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DSO’S BRAHMS FESTIVAL TO INCLUDE FULL ORCHESTRAL REPERTOIRE, CHAMBER MUSIC, GUEST SCHOLAR, BEARD CONTEST, MORE

Three weeks in February dedicated to 19th century German composer

Detroit, (January 21, 2016) – For three weeks this February, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) will immerse metro Detroit in the work and life of 19th century German composer Johannes Brahms during its annual Winter Music Festival. The orchestra will perform the composer’s entire orchestral repertoire, including his four symphonies, two monumental piano concerti, his sole violin concerto, Luciano Berio arrangement of his Sonata for Clarinet and Orchestra and many other masterpieces. Six full orchestra programs in Orchestra Hall at the Max M. &Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center (3711 Woodward Ave.) will be joined by a sampling of the composer’s prolific chamber music performed in intimate venues across metro Detroit and pre-concert lectures by Boston-based Brahms biographer Jan Swafford, the official scholar of the Brahms Festival.

The Brahms Festival (#BrahmsFest) is the DSO’s third Winter Music Festival, which last year celebrated the work of Tchaikovsky and in 2013 that of Beethoven. Each Orchestra Hall program will be conducted by DSO Music Director Leonard Slatkin, with programs featuring French pianist and animal rights activist Hélène Grimaud, violinist Baiba Skride, cellist Danjulo Ishizaka and DSO Principal Clarinet Ralph Skiano.

“The works left to us by the German master are made more remarkable when played over a compact period,” said Slatkin.  “We are reminded that each is a masterwork, filled with individuality and variety.  Unlike with Beethoven, there are almost no traces of what music had come before. Each symphony and concerto is totally unique, inhabiting worlds that simply did not exist until Brahms invented them. And the less familiar music also contains some of the most moving and beautiful sounds ever created.”

All four symphonies will be recorded for an upcoming digital album on the DSO’s independent Live from Orchestra Hall label, produced by Grammy Award winner Blanton Alspaugh. “Brahms: The Four Symphonies (Live)” will be released in early May for streaming and download across all major online music platforms, including Apple Music/iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, and HDTracks.

Other festival festivities include:

  • a romantic Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) presentation of Brahms’ Liebeslieder Waltzes (love songs) at the Detroit Institute of Arts’ (DIA) Kresge Court, performed by vocalists from the Michigan Opera Theatre
  • As homage to Brahms’ humble beginnings as a bordello pianist, artists from the Michigan Burlesque Festival will team up with the old-timey jazz stylings of the Detroit Pleasure Society and pianist Jarrod Champion for Brahms, Beards & Burlesque on Feb. 18 in The Music Box at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center. Musical acts will mingle with a beard contest to commemorate the composer’s famous whiskers.
  • a yoga class (Feb. 21) taught by DSO Librarian and certified yoga instructor Ethan Allen, set to a live string quartet performing Brahms works, including his famous lullaby
  • Student vocalists and instrumentalists from Wayne State University, Oakland University, Michigan State University and Bowling Green State University will gather in The Music Box on Feb. 27 for a Late-night Lieder, bringing to life Brahms’ vast repertoire of songs.

The DSO’s in-house restaurant, Paradise Lounge, will take on a new identity during the festival. Named for the Viennese eatery where Brahms notoriously consumed every single meal, The Red Hedgehog will serve cuisine inspired by his German heritage and career in Vienna. [beer name], made especially for the festival by Detroit-based Batch Brewing Co., will accompany each Red Hedgehog menu, and will be available at all concessions.

Dso.org/BrahmsFest is home to a digital counterpart to the festival program book, featuring introductory remarks from Leonard Slatkin and a special essay by Swafford. The micro-site will also host a library of videos produced exclusively for the festival focusing on musical excerpts of particular interest, interviews with soloists and Leonard Slatkin, and more. Beyond the festival, the micro-site will remain available for encore viewing of select programming and bonus content.

Each Orchestra Hall program will be webcast to a live worldwide audience via Live From Orchestra Hall free HD webcasts. Log on to dso.org/live to view the concerts from your desktop or mobile device from anywhere in the world. Concert dates marked with an asterisk in the below event listings will be webcast.

