DSO unveils 2016-17 lineup with world's longest press release

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OK, we're sure this isn't the longest press release, but holy moley there is a lot of information here. Looks like a very satisfying and adventurous season for  the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. We're extra excited about the piece that commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Detroit riots/ uprising. “Gershwin and His Children: The Influence of Popular Culture on Classical Music” theme will pervade the season with more than two dozen works; that's a really smart series, there. A lot of folks will be excited that Storm Large returns to once again perform as Anna in Weill’s .Seven Deadly Sins,' Please note that classical ticket prices remain unchanged. 

Schedule includes three World Premieres, 14 DSO Premieres

DETROIT, (January 31, 2016) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) 2016-17 Classical Season will begin in late September with a star-studded weekend including the virtuosic Hilary Hahn performing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto and Chinese piano phenom Lang Lang performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4. These traditional concerti are paired with contemporary compositions that establish the theme of the DSO’s season: “Gershwin and His Children: The Influence of Popular Culture on Classical Music.”

What follows will be the ninth season of partnership between the DSO and Music Director Leonard Slatkin, who has extended his commitment to the DSO as Music Director through the 2017-2018 season, and as Music Director Laureate for seasons to follow.

As of today, subscriptions are on sale for the DSO’s 2016-17 Orchestra Hall Classical, Pops, and Young People’s Family Subscription Series. Patrons may purchase subscriptions at dso.org, in person at the Max. M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center at 3711 Woodward Ave., or by calling the Box Office at 313.576.5111.

Slatkin’s reputation for championing contemporary American music has been well-established throughout his prolific career, and will be on display next season with 17 compositions by American composers, and three World Premieres. Among these newly minted works is a composition penned by the DSO’s Fred A. & Barbara M. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair Terence Blanchard. This piece, which is yet to be named, will be written to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Detroit’s historic summer of civil unrest in 1967. The premiere is part of a multi-year project of diverse voices, programs and exhibitions that bridges gaps in understanding Detroit’s past—and challenges the region to realize its full potential as American’s great comeback story.

In continuation of the tradition begun by 2013’s incredibly successful Beethoven Festival, next season’s Mozart Festival (#Mozartfest) will be the fourth DSO Winter Music Festival—a three-week immersive look at the famously light-hearted 18th century composer who challenged the status quo of European music. While the festival’s full-orchestra works will focus on the later part of Mozart’s brief, yet monumental career, each one of his double concerti and concerti for winds and orchestra will be performed by 15 world-class soloists found within the DSO’s own ranks. Past Winter Music Festivals have featured Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Brahms (Brahms Fest takes place Feb. 11-28, 2016).

While the 2016-17 season will welcome 14 artists making their Orchestra Hall debut, several audience favorites will return to Orchestra Hall. Back by popular demand, cabaret singer and frequent collaborator of Pink Martini Storm Large will reprise her role of Anna I and II in Kurt Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins. Large has performed this piece with orchestras across the U.S., however she debuted in the role with the DSO in a program the orchestra took to the Spring For Music festival at Carnegie Hall in 2013.

A complete series of Live From Orchestra Hall webcasts will return for its sixth full season, offering a free broadcast of each classical program at dso.org/live. See concert listings below for a full schedule. Dates marked with an asterisk denote webcast concerts.

The DSO Classical Series is sponsored by PVS Chemicals Inc.


February 24, 1924. World War I was over. The stock market had not yet collapsed. Americans were looking for something different. On this day, they got it.

The history of Rhapsody in Blue is well documented. Written quickly and somewhat improvised on the spot, George Gershwin’s contribution to “An Experiment in Modern Music” changed the very nature of how classical music was perceived. Aeolian Hall was the scene of a very long program, featuring no less than 26 separate musical selections. It was Paul Whiteman’s idea to find a way to make jazz, and other vernacular music of the time, part of the collective conscience of the listener.

Although the Rhapsody was not well received by the critics, over a period of three years the work was performed by Whiteman 84 times, and its recording had sold more than a million copies. This was not just an isolated, one-off experience. That original concert opened a floodgate of new compositional thought. It was the time of Stravinsky, Ravel, Shostakovich and so many others. Each of those composers, and many more, took to the new craze and tried to find ways to incorporate idiomatic writing into their own compositions.

Over the course of the 2016-17 season, the DSO will feature many of the groundbreaking pieces that took the mainstream of the popular culture and changed the way all of us perceive classical music. We will see how other cultures reacted and incorporated their own brand of local music into the concert hall. There will be premieres that promise to be exciting and bold. And we will learn that Gershwin was not really the first composer to utilize these elements.

