Michael Tilson Thomas's Last Performance at Lincoln Theatre

MTT and Ted Arison lighting the Lincoln's marquee in 1989.
Think before you snub classical music. Researchers tracked a group of dementia patients and as their gray matter went limp, their musical tastes jumped from Beethoven to Beiber. Digging symphony is not only proof that have brains, though, it may also help you keep your intelligence. Students who listened to Mozart's "Divertimento No. 12 in E-flat" before a math test achieved higher scores.

Beyond the IQ calisthenics, you should attend tomorrow's New World Symphony performance, because it's your last chance to see Michael Tilson Thomas conduct anything in the Lincoln Theatre. Although the NWS, America's only orchestral academy, has other performances scheduled through December, MTT's next performance will be at the opening concert at the new Frank Gehry-designed campus in late January.

This weekend's program, titled "MTT's Lincoln Farewell," features

cellist Lynn Harrell and will include Mackey's "Eating Greens," Tchaikovsky's

" Variations on a Rococo Theme" and Beethoven's "Symphony No. 7." After

making beautiful music in the historic theater since 1989, MTT feels

nostalgic for the charming space. "I have so many fond memories of the

Lincoln Theatre. It's been the launching pad for a program with major

ambitions, not only here in Miami Beach and South Florida, but

worldwide, and has allowed us to imagine, create and share our love for

classical music with the community. In designing the new campus, we

tried to capture and even improve upon the intimacy of the Lincoln

Theatre, one of its greatest assets."

Yep, just a rendering. The site is all crane, construction, and dirt right now.
The $200 million Gehry campus, which sits directly behind the Lincoln Theatre,

will have an igloo-like concert hall with high-tech acoustic and

projection features as well as a beehive of rehearsal rooms and practice

spaces. The design also includes an exterior projection wall that faces

a two-acre park. Feeds of NWS's performances will appear in this

outdoor theater as well commissioned video art.

The new campus opens on January 25, 2011 when MTT will host childhood friend

Gehry, and the giant projection wall will screen videos by artists Tal

Rosner and C.E.B. Reas. MTT conducts for the first time in these new

digs on January 26, in the inaugural program of Wagner's "Overture to

the Flying Dutchman," Adés (paired with more video art by Rosner), and

Coplands's "Symphony No. 3." Tickets will go fast, but luckily, the

program will be projected on the exterior wall the following Friday,

January 28.

Catch "MTT's Lincoln Farewell" this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Lincoln

Theatre (541 Lincoln Rd. Miami Beach). Tickets cost $98. Sunday's 2 p.m. performance is already sold

out. Call 305-673-3331 or visit

Here's a taste of Rosner's video art, which could end up screening in Lincoln Park: