Keeping Score with the San Francisco Symphony

Children in Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco Symphony, Keeping Score

Sharing the power and beauty of classical music

Through TV, radio, the web and the classroom, Keeping Score brings classical music to those who might never have set foot in a concert hall.

From the exhilaration of Beethoven’s Eroica to the subversive despair of Shostakovich’s No. 5, classical music has a unique power to express and evoke our most potent emotions. At its best, classical music speaks to our universal humanity.

Spreading the Passion of Classical Music

“The Fund is committed to ensuring that members of our community have access to and benefit from the Bay Area’s extraordinary cultural and civic assets,” said Fund president emeritus Ira Hirschfield. “We believe Keeping Score provides those who have not had many encounters with music in a concert hall a real opportunity to develop an understanding and passion for classical music—passion that Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony bring to every performance.”

Expanding the Symphony’s Reach

The Fund began a conversation about expanding the Symphony’s reach in 1999. That conversation with Symphony’s leaders evolved into a $10 million challenge grant and an ambitious multiyear, multimedia project in 2004 that included a PBS television series, a radio series,  a companion website, a website for kids, and a  classroom component. Hosted by San Francisco Symphony Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas, the three seasons of the Keeping Score TV series explore the music and stories of great composers, including Beethoven, Stravinsky, Berlioz, Shostakovich, Copland and Mahler.

Classical music is a doorway to discovering more about ourselves and our world.

Ira Hirschfield, President Emeritus, Haas, Jr. Fund

The radio series, 13 Days When Music Changed Forever, expanded on this work to detail composers, compositions and musical movements that changed the way people heard and thought about music. The Keeping Score Education Program trained K-12 teachers from Arizona to Oklahoma on integrating classical music into core subjects like mathematics and history.

“Classical music is a doorway to discovering more about ourselves and our world,” Hirschfield said. “Keeping Score provides an important opportunity for all people to learn to love classical music and find a place for it in their lives.”

Read more about—and listen to—the Keeping Score program here.