For a full schedule of Brahms Festival events, visit dso.org/BrahmsFest. Each patron will receive a Festival Rewards punch card at their first event. Those who attend two events or more can claim prizes such as a set of Brahms Festival

Ticket sales during last season’s Tchaikovsky Festival saw more than double the volume sold during the same three-week non-festival period the year before. The digital compilation of Tchaikovsky’s Six Symphonies, released on the DSO’s in-house label in May, appeared in the Top 3 on iTunes and Billboard classical charts and garnered 100,000 stream on Apple Music’s “A-List: Classical” curated playlist.

During the 2013 Beethoven Festival, the DSO sold more tickets than in any other three-week classical span since the opening of the Max M. Fisher Music Center in 2003. Sales for the festival totaled 17,669 tickets, beating the previous three-week record of 16,601, sold for Leonard Slatkin’s inaugural concerts with the DSO during the 2008-09 season. The “Beethoven’s Ninth” concerts set their own record for highest capacity for a 4-concert run, with 7,341 tickets sold.

TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets to the Brahms Festival concerts at Orchestra Hall begin at $15 and 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/brahmsfest. Detroit residents may reserve a ticket for $20 each in any section, excluding the box level, within two weeks of the performance. A valid photo ID with a Detroit address is required. For group discount information (10 people or more), please contact DeRon Wilson at (313) 576-5130 or dwilson@dso.org.

Tickets to Mix @ The Max: Brahms, Beards & Burlesque and are $15 general admission; $50 VIP (includes reserved seating at cabaret style table, a free drink and light appetizers); and $50 beard contest entry (Beard contest registration includes admission to the concert, exclusive contestant seating for you and your guests, one free drink and light appetizers.) Guests of contestants require a ticket to gain entry.

Tickets to Chamber Recitals are $15 general admission, $10 for students and free for subscribers to the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series.

Tickets to Om @ The Max are $25 general admission.

FESTIVAL EVENTS

Brahms Festival: Symphony No. 4/Violin Concerto

Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Baiba Skride, violin

Thurs., Feb.11 at 7:30 p.m.

Fri., Feb.12 at 8 p.m.*

Pre-concert presentation: Thurs., Feb. 12 at 6:15 p.m. and Fri., Feb. 13 at 6:45 p.m.

BRAHMS Three Hungarian Dances
BRAHMS Violin Concerto
BRAHMS Symphony No. 4

Brahms Festival: Symphony No. 3/Double Concerto

Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Baiba Skride, violin

Danjulo Ishizaka, cello

Sat., Feb.13 at 8 p.m.

Sun. Feb.14, at 3 p.m.*

Pre-concert presentation: Sat., Feb. 13 at 6:45 p.m. and Sun., Feb. 14 at 1:45 p.m.

BRAHMS Tragic Overture
BRAHMS Concerto for Violin and Cello
BRAHMS Symphony No. 3

Liebeslieder Waltzes at the DIA

Sun., Feb. 14 at 1 p.m.

Kresge Court, Detroit Institute of Arts

Vocalists of the Michigan Opera Theatre, together with student musicians of the DSO’s Wu Family Academy for Learning and Engagement will perform Brahms’ romantic Liebeslieder Waltzes, a collection of love songs thought to be inspired by the composer’s unrequited love for pianist Clara Schumann, wife of fellow composer Robert Schumann.

This event is free and open to the public.

Lecture: Brahms and his Contemporaries

Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 6 p.m.

Detroit Historical Museum, Allesee Gallery of Culture (5401 Woodward Ave.)

Official Brahms Festival Scholar Jan Swafford will give a lecture on Brahms and those friends on whom he lent great influence and vice versa, including  Georg Henschel, who was a friend and protégém and the first conductor of the Boston Symphony. A rarely discussed topic, Henschel consulted with Brahms a good deal when he took the job in Boston. Guests may browse the museum collection following the talk.

Mix @ The Max: Brahms, Beards & Burlesque

Thurs., Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. in The Music Box

Mix @ The Max pays homage to Brahms’ humble beginnings as a bordello pianist with an evening featuring artists from the Michigan Burlesque Festival, old-timey jazz stylings by the Detroit Pleasure Society pianist Jarrod Champion, and a beard contest inspired by Johannes Brahms’ righteous whiskers.

