The San Francisco Symphony is a full professional orchestral ensemble representing that city since 1909, when Henry Hadley of Seattle led the initial concerts. Alfred Hertz, from the Metropolitan Opera, took over in 1915 and convinced the Victor Talking Machine Co. into recording the orchestra. The ensemble was the first on the radio in 1926.
Pierre Monteux revitalized the orchestra decades later after lean years, while Arthur Fiedler of later Boston "Pops" fame took the summer series. Josef Krips again revitalized the ensemble after a weak tenure, and brought in the precocious Seji Ozawa. Successful terms with Edo de Waart and Herbert Blemstedt maintained their high reputation, and Michael Tilson Thomas, current Music Director has been no exception. The orchestra has toured internationally, and has an immense discography.