The Detroit Symphony Orchestra Opens its 2011-12 Season with New Faces and a New Concerto

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DETROIT, (September 13, 2011) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) opens its 2011-12 classical season with the North American premiere of Michel Camilo’s Piano Concerto No. 2, “Tenerife,” conducted by music director Leonard Slatkin and featuring the composer himself at the piano. The program also includes Rossini’s William Tell Overture and Berlioz’s vivid masterpiece, Symphonie fantastique. Six musicians will take the stage in new leadership roles as acting principals of their section. This concert series is sponsored, in part, by Strategic Staffing Services, PVS Chemicals, Inc., Target, and The MASCO Corporation Foundation. Concerts take place on Saturday, October 8 and Sunday, October 9 at 3 p.m.

The full program features Rossini’s William Tell Overture, Michel Camilo’s Piano Concerto No. 2, “Tenerife,” with Camilo at the piano, as well as Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique.

The DSO welcomes six musicians to new leadership roles this season as they serve as acting principal musicians. Kimberly Ann Kaloyanides Kennedy, DSO Associate Concertmaster will be serving as Acting Concertmaster. Adam Stepniewski, DSO Associate Principal Second Violin will serve as Acting Principal Second Violin. Sharon Sparrow has been appointed Acting Principal Flute, and Steve Anderson as Acting Principal Trumpet. Eric Shin joins the DSO from the Honolulu Symphony as Acting Principal Percussion and Eric Schweikert, Principal Timpanist for the Fort Wayne Philharmonic in Indiana, joins the DSO as Acting Principal Timpani.

For all the success of the William Tell Overture in the concert hall, the opera itself has been more honored than it has been performed. By 1931, two years after its Paris premiere, the original four acts had been trimmed to three and within Rossini’s lifetime, it was common to perform only the second act. Nevertheless, no other composer in the first half of the 19th century enjoyed a level of success on par with Rossini. His contemporaries regarded him as the greatest Italian composer of the time.

Michel Camilo’s Piano Concerto No. 2, “Tenerife” was commissioned by the Tenerife Auditorium. The composer writes:

This work is dedicated to Tenerife (Canary Islands), a special place where I have had so many unforgettable moments on each one of my visits. My intention was to compose about its great majesty, reflect on the warmth of its people and portray the vibrant light so full of contrasting texture and color which I have always perceived there.

Camilo serves as the Fred A. & Barbara M. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair at the DSO.

Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique was inspired by the accumulated emotional tensions he felt when his two-year affair with Miss Smithson, his ideal woman, came to an end. It is the first work in the history of music to tap into the dark Romanticism that feeds on dreams, irrationality and the excesses of the unfettered imagination. Although the work was written nearly 200 years ago, it remains an audacious and thrilling work and its effect on the 20th century was profound. Its exploitation of orchestral color and its use of an external narrative in a dramatic program would influence composers for years to come.

Ticket Information

Tickets to Symphonie fantastique range in price from $15 to $100 with a limited number of box seats available for $65 to $123.  Tickets may be purchased at the Max M. Fisher Music Center box office (3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit); by calling (313) 576-5111; or online at dso.org. For group discount information (10 people or more), please contact Chuck Dyer at (313) 576-5130 or cdyer@dso.org.

Performance

Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique!

Orchestra Hall

Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Leonard Slatkin, conductor; Michel Camilo, piano

Saturday, Oct. 8 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 9 at 3 p.m.

ROSSINI   Overture to Guillaume Tell [William Tell]

MICHEL CAMILO   Piano Concerto No.2, “Tenerife” (North American Premiere)

BERLIOZ   Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14

About Michel Camilo

A pianist with a brilliant technique and a composer that flavors his tunes with Afro-Caribbean rhythms and jazz harmonies, Camilo’s musical language is an expressive and exciting way of combining his musical heritage with a rich, intelligent use of harmonic textures, jazz roots and his superb piano technique. His music is mainstream jazz first and foremost, propelled by an infectious Latin tinge and a contemporary sense of swing that reflects his joyously effervescent personality.

Camilo was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. He studied for 13 years at the National Conservatory earning a degree of “Professorship in Music” and at the age of 16 became a member of the National Symphony Orchestra of his country. He moved to New York in 1979 where he continued his studies at Mannes College and The Juilliard School. Since his 1985 Carnegie Hall debut, he has become a prominent figure performing regularly at festivals throughout the United States, Europe, Japan, Asia, the Middle East, South America and the Caribbean.

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.  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 season.  The DSO offers a performance schedule that includes Classical, Pops, Jazz, Young people’s concerts and festivals.  The DSO makes its home in historic Orchestra Hall, one of America’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, and actively pursues a mission to impact and serve the community through music.  For more information visit www.dso.org

About Leonard Slatkin

Internationally acclaimed American conductor Leonard Slatkin began his appointment as Music Director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in September of 2008. In addition to his post at the DSO, August 2011 marked the start of his tenure as Music Director of the Orchestre National de Lyon in France. In addition, Slatkin continues to serve as Principal Guest Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, a post that began in the fall of 2008.

Following a 17-year tenure as Music Director of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Slatkin became Music Director of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. in 1996. Other positions in the United States have included Principal Guest Conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra, where he founded their “Sommerfest;” first Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra’s summer series at the Blossom Music Festival, a post he held for nine years; Principal Guest Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl for three seasons; and additional positions with the New Orleans Philharmonic and the Nashville Symphony Orchestra.

Throughout his career, Slatkin has demonstrated a continuing commitment to arts education and to reaching diverse audiences. He is the founder and director of the National Conducting Institute, and advanced career development program for rising conductors, and founded the Saint Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra. This year, he spearheaded the DSO’s Soundcard initiative, an all-access student pass to every Classical, Pops and Jazz concert at Orchestra Hall, all season long.

Maestro Slatkin’s more than 100 recordings have been recognized with seven Grammy awards and 64 nominations. He has

recorded with the DSO, National Symphony Orchestra, Saint Louis Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic.

His engagements for the 2011-2012 season include Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Seoul Philharmonic, NHK Symphony, a tour of Germany with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, and the New World and National Symphony Orchestras in Washington D.C.

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