Brahms Festival: Symphony No. 1/Second Serenade

Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Fri., Feb. 19 at 10:45 a.m. and 8 p.m.*

Pre-concert presentation: Friday, Feb. 19 at 6:45 p.m

BRAHMS Academic Festival Overture
BRAHMS Serenade No. 2
BRAHMS Symphony No. 1

Brahms Festival: Symphony No. 2/First Serenade

Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Sat., Feb. 20 at 8 p.m.

Sun., Feb. 21 at 3 p.m.*

BRAHMS Serenade No. 1
BRAHMS Symphony No. 2

Om @ The Max

Sun., Feb. 21 at 11 a.m.

Certified yoga instructor and DSO Librarian Ethan Allen leads a group yoga session open to all skill levels while accompanied by Brahms’ chamber music (including his famous lullaby) performed live by members of the DSO.

Chamber Recital @ Steinway Gallery

Feb. 22 at 7 p.m.

Steinway Gallery, 2700 E West Maple Rd, Commerce Charter Township, 48390

Concertmaster Yoonshin Song will perform Brahms Violin Sonata X and the romantic Brahms Horn Trio will be performed by Adrienne Rönmark, violin; Yohanna Yarbrough, horn; and Pauline Martin, piano.

Brahms Festival: First Piano Concerto with Grimaud

Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Hélène Grimaud, piano

Thurs., Feb. 25 at 7:30 p.m.

Fri., Feb. 26 at 10:45 a.m.*

Pre-concert presentation: Thurs., Feb. 25 at 6:15 p.m.

BRAHMS (ARR. SCHÖNBERG) Piano Quartet in G minor
BRAHMS Piano Concerto No. 1

Brahms Festival: Second Piano Concerto with Grimaud

Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Hélène Grimaud, piano

Ralph Skiano, clarinet

Sat., Feb. 27 at 8 p.m.

Sun., Feb. 28 1 at 3 p.m.*

BRAHMS Variations on a Theme by Haydn
BRAHMS (ARR. BERIO) Sonata in F minor for Clarinet and Orchestra
BRAHMS Piano Concerto No. 2
   

Late Night Lieder

Sat., Feb. 27 at 10 p.m.

The Music Box, Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center

Following the festival’s final evening concert, student vocalists and instrumentalists from Michigan State University, Oakland University, Wayne State University and Bowling Green State University will gather in The Music Box at the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center to perform selections from Brahms’ lieder or songs. The composer wrote 200 songs over the course of his career.

This event is free and open to the public.

*=concert to be webcast at dso.org/live

About the DSO:

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 Smokey Robinson 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. Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. Fisher Music Center, one of America’s most acoustically revered concert halls, the DSO actively pursues a mission to impact and serve the community through music. For more information visit dso.org or download the free DSO to Go mobile app.

 

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DSO SIGNS AWARD-WINNING, TWO-TIME JUILLIARD GRADUATE TO PRINCIPAL VIOLA CHAIR

DETROIT, (January 20, 2016) – Following an international audition process, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) has signed Eric Nowlin, 35, to its Julie and Ed Levy, Jr. Principal Viola Chair. Nowlin is currently Associate Principal Viola for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and will join the DSO roster at the beginning of the 2016-17 season.

The Principal Viola chair was most recently held by Principal Emeritus Alexander Mishnaevski, a role James Van Valkenburg has assumed since the 2013-14 season as Acting Principal Viola. Van Valkenburg will return to his role as Assistant Principal when Nowlin takes the stage at Orchestra Hall in September 2016 for Opening Weekend.

“At his audition, as well as in chamber music and solo works, Eric showed a true command of everything one could want in a musician,” said DSO Music Director Leonard Slatkin. “Perhaps more importantly, he led the section in a gracious but strong manner and was unanimously chosen by his colleagues.  I look forward to welcoming Eric to Detroit and becoming part of the DSO family.”

Nowlin was selected from among dozens of candidates who came to Detroit from around the world to take the audition.

“The DSO is a really great orchestra and this is very exciting,” said Nowlin. “I’ve enjoyed getting to know the orchestra and conductor Leonard Slatkin, who was wonderful to work with. I was impressed with how great the hall sounds and how many wonderful opportunities are offered to the musicians. I’ve felt welcome and included since the outset and I look forward to working with the DSO.”