During the season we will try to understand why the “jazz age” existed and will consider its lasting impact on society today. Long before the term “crossover” came into use in music, composers were taking their audiences on new paths, combining various aesthetics to produce a new genre in music. I have been looking forward to presenting this trip for quite some time and hope that you will join me. It promises to be a journey well worth taking.


The DSO will tackle a host of major symphonic repertoire during the 2016-17 season that will both feature key guest artists and showcase the talent of DSO musicians. The line-up includes:

Beethoven’s Violin Concerto (Sept. 29-30)

Respighi’s Pines of Rome (Oct. 7-9)

Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 1 (Oct. 20-22)

Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2 (Oct. 29-30)

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 (Nov. 11-12)

Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde (Nov. 11-12)

Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 (Nov. 17-19)

Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra (Nov. 17-19)

Walton’s Symphony No. 1 (Dec. 2-4)

Elgar’s Symphony No. 1 (Dec. 9-11)

Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 5, “Reformation” (Jan. 14)

Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 1 (Jan. 19-20)

Mozart’s Symphony No. 39 (Jan. 21-22)

Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto (Jan. 27)

Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 (Jan. 28-29)

Mozart’s Symphony No. 36, “Linz” (Feb. 2-3)

Mozart’s Symphony No. 41, “Jupiter” (Feb. 3-4)

Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 1 (Feb. 17-18)

Prokofiev’s Suite from Romeo and Juliet (Mar. 24-25)

Mahler’s Symphony No. 10 (April 6&8-9)

Bach’s Orchestral Transcriptions (April 21-22)

Verdi’s Requiem (Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín) (May 6-7)

Bernstein’s Serenade (after Plato’s “Symposium”) (May 13)

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, “Choral” (May 18-21)

Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2 (May 26-28)

Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 (June 1-3)


The DSO will perform three World Premieres next season, one of which will be written by the DSO’s Erb Jazz Chair Terence Blanchard.

On the season opening program September 29-30, the DSO will perform the World Premiere of Big Data by Spanish composer Ferran Cruixent. Cruixent is known for his “cyber singing” concept, which combines instruments with technology. In November 2013 the DSO performed the World Premiere of his Cyborg, which incorporated the orchestra’s own cell phones into the composition using a mobile app.

Fred A. & Barbara M. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair Terence Blanchard is composing a new work to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Detroit riots. The piece, which is as of yet unnamed, will receive its World Premiere on March 3-4 as part of the DSO’s 39th Annual Classical Roots Concert.

On April 21-22, the DSO will perform the World Premiere of American composer and pianist Michel Camilo’s Concerto for Jazz Trio & Orchestra featuring piano, bass and drums. Camilo will also perform as soloist for the premiere.


The season lineup features 14 works that are new to the DSO, ranging from the contemporary to the classical.

Christopher Rouse’s Bump was commissioned by the St. Louis Symphony in 1985 and dedicated by the composer to Slatkin. The DSO will perform it for the first time on Oct. 7-9 on a program with Copland’s Piano Concerto, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, Respighi’s Pines of Rome and Milhaud’s Creation du Monde, all composed between 1924 and 1926.

Tales of Hemingway, composed by former DSO Composer in Residence Michael Daugherty, was a DSO co-commission with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Asheville Symphony, El Paso Symphony Orchestra, Erie Philharmonic, Redwood Symphony, South Florida Orchestra and the Virginia Symphony. It received its World Premiere in Nashville with cellist Zuill Bailey as soloist, and will receive its DSO Premiere Oct. 20-22 conducted by DSO Music Director Emeritus Neeme Järvi. Rachmaninoff’s Russian Song will receive its DSO Premiere on the same program.

Finnish composer Jaako Kuusisto’s Violin Concerto was premiered in 2012 by the Lahti Symphony Orchestra with Elina Vähälä, the very same violinist who will join the DSO on their premiere of the work on Oct. 29-30 with the return of Finnish conductor Hannu Lintu.

Argentinian pianist, composer, arranger and conductor Lalo Schifrin is perhaps best known for his Theme from Mission: Impossible. Violin Virtuoso Cho-Liang Lin will perform the DSO premiere of Schifrin’s Tangos Concertantes with the orchestra on Jan. 14 with Slatkin conducting. Stravinsky’s Ragtime will receive its DSO Premiere on the same program.

During week two of the Mozart Festival, Associate Concertmaster Kimberly Kaloyanides Kennedy and Assistant Concertmaster Hai-Xin Wu will perform the DSO Premiere of Mozart’s Concertone for two violins and orchestra on Jan. 27, 2017.

2013 Sphinx Competition winner Christine Lamprea will perform the DSO Premiere of a cello concerto, of fields unfolding . . . echoing depths of resonant light, penned by American composer Jeffrey Mumford in honor of the late American composer Elliot Carter, with whom Mumford studied. This piece, which the DSO will perform at the 39th Annual Classical Roots concert on March 3-4, was commissioned by the San Antonio Symphony and a consortium including the DSO, Ensemble 212 and the Omaha Symphony.

