Director Michael Tilson Thomas has been marketing the San Francisco Symphony as one would a pop star: He's wooed critics, promoted records, and even secured placement in a Visa commercial. But selling out has its merits; the orchestra won three Grammys last year and pushed more than 100,000 CDs, thus securing creative flexibility for years to come. This week's guest stint will be a grab bag of crowd-pleasers and eccentric works, including Ravel's sweeping redux of Schubert's Valses Sentimentales and the New York premiere of SFS commission Post Scriptum, Victor Kissine's response to Charles Ives' enigmatic Unanswered Question. The answer, by the way, is another question.
Thu., March 25, 8 p.m.; Fri., March 26, 8 p.m., 2010