“With the addition of Eric Nowlin as Principal violist of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, we continue to move forward in solidifying incredible talent to lead the ensemble,” Slatkin said.

Including Nowlin, the DSO roster includes 77 fulltime musicians and two librarians. Additional auditions this season are for Second Clarinet, Section Violin, and Assistant Principal Timpani/Section Percussion.

About Eric Nowlin

Eric Nowlin will begin performing with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in the 2016-17 season. He currently is Associate Principal Viola in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and is violist of the Opus Award-winning and Juno-nominated New Orford String Quartet. He served as guest principal viola with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Metropolis Ensemble, and Cleveland’s Citymusic and as substitute viola with the New York Philharmonic.

Nowlin, who studied at The Juilliard School for both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, received second prize in the 2006 Walter W. Naumburg Competition and first prize in the 2003 Irving Klein International String and 2002 Hellam Young Artists competitions. He earned grand prize in the 2001 Naftzger Young Artists Competition and won the Juilliard Viola Concerto Competition.

The 35-year-old violist grew up in Missouri and Wisconsin before spending his last two years of high school at Interlochen Center for the Arts in Northern Michigan. It was in high school that he realized he wanted to be a full-time musician and made the viola his chosen instrument.

Eric Nowlin and his wife, Yaeko, have a 22-month-old daughter, Isabelle, with another on the way. They also have a dog, named Ringo.

About The DSO

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 Smokey Robinson 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. Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. 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 the newly updated dso.org or download the free DSO-to-Go mobile app.

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BRANFORD MARSALIS, LAQUITA MITCHELL TO PERFORM AT DSO’S 38TH ANNUAL CLASSICAL ROOTS CELEBRATION HONORING JESSYE AND DR. SILAS NORMAN, JR.

DSO African-American Fellow Joshua Jones to perform at Detroit schools to further Classical Roots mission

DETROIT, (Jan. 19, 2016) – NEA Jazz Master and saxophonist Branford Marsalis and soprano Laquita Mitchell will perform alongside the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) at their 38th Annual Classical Roots Concert and 16th Annual Classical Roots Celebration on Saturday, March 5. The program will pay tribute to local physician and philanthropist Dr. Silas Norman, Jr.  and his sister, Grammy-winning soprano Jessye Norman, who was originally scheduled as soloist for this concert. Miss Norman regrets most sincerely that she will not be able to perform as promised due to personal concerns.

The concert, led by conductor Roderick Cox, will take place on Saturday, March 5 at 8 p.m. at Orchestra Hall. The black tie celebration, presented by JPMorgan Chase, surrounds the performance featuring a pre-concert strolling dinner and a post-concert soiree in The Music Box at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center (3711 Woodward Ave.).

“Laquita Mitchell sings from the depths of her spirit and gives her audiences a new look, a new thought about a well-known aria or song, through her unique gifts of presentation, beauty of voice and knowledge of style,” said Norman. “Branford is a true ambassador for all that the arts represent: a full-time miracle of a musician with the soul of a traveling man who knows his worth and his reasons for being.”

The program was chosen as a tribute to Miss Norman’s legendary operatic career, and in memory of Dr. Norman’s contributions to the Detroit community. Orchestral selections will include Gershwin’s Suite from Porgy and Bess, Dvořák’s American Suite and a selection from Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s African Suite. Marsalis, who recently performed at a benefit concert for the Jessye Norman School of the Arts in Georgia, will perform John Williams’ Escapades for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra, and his own composition, The Bard Lachrymose. The Brazeal Dennard Chorale, of which Dr. Norman was a longtime member, will perform the spiritual “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing.”

Classical Roots Celebration was founded to celebrate and raise awareness about the contributions of African-Americans to classical music and supports increased opportunities through special programs, such as the DSO’s African-American Orchestral Fellowship Program, a mentoring opportunity for young professional musicians. The current fellow Joshua Jones, percussionist, will appear onstage with the orchestra during the Classical Roots concert. Past fellows include DSO Principal Trombone Kenneth Thompkins and Caen Thomason-Redus, DSO Director of Community Engagement.

