NEA Grants DSO $95K In Support Of All Nine Beethoven Symphonies and Mahler’s Symphony No. 8

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DETROIT, (December 8, 2010) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) has been named the recipient of $95,000 in grants from the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA). A grant in the amount of $75,000 was awarded to support performances of a complete cycle of Beethoven Symphonies and related educational activities. All nine Beethoven Symphonies plus the three Leonore Overtures, the Fidelio Overture, and Creatures of Prometheus will be conducted by Music Director Leonard Slatkin and performed over a three-week period. The second award is a $20,000 grant to support a performance of composer Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8: Symphony of a Thousand and related educational activities.

The DSO embarks on a rare undertaking in the early days of spring 2011 when it performs all nine Beethoven Symphonies over the course of three successive classical subscription weekends. This will be the first time since 1977 that the DSO has tackled all nine symphonies with one conductor in a single season during such a condensed period. The Beethoven Symphonies are an extraordinary glimpse into the symphonic medium, as each of the nine covers a wide range of ideas and themes. Listening to them in a condensed period, side by side, shows the full depth of Beethoven as a composer.

The essence of the Beethoven Cycle will be the audience development activities that take place within the three weeks that will provide patrons with an in-depth understanding of Beethoven and his works. Some activities include: Concert Talks, Special Encores, DSO Overtime with Leonard Slatkin, and additional lectures, exhibits, and displays. Concert dates for Beethoven are as follows: Leonore Overture No. 3, Symphony No. 8 and Symphony No. 3: Thu. Mar. 24 at 7:30 pm and Fri. Mar. 25 at 10:45 am. Fidelio Overture, Symphony No. 4 and Symphony No. 5: Fri. Mar. 25 at 8:00 pm. and Sat. Mar. 26 at 8:30 pm. Leonore Overture No. 2, Symphony No. 1 and Symphony No. 6: Fri. Apr. 8 at 10:45 am & 8:00 pm. Leonore Overture No. 1, Symphony No. 2 and Symphony No. 7: Sat. Apr. 9 at 8:30 pm and Sun. Apr. 10 at 3:00 pm. The Creatures of Prometheus (selections) and Symphony No. 9 “Choral”: Thu. Apr. 14 at 7:30 pm, Fri. Apr. 15at 8:00 pm and Sat. Apr. 16 at 8:30 pm. A young people’s concert will take place, date to be determined: “The Best of Beethoven”.

In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Gustav Mahler’s birth and the 100th anniversary of his death, the DSO will collaborate with some of Michigan’s premier cultural and academic organizations (including the Michigan Opera Theatre, University Musical Society (UMS), University of Michigan and Michigan State University) to present spectacular performances of Mahler’s monumental Symphony No. 8, also known as “Symphony of a Thousand.” Led by Leonard Slatkin, the performance will include an internationally acclaimed vocal cast including soprano Christine Brewer, soprano Christine Goerke, and tenor Anthony Dean Griffey, the UMS Choral Union, University of Michigan student choirs, the Michigan State University Children’s Choir, as well as the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Concerts will be held at the Detroit Opera House in downtown Detroit, Fri. Mar. 18 at 8:00 pm and at Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor, Sat. Mar. 19 at 8:00 pm.

In addition to the NEA support, The DSO, UMS and MOT have pooled their resources in celebration of this significant artistic milestone—the double anniversary of Gustav Mahler. This program is also made possible in part by generous grants from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan (CFSEM) and an anonymous donor.

About the NEA

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. 

About the CFSEM

For the past 25 years, the Community Foundation has served as a vehicle for donors, volunteers and community members to identify important issues, share ideas and build financial resources to make positive long-term change. The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan (CFSEM) promotes and facilitates community philanthropy in the seven counties of Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, Washtenaw, Livingston and St. Clair, and also assists donors with investing in organizations. CFSEM is building permanent community capital in the form of endowments that create bases of stable financial support for the region.

Ticket Information

Tickets for all nine Beethoven Symphonies may be purchased and/or reserved at the DSO Box Office (3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit), by calling the DSO at (313) 576-5111 or by visiting www.detroitsymphony.com.

Tickets for the Mar. 18 performance of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8: Symphony of a Thousand may be purchased and/or reserved at the Detroit Opera House Box Office (1526 Broadway, Detroit), by calling the MOT at (313) 961-3500 or by visiting www.michiganopera.org.  

Tickets for the Mar. 19 performance of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8: Symphony of a Thousand may be purchased and/or reserved at the UMS ticket office on the north end of the Michigan League building (911 N. University Ave., Ann Arbor), by calling the UMS at (734) 764-2538 or by visiting www.ums.org.

About the DSO

The internationally acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the fourth-oldest symphony orchestra in the United States, is known for trailblazing performances, visionary maestros and collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists. The DSO makes its home in historic Orchestra Hall, one of America’s most acoustically perfect concert halls.  The orchestra has earned awards and accolades for nearly 150 recordings since 1918, and its past touring and residency destinations include Europe, the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland, Japan, the Hollywood Bowl, Florida, the Bravo! Colorado Festival and the State of Michigan. Visit the DSO website at www.detroitsymphony.com

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