NEA Jazz Master Branford Marsalis will join the DSO on March 24-25 for the DSO Premiere of Gabriel Prokofiev’s Saxophone Concerto, a DSO co-commission with the Naples Philharmonic, led by Russian conductor Andrey Boreyko. Gabriel is the grandson of 20th century Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev.

Classical guitarist Sharon Isbin, founder of the Guitar Department at The Juilliard School, will join the DSO on April 6, 8 and 9 for the DSO premiere of Chris Brubeck’s Affinity: Guitar Concerto, premiered by the Maryland Symphony in 2015. Chris is the son of American jazz pianist and composer Dave Brubeck.

The DSO will perform Shostakovich’s Jazz Suite No. 1, which was composed in 1934, for the first time on April 21-22 with Leonard Slatkin conducting, on the same program as the World Premiere of Michel Camilo’s Concerto for Jazz Trio & Orchestra.

Murry Sidlin, Founder and President of The Defiant Requiem Foundation, will bring his Defiant Requiem project to Detroit for the first time on May 6-7. Defiant Requiem tells the story of prisoners at the Terezín Concentration Camp who performed the composition during their imprisonment. The production combines a complete performance of the Verdi Requiem with testimony from survivors of the original chorus and footage from a Nazi propaganda film on Theresienstadt.

On May 18-20 the DSO will perform Pulitzer Prize- and Grammy Award-winning American composer John Corigliano’s Mr. Tambourine Man for the first time. Premiered in 2012, the work puts original music to seven poems by Bob Dylan.

Canadian violinist James Ehnes will join the orchestra on May 26-28 for the DSO Premiere of James Newton Howard’s new Violin Concerto, debuted in 2015 by Ehnes and the Pacific Symphony Orchestra. Most will know Howard’s work through the score he wrote for The Hunger Games films.

Wynton Marsalis, Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, debuted his Violin Concerto in 2015 with American conductor James Gaffigan, Scottish Violinist Nicola Benedetti and the London Symphony Orchestra. On June 2-3, Gaffigan and Benedetti will perform the DSO premiere in Orchestra Hall to close out the 2016-17 season.


Leonard Slatkin will conduct the orchestra in 14 of 25 classical concert programs, including the entirety of the Mozart Festival, as well as the World Premiere of Concerto for Jazz Trio & Orchestra by Michel Camilo, a long-time friend.

During the other weeks, the DSO will welcome back a number of conductors who have become both orchestra and audience favorites including Music Director Emeritus Neeme Järvi, Louis Langrée, Andrey Boreyko and James Gaffigan. Hannu Lintu and Cristian Macelaru will return for their second performances with the DSO and the following artists will make their debut on Orchestra Hall stage:

Yu Long, Music Director of the China Philharmonic Orchestra, the Shanghai Symphony and the Guangzhou Symphony and Artistic Director of the Beijing Music Festival, will make his DSO conducting debut on Nov. 17-19 alongside pianist Kirill Gerstein as he performs Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1.

Damon Gupton, who has conducted the DSO for Education Concerts and has hosted Live From Orchestra Hall: Classroom Edition webcasts, will make his subscription concert conducting debut on March 3-4 at the DSO’s 39th Annual Classical Roots concert.

Murry Sidlin, Founder and President of The Defiant Requiem Foundation, will conduct the DSO for the first time May 6-7 as they perform the Defiant Requiem, an adaptation of Verdi’s Requiem designed to pay homage to the prisoners at the Terezín Concentration Camp who performed the composition during their imprisonment.

Mexican conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto (Music Director of Louisiana Philharmonic and Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Mexico) will make his DSO conducting debut May 13 on a program featuring Márquez’s Danzón No. 2, de Falla’s Three-Cornered Hat, and Gimenez’s Intermezzo from La Boda de Luis Alonso.

Soloists making their DSO debut in 2016-17:

Seasoned pianist Sara Davis Buechner will make her Orchestra Hall debut (she has appeared with the DSO on the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series) performing Gershwin’s Second Rhapsody Feb. 17-18 with DSO Assistant Conductor Michelle Merrill conducting.
2013 Sphinx Competition winner Christine Lamprea will make her DSO debut March 3-4 at the 39th Annual Classical Roots concert with Damon Gupton conducting.
The cast of the Defiant Requiem, scheduled for May 6-7, will make their DSO debuts:
Jennifer Check, soprano
Ann McMahon Quintero, mezzo soprano
Issachah Savage, tenor
Nathan Stark, bass
The cast of Beethoven’s Nine Symphony, scheduled for May 18-21, will make their DSO debuts:
Rachelle Durkin, soprano
Abigail Nims, mezzo soprano
Sean Panikkar, tenor
Peixin Chen, bass

Planned 2016-17 Season album releases include a continuation of Aaron Copland’s complete ballets and legendary film composer John Williams’concerti on Naxos Records, plus a re-release of Beethoven’s Nine Symphonies for digital download across major online retailers (including high-definition audio platforms).


Acclaimed DSO Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik returns with a Pops season full of classics: Great American songbook, classic rock, Broadway hits and music immortalized by film. Tyzik will conduct three of the 11 programs, including the return of high-flying Cirque De La Symphonie’s aerialists, contortionists, strongmen and jugglers (March 31-April 2); Great American Songbook featuring Broadway star Ashley Brown (Nov. 4-6) and Soul Unlimited with Ellis Hall (June16-18), in tribute to Marvin Gaye, Jackie Wilson, Ray Charles and more.

Assistant Conductor Michelle Merrill will conduct the audience favorite Home For the Holidays (Dec. 16-18), as well as the Classical Mystery Tour (Oct. 14-16) honoring the music of the Beatles with former touring members of Broadway’s Beatlemania. Other concerts include a compilation of chart toppers from the 60’s (Jan. 6-8), A Night at the Academy Awards (Feb. 24-26), Rodgers and Hammerstein (April 28-30), Under the Streetlamp with leading cast members from “Jersey Boys” (March 29) and Popera: Opera’s Greatest Hits (Nov. 23).

Join us Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 25-26) for the “Music of Journey,” featuring DSO and vocalist Brody Dolyniuk performing “Any Way You Want It,” “Faithfully” and of course “Don’t Stop Believin’.”

The DSO Pops Series is presented by MASCO Corporation Foundation and Greektown Casino Hotel.


Super Saturdays at the DSO are presented by Macy’s, and offer two distinct programs geared toward every age group.

The Young People’s Family Concert series will feature thrills and surprises for young music lovers ages 6 & up. All programs will be led by Assistant Conductor Michelle Merrill. Beginning with Halloween at Hogwarts, complete with costumes on and off stage, the series will also feature DSO Principal Tuba, Dennis Nulty and celebrity host Stephen Henderson in the timeless Tubby the Tuba; Tchaikovsky Discovers America, a theatrical symphony concert produced by the acclaimed Classical Kids Live! (producers of the Emmy Award-winning Beethoven Lives Upstairs); and Benjamin Britten’s iconic Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, narrated by D.J. Oliver, popular host of DPTV’s Detroit Performs.

The Tiny Tots series, geared toward children 2-5, will feature Rock O’Ween with Miss Paula and the Candy Bandits, Detroit’s favorite rockin’ family band; World Winter Holiday, a musical celebration of holiday traditions from around the globe with sought-after entertainer and music educator Guy Louis; Earth Day is Every Day!, an interactive nature-inspired program with local singer/songwriter Joe Reilly and friends; and Boogie Woogie Nursery Rhymes, a fun and engaging program led by Detroit’s own “Boogie Woogie Kid!”


Chinese piano legend Lang Lang will make a special one-night-only appearance at Orchestra Hall during opening weekend on Saturday, October 1, 2016 at 8 p.m. with Leonard Slatkin conducting, performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 with the DSO.

A legend by the age of 20, and a sensation at the Beijing Olympics, Lang Lang has been hailed for his “technical fireworks” and “interpretive passion” by the San Francisco Examiner. The full program for the evening is below. Other DSO Presents programs are announced on a rolling basis.

RON NELSON Savannah River Holiday

GOULD Pavanne

BARBER Adagio for Strings

COPLAND Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo

BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 4


Subscription packages for Classical, Pops, and Young People’s Family series are on sale now. The deadline to renew for all existing subscribers is March 18. As part of the DSO’s Patron-Minded Pricing Program, classical subscription ticket prices continue to reflect up to a 50 percent reduction from 2009 levels.

Students of any age can attend most classical, jazz or pops Orchestra Hall concert free all season long by purchasing a Soundcard for $25. More information is available at dso.org/soundcard. Some restrictions apply.

2016-17 Classical Season Subscription prices

Subscription packages will be sold in groups of 7, 9, 12, 17 and 21.

7 concert series prices will be $90 for Upper Balcony, $150 for Mid-Balcony and Main Floor B, $300 for Main Floor A and Dress Circle and $600 for the Box Level.
9 concert series prices will be $105 for Upper Balcony, $175 for Mid-Balcony and Main Floor B, $350 for Main Floor A and Dress Circle and $800 for the Box Level.
12 concert series will be $150/$250/$500/$900
17 concert series prices will be $180/$300/$600/$1,500
21 concert series will be $240/$400/$800/$1,800
2016-17 Pops Season Subscription prices—Eight concerts for the price of seven!