To further Classical Roots’ mission of increasing opportunities through music, Jones will visit three Detroit schools in the weeks leading up to the Celebration to perform percussion demonstrations. He will attend:

  • Chandler Park Academy (20100 Kelly Road, Harper Woods) on Friday, Jan. 29 at 1:45 p.m.
  • Spain Elementary/Middle School (3700 Beaubien Street, Detroit) on Tuesday, March 1 at 12:30 p.m.
  • International Prep Academy (4201 W. Outer Drive, Detroit) on Friday, March 4 at 1:30 p.m.

Co-chairing the Classical Roots Celebration are Jason Tinsley and Ellen Hill Zeringue with the support of more than 30 other Detroit-area citizens and corporate leaders committed to the Classical Roots mission. Additional support was provided by Lear.

The Celebration begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Max M. Fisher Music Center with a strolling dinner in The Music Box featuring performances by the DSO Civic Jazz Ensemble, followed by the “Classical Roots” concert at 8 p.m. in Orchestra Hall. Following the concert, guests are invited to a dancing and dessert afterglow in the Atrium and The Music Box.

About the honorees:

A University of Michigan alumna, soprano Jessye Norman is the founder of the Jessye Norman School for the Arts in her hometown of Augusta, Georgia, which is a tuition-free arts education program for talented middle-school students otherwise unable to experience private arts tutoring. Miss Norman’s work with not-for-profit organizations, including the New York Public Library, The Dance Theatre of Harlem, Howard University, Carnegie Hall, The Partnership for the Homeless along with a graduate fellowship and Master Class series in her name at the University of Michigan, speaks to her concern for the larger community and the citizenship she credits her parents for demonstrating through their own community service. Miss Norman is an honorary ambassador to the United Nations, a Kennedy Center Honoree, a National Medal of the Arts awardee, a Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres and a member of France’s Legion D’Honneur with five Grammys and over 40 honorary doctorates.

An alumnus of Wayne State University and longtime faculty member of the School of Medicine, the late Dr. Silas Norman, Jr. was a beloved member of the Detroit community until his death in 2015.  His commitment to social and humanistic medicine coupled with a deep compassion for the underserved ensured that thousands received much-needed health care. .An active member of Detroit’s Hartford Memorial Baptist Church, Dr. Norman sponsored a scholarship fund through the church to help University of Michigan graduate students further their music education abroad. He was also a longtime member of the Brazeal Dennard Chorale and annually participated in the DSO’s Classical Roots concerts.

TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets for the DSO’s Classical Roots Concerts range in price from $15 to $50. Tickets may be purchased at the Max M. Fisher Music Center box office (3711 Woodward Avenue, Detroit); by phone at (313) 576-5111; or online at dso.org. For group ticket information (groups of 10 or more), please contact DeRon Wilson at (313) 576-5130 or dwilson@dso.org.

Classical Roots Celebration tickets, which include the reception and strolling dinner, the Classical Roots performance and the post-concert dancing and dessert, start at $175 and $75 for Young Friends. All tickets include valet parking. Sponsorship opportunities ranging from $3,600-$10,000 are also available. For further information about individual tickets and sponsorships or to make a reservation, please contact 313.576.5088.

PERFORMANCE INFORMATION

CLASSICAL ROOTS:

Roderick Cox, conductor

Jessye Norman, soprano

Brazeal Dennard Chorale

Saturday, March 5 at 8 p.m.

Program order to be determined.

CLASSICAL ROOTS CELEBRATION

Max M. Fisher Music Center

Sponsored by JPMorgan Chase

Sat., Mar. 5, 2016

5:30 p.m. Reception and Strolling Dinner

8 p.m. Classical Roots Concert

10:30 p.m. Dessert & Dancing Afterglow

Black Tie Event

About Roderick Cox

Roderick Cox, who assumed the Minnesota Orchestra’s assistant conductor position in June 2015, serves in a range of capacities, including conducting Young People’s Concerts, family programs, special events, and outdoor community concerts, while also serving as cover conductor for many classical subscription and Live at Orchestra Hall concert performances. In addition, he serves as a key link to the community, participating in engagement activities, school visits and collaborations with other Minnesota arts and cultural institutions.

Previously, he served two years as the Assistant Conductor of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Alