December 15, 2019

METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich paid tribute to Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT),music director of the San Francisco Symphony and co-founder of the New World Symphony, at the 42nd annual Kennedy Center Honors, which was held on December 8 in Washington, D.C. Ulrich delivered a spoken tribute and took part in a performance with more than 40 alumni of the New World Symphony, America's Orchestral Academy (NWS),which MTT co-founded 32 years ago as a training ground for the next generation of classical musicians.

"He has such a sense of curiosity. He wants to always challenge himself," Ulrich said about Michael Tilson Thomas after the performance. "He can talk about a piece written in 500 A.D. just as passionately as he will address the merits of a hard rock anthem written in the 21st century."

The Kennedy Center celebrates icons who have left an indelible stamp on the nation's collective cultural consciousness, according to chairman David M. Rubenstein.

METALLICA first teamed with the San Francisco Symphony in 1999 for the live album "S&M", four years after Thomas became the symphony’s music director. This year, Thomas, as conductor, joined with Ulrich and the rest of METALLICA to celebrate 20 years since the band and the Symphony recorded "S&M", at a reunion concert before 18,000 fans at San Francisco’s Chase Center.

Earlier this week, Ulrich took to his Instagram to once again praise Michael Tilson Thomas, writing: "It was absolutely incredible to be part of the Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C. this past weekend, and being given the privilege of celebrating Michael Tilson Thomas' creative achievements….including giving a shout out to the S&M2 project he was such an integral part of it."

The gala will be televised on CBS on Sunday, December 15, at 8:00 p.m. ET.

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