Subscription packages will be sold in groups of 8 for Coffee, Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday matinee concerts.

Coffee Concerts – 8-concert series prices will be $133 for Upper Balcony, $240 for Mid-Balcony, $320 for Main Floor B, $352 for Main Floor A, $368 for Dress Circle and $480 for the Box Level.
Friday nights, Saturday nights or Sunday matinee – 8-concert series prices will be $133 for Upper Balcony, $266 for Mid-Balcony, $336 for Main Floor B, $406 for Main Floor A, $476 for Dress Circle and $735 for the Box Level.
2016-17 Young People’s and Tiny Tots Subscription prices—Buy an adult YPFC subscription and your first child attends Free!

YPFC Concerts Adult price (incl.one child) – 4-concert series will be $52 for Main Floor B, $72 for Main Floor A, $96 for Dress Circle and $140 for Box Level
YPFC additional children (25% off) – 4-concert series will be $39 for Main Floor B, $54 for Main Floor A, $72 for Dress Circle and $105 for Box Level
Tiny Tots Series (General Admission in The Music Box) –4-concert series will be $40 per person
Subscriptions can be purchased by visiting dso.org or calling the DSO’s Box Office at 313.576.5111.


Hailed by The New York Times as “cutting edge,” the internationally acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra, is known for trailblazing performances, visionary maestros, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists, and an unwavering commitment to Detroit. Esteemed conductor Leonard Slatkin, called “America’s Music Director” by the Los Angeles Times, became the 12th Music Director of the DSO during the 2008-09. Acclaimed conductor, arranger, and trumpeter Jeff Tyzik serves as Principal Pops Conductor while celebrated trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard holds the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair. The DSO’s performance schedule includes Classical, Pops, Jazz, Young People’s, Neighborhood concerts, and collaborations with chart-topping musicians from Steven Spielberg to Kid Rock. A commitment to broadcast innovation began in 1922 when the DSO became the first orchestra in the world to present a radio broadcast and continues today with the free Live from Orchestra Hall webcast series steaming at dso.org/live. Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, one of America’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, the DSO actively pursues a mission to impact and serve the community through music. For more information visit dso.org.


All concerts at Orchestra Hall at the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center unless otherwise indicated

Programs and artists subject to change.

* denotes webcast date


Opening Weekend: Hilary Hahn & Beethoven!
Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Hilary Hahn, violin

Thursday, September 29 at 7:30 p.m.

Friday, September 30 at 8 p.m.*

BERNSTEIN Overture to Candide
FERRAN CRUIXENT Big Data (World Premiere)
BEETHOVEN Violin Concerto

Rhapsody in Blue
Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Garrick Ohlsson, piano

Friday, October 7 at 10:45 a.m.

Saturday, October 8 at 8 p.m.

Sunday, October 9 at 3 p.m.*

COPLAND Piano Concerto
GERSHWIN Rhapsody in Blue
MILHAUD Creation du Monde
RESPIGHI Pines of Rome

The Romance of Rachmaninoff

Neeme Järvi, conductor

Zuill Bailey, cello

Thursday, October 20 at 7:30 p.m.

Friday, October 21 at 10:45 a.m.*

Saturday, October 22 at 8 p.m.

RACHMANINOFF (Orch. Leytush) Russian Song (DSO Premiere)
MICHAEL DAUGHERTY Tales of Hemingway (DSO Premiere)

Sibelius 2

Hannu Lintu, conductor

Elina Vähälä, violin
Friday, October 29 at 8 p.m.

Saturday, October 30 at 3 p.m.

STRAVINSKY Fairy’s Kiss (Divertimento)

JAAKKO KUUSISTO Violin Concerto (DSO Premiere)
SIBELIUS Symphony No. 2

Beethoven’s 4th
Louis Langrée, conductor

Rachelle Durkin, soprano

Abigail Nims, mezzo soprano

Sean Panikkar, tenor

Peixin Chen, bass

Friday, November 11 at 8 p.m.

Saturday, November 12 at 8 p.m.*

BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 4
MAHLER Das Lied von der Erde

Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto
Yu Long, conductor

Kirill Gerstein, piano

Thursday, November 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Friday, November 18 at 10:45 a.m.

Saturday, November 19 at 8 p.m.*

TCHAIKOVSKY Piano Concerto No. 1
BARTÓK Concerto for Orchestra

Storm Large: Seven Deadly Sins
Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Storm Large, soprano
Friday, December 2 at 8 p.m.

Saturday, December 3 at 8 p.m.*

Sunday, December 4 at 3 p.m.

WALTON Suite No. 1 from Façade
WEILL The Seven Deadly Sins
WALTON Symphony No. 1

Emanuel Ax Plays Beethoven
Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Emanuel Ax, piano
Friday, December 9 at 8 p.m.

