One of America's top orchestras, the symphony performs from September through May, with additional summer performances of light classical music and show tunes. The orchestra and its charismatic music director, Michael Tilson Thomas, known for his daring programming of 20th-century American works, often perform with soloists of the caliber of Andre Watts, Gil Shaham, and Renée Fleming. The symphony's adventurous projects include its collaboration with the heavy metal band
Metallica. Tickets cost between $15 and $100; deep discounts are often available through Travelzoo, Groupon, and other vendors.