactive material explores each composer’s scores and pertinent musical techniques as well as the personal and historical stories behind them in a user-friendly way. The site is designed to appeal particularly to high school, college and university music appreciation students and their teachers, and its interactive learning tools offer a unique and in-depth online learning experience.  The site also includes a historical timeline that takes users deeper into the eight individual composers’ political, social, and cultural milieus as well as downloadable lesson plans created by teachers who have experienced the Keeping Score Education program.


Keeping Score’s new radio series 13 Days When Music Changed Forever debuted in 2011 with thirteen one-hour episodes about composers, compositions or musical movements that changed the way people heard, or thought about, music. Each program explores the historical backdrop and musical precursors to the revolutionary change, as well as examines the aftershock and the lasting influences of that moment in music history. Producer Tom Voegeli and host Suzanne Vega return to join Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony, collaborators on the Peabody Award-winning The MTT Files and American Mavericks radio programs, some of the most listened-to classical music programs of all time. Script writers include acclaimed music writers Justin Davidson, Tim Page, and Pierre Ruhe among others.


Designed to help students learn through the arts, the Keeping Score Education program built upon the themes and concepts from the Keeping Score television series. The model program offered K-12 teachers training, materials, and support to integrate classical music into their classrooms, including core subjects such as science, math, English, history and social studies. Participating teachers from partner school districts received training by San Francisco Symphony musicians, educational staff and a variety of arts educators. The Keeping Score Education program worked with partner sites in Fresno, Sonoma and Santa Clara counties; Flagstaff, Arizona; and the Oklahoma A+ Network statewide program. An integral part of the program was the annual Keeping Score Summer Teacher Institute - a multi-faceted professional development experience that built teachers’ understanding of both music and integrated curriculum design. 


The Keeping Score television documentary and concert programs are available on DVD and Blu-Ray High Definition formats through SFS Media, the San Francisco Symphony’s own label.  The concert performances are captured in full HD  and surround sound at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. The San Francisco Symphony is the first orchestra to distribute its product on Blu-Ray disc. Home video products are available through the San Francisco Symphony’s online store at www.shopsfsymphony.org and retail outlets worldwide. Keeping Score can also be viewed on the PBS video player and leading digital distribution channels, including iTunes, Amazon, and others.


Inquiries may be directed to keepingscore@sfsymphony.org.


Lead funding for Keeping Score is provided by:

evelyn & walter HAAS, JR fund img

with generous support from Nan Tucker McEvoy, The James Irvine Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Marcia and John Goldman, Ray and Dagmar Dolby Family Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts, William and Gretchen Kimball Fund, Lisa and John Pritzker, Mrs. Alfred S. Wilsey, Koret Foundation Funds, Lynn and Tom Kiley, Anita and Ronald Wornick, Roselyne Chroman Swig, Margaret Liu Collins and Edward B. Collins, the Acacia Foundation, Matt Cohler, The Bernard Osher Foundation, Betty and Jack Schafer, Felipe R. Santiago and Barry T. Joseph, Mary C. Falvey, Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, Dr. and Mrs. Jeffrey P. Hays, Mark Heising and Liz Simons, David and Janyce Hoyt, Laurence and Michèle Corash, Helen Berggruen, and others.