Sunday, December 11 at 3 p.m.*

BEETHOVEN Overture to The Creatures of Prometheus
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 2
ELGAR Symphony No. 1

The Virtuosity of Cho-Liang Lin
Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Cho-Liang Lin, violin

Saturday, January 7 at 8 p.m.*

STRAVINSKY Ragtime (DSO Premiere)
LALO SCHIFRIN Tangos Concertantes (DSO Premiere)
MENDELSSOHN Symphony No. 5, “Reformation”

#MozartFest: Mozart Concertante
Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Alex Kinmonth, oboe

Scott Strong, horn

Yoonshin Song, violin

Eric Nowlin, viola

Thursday, January 19 at 7:30 p.m.

Friday, January 20 at 10:45 a.m.*

MOZART Overture to Marriage of Figaro
MOZART Oboe Concerto
MOZART Horn Concerto No. 1
MOZART Sinfonia Concertante

#MozartFest: Symphony 39

Leonard Slatkin, conductor

David Buck, flute

Karl Pituch, horn

Saturday, January 21 at 8 p.m.

Sunday, January 22 at 3 p.m.*

MOZART Overture to Così fan tutte
MOZART Flute Concerto
MOZART Horn Concerto No. 2
MOZART Overture to Don Giovanni
MOZART Symphony No. 39

#MozartFest: Clarinet Concerto
Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Kimberly Kaloyanides Kennedy, Hai-Xin Wu, violin

Johanna Yarbrough, horn

Ralph Skiano, clarinet

Friday, January 27 at 10:45 a.m. and 8 p.m.*

MOZART Overture to La Clemenza del Tito
MOZART Concertone (DSO Premiere)
MOZART Horn Concerto No. 3
MOZART Clarinet Concerto

#MozartFest: Symphony 40

Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Robert Williams, bassoon

David Everson, horn
Saturday, January 28 at 8 p.m.

Sunday, January 29 at 3 p.m.*

MOZART Overture to The Magic Flute
MOZART Bassoon Concerto
MOZART Horn Concerto No. 4
MOZART Symphony No. 40

#MozartFest: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Thursday, February 2 at 7:30 p.m.

Friday, February 3 at 10:45 a.m.*

MOZART Eine kleine Nachtmusik
MOZART Symphony No. 35, “Haffner”
MOZART Andante for Flute and Strings
MOZART Symphony No. 36, “Linz”

#MozartFest: Jupiter Symphony

Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Patricia Masri-Fletcher, harp

Sharon Sparrow, flute
Friday, February 3 at 8 p.m.

Saturday, February 4 at 8 p.m.*

MOZART Symphony No. 38, “Prague”
MOZART Flute and Harp Concerto
MOZART Symphony No. 41, “Jupiter”

Gershwin Rarities!
Michelle Merrill, conductor

Sara Davis Buechner, piano
Friday, February 17 at 10:45 a.m.

Saturday, February 18 at 8 p.m.*

GERSHWIN I Got Rhythm Variations
GERSHWIN Second Rhapsody

Classical Roots
Damon Gupton, conductor

Christine Lamprea, cello

Friday, March 3 at 10:45 a.m.

Saturday, March 4 at 8 p.m.*

TERENCE BLANCHARD New Work (World Premiere)
JEFFREY MUMFORD of fields unfolding . . . echoing depths of resonant light (in memoriam Elliott Carter) (DSO Premiere)

Romeo & Juliet, Plus Branford Marsalis
Andrey Boreyko, conductor

Branford Marsalis, saxophone

Friday, March 24 at 10:45 a.m.* and 8 p.m.

Saturday, March 25 at 8 p.m.

GABRIEL PROKOFIEV Saxophone Concerto (DSO Premiere)
PROKOFIEV Suite from Romeo and Juliet

Guitar Genius Sharon Isbin
Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Sharon Isbin, guitar

Thursday, April 6 at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 8 at 8 p.m.*

Sunday, April 9 at 3 p.m.

CHRIS BRUBECK Affinity: Guitar Concerto (DSO Premiere)
MAHLER (Cooke) Symphony No. 10

Symphonic Jazz
Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Michel Camilo, piano

Friday, April 21 at 10:45 a.m.

Saturday, April 22 at 8 p.m.*

BACH Violin Partita No. 3 in E major, Prelude

BACH Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir, Sinfonia

BACH (orch. Wood) Suite No. 6, Finale

BACH (orschifch. Barbirolli) Sheep May Safely Graze

BACH (orch. Ormandy) Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring

BACH (orch. Stokowski) Toccata and Fugue in D minor

SHOSTAKOVICH Jazz Suite No. 1 (DSO Premiere)
MICHEL CAMILO Concerto for Jazz Trio & Orchestra (World Premiere)

The Defiant Requiem
Murry Sidlin, conductor

Jennifer Check, soprano

Ann McMahon Quintero, mezzo soprano

Issachah Savage, tenor

Nathan Stark, bass

Saturday, May 6 at 8 p.m.*

Sunday, May 7 at 3 p.m.

