For decades, the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) has been wowing audiences the world over, evident in that the musicians and their esteemed musical director Michael Tilson Thomas (known to many simply as MTT) are known internationally. This is a result of their exposure through the tons of CDs that have been recorded (both as a group and individually), appearances on TV, and their touring of large cities. SFS has kept its world-renowned status not only through the strength of their players, but also by striving to be at the forefront of new music. They do not simply stay with the tried and true; rather, they have the gumption to commission new pieces.
The symphony really is a wondrous sight and a marvel to hear. Tickets are quite steep, but if you are a student, there are a variety of options available. One option is student rush tickets. While these are not available for all performances, they are a great deal at 20 dollars a piece. Another option is to show up one hour before the performance. Seats behind the stage are available for 20 dollars, but seating is limited. Another option is to purchase a student subscription. I think it comes out to about 20 dollars a performance, but you can only buy it at the beginning of the school year.