VERDI Requiem
Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín (DSO Premiere)

Seductive Showpieces
Carlos Miguel Prieto, conductor

Alexandra Soumm, violin
Saturday, May 13 at 8 p.m.*

MÁRQUEZ Danzón No. 2
BERNSTEIN Serenade (after Plato’s “Symposium”)
de FALLA Three-Cornered Hat
GIMENEZ Intermezzo from La Boda de Luis Alonso

Beethoven’s Ninth
Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Hila Plitmann, soprano

Rachelle Durkin, soprano

Abigail Nims, mezzo soprano

Sean Panikkar, tenor

Peixin Chen, bass

Thursday, May 18 at 7:30 p.m.

Friday, May 19 at 8 p.m.*

Saturday, May 20 at 8 p.m.

Sunday, May 21 at 3 p.m.

JOHN CORIGLIANO Mr. Tambourine Man (DSO Premiere)
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 9, “Choral”

Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2
Cristian Macelaru. Conductor

James Ehnes, violin

Friday, May 26 at 10:45 a.m.

Saturday, May 27 at 8 p.m.*

Sunday, May 28 at 3 p.m.
JAMES NEWTON HOWARD Violin Concerto (DSO Premiere)

Tchaikovsky’s Fifth
James Gaffigan, conductor

Nicola Benedetti, violin

Thursday, June 1 at 7:30 p.m.

Friday, June 2 at 10:45 a.m.*

Saturday, June 3 at 8 p.m.

WYNTON MARSALIS Violin Concerto (DSO Premiere)
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 5



Michelle Merrill, conductor

Friday, October 14

Saturday, October 15

Sunday, October 16

Roll up for the “Classical Mystery Tour.” Hear all your favorite Beatles songs performed LIVE by the Detroit Symphony and former touring members of Broadway’s Beatlemania! Fab Four hit after Fab Four hit — “Yesterday,” “Penny Lane,” “I Am the Walrus,” and more!


Jeff Tyzik, conductor

Ashley Brown, vocalist

Friday, November 4

Saturday, November 5

Sunday, November 6

Her shimmering voice bewitched Broadway as Mary Poppins. Now Ashley Brown joins the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Jeff Tyzik for great American song. Harold Arlen, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, and contemporary classics from Disney and beyond. The names that built the great American songbook. The music that makes memories.


Bob Bernhardt, conductor

Mela Dailey, vocals

Wednesday, Nov. 23 at 10:45 a.m.

The melodies seduce. The passions ignite. Be there at Orchestra Hall as Bob Bernhardt, Grammy-winning vocalist Mela Dailey and the Detroit Symphony present “Opera’s Greatest Hits.” Intense moments from the heart of opera composed by Mozart, Puccini, Rossini and much, much more!

MUSIC OF JOURNEY [Thanksgiving Weekend]

Brent Havens, conductor

Brody Dolynuik, vocals/guitar

SAT., NOV. 26.• SUN., NOV. 27

“Any Way You Want It,” these are the anthems that energized the 80s. A tribute to Journey. The DSO, backed by a full rock band, “Faithfully” performs every smash hit. “Don’t Stop Believing” and so many more.


Michelle Merrill, conductor

Doug LaBrecque, vocalist

Friday, December 16

Saturday, December 17

Sunday, December 18

Share Detroit’s favorite, best-selling holiday musical tradition with family and friends and thrill to the spectacle of the season. It’s a sparkling celebration with carols and classics for the season. And yes, Virginia, there will be a Santa Claus!


Matt Catingub, conductor/vocals/piano

Anita Hall, vocalist

Steve Moretti, drums/vocalist

Friday, January 6

Saturday, January 7

Sunday, January 8

The 60s was the decade. And these were the hits: “I Heard it Through the Grapevine,” “It’s My Party,” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” “Brown-Eyed Girl,” and so many others. More than a dozen solid gold musical memories of the 60’s sensational chart-toppers.


Larry Loh, conductor

Friday, February 24

Saturday, February 25

Sunday, February 26

Lights. Camera. Pops! The Detroit Symphony Orchestra presents
“A Night at the Academy Awards.” Hear some of Hollywood’s most enduring scores from Academy Award-winning films such as Avatar, Rocky, Star Wars, Titanic and more! Relive the unforgettable music that made the movies great!


Wednesday, March 29 at 7:30 p.m.

Leading cast members of the Tony Award- winning musical Jersey Boys, keep harmonizing, and audiences keep falling under their spell. Following two top rated PBS specials, “The Boys” come to Detroit to join the Orchestra for an electrifying evening of classic hits from the American radio songbook. Doo-Wop, Motown, classic rock and more. Plus all your favorite tunes from The Drifters, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, and their “Four Seasons” mentors Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio. “It’s just too good to be true!”


Jeff Tyzik, conductor

Friday, March 31

Saturday April 1

Sunday, April 2

The DSO and Jeff Tyzik are joined by Cirque de la Symphonie! Aerial acrobats literally “drop” into Orchestra Hall. Each gravity-defying feat choreographed to live music performed by the DSO. Acrobats — aerialists — contortionists — strongmen — jugglers. All this and more performing to music above and around the Orchestra.


Lisa Vroman, Brent Barrett, vocals

Friday, April 28

Saturday, April 29

Sunday, April 30

Showstopper after showstopper, it’s the very best of Rodgers and Hammerstein on Broadway. All your favorite hits from Oklahoma!, The Sound of Music, The King and I, South Pacific, Carousel and more. You’ll be whistling a happy tune!


Jeff Tyzik, conductor

Ellis Hall, vocal and piano/keyboards

Saturday, June 17 at 8 p.m.

Sunday, June 18 at 3 p.m.

The “Ambassador of Soul” — Ellis Hall — in a tribute to Marvin Gaye, Jackie Wilson, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Earth, Wind and Fire, and Stevie Wonder. Plus, a special tribute to Ellis’ mentor Ray Charles. See music’s “Soul Man” in concert with Jeff Tyzik and the DSO.



Featuring the Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Saturday, October 29, 2016 at 11 a.m. in Orchestra Hall

Michelle Merrill, conductor

All aboard the Hogwarts Express! Join Assistant Conductor Michelle Merrill and the DSO for selections from your favorite Harry Potter films and more. Witches, wizards and even muggles are invited to participate in our annual costume contest and other spooktacular pre-concert activities.


Saturday, October 29, 2016 at 10 a.m. in The Music Box

Come and listen as Miss Paula and the Candy Bandits play popular children’s songs set to a rock n’ roll beat. Nursery rhymes will never be the same again! Don’t forget to wear your favorite Halloween costume.


Featuring the Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Saturday, November 26, 2016 at 11 a.m. in Orchestra Hall

Michelle Merrill, conductor

Dennis Nulty, tuba

Stephen Henderson, narrator

Join DSO Principal Tuba Dennis Nulty and celebrity narrator Stephen Henderson for the timeless children’s classic “Tubby the Tuba,” as Tubby sets off on a quest to find a song of his own. Other works on the program will showcase the DSO’s brilliant brass section!


Featuring Guy Louis

Saturday, November 26, 2016 at 10 a.m.

In The Music Box

Get ready for a toe-tapping good time as Guy Louis takes you on a musical journey of holiday celebrations from all over the world, from Asia to Africa, to the Americas, and beyond! This fun-filled and interactive concert is sure to be a hit for children and adults alike.


Featuring the Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 11 a.m. in Orchestra Hall

Michelle Merrill, conductor

Travel with Tchaikovsky as he arrives in New York for the Grand Opening of Carnegie Hall in 1891 and makes his famous journey to Niagara Falls. This Classical Kids Live! theatrical production features excerpts of the composer’s music, including passages from his three famous ballets-The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake.


Featuring Joe Reilly and Friends

Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 11 a.m. in The Music Box

Can you hop like a frog, flap your wings like a turkey vulture, or make a face like a dinosaur? Celebrate the coming of spring with Joe Reilly and friends in a program of nature-inspired songs for kids of all ages. Move, dance and allow yourself to become the animals, plants, and water in the music!


Featuring the Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Saturday, May 6, 2017 at 11 a.m. in Orchestra Hall

Michelle Merrill, conductor

D.J. Oliver, narrator

The DSO’s instruments come to life in a delightful presentation of Benjamin Britten’s beloved music showcasing the different families of instruments in an orchestra- narrated by D.J. Oliver, the popular host of DPTV’s Detroit Performs.


Featuring Matthew Ball and Friends

Saturday, May 6, 2017 at 10 a.m. in The Music Box

Known as the “Boogie-Woogie Kid,” Matthew Ball and friends invite the entire family to join in music-filled fun with puppets, dancing and sing-a-longs all while introducing the experience of live music to children in an engaging and entertaining way.

About The Author

Mike McGonigal

Metro Times music editor Mike McGonigal has written about music since 1984, when he started the fanzine Chemical Imbalance at age sixteen with money saved from mowing lawns in Florida. He's since written for Spin, Pitchfork, the Village VOICE and Artforum. He's been a museum guard, a financial reporter, a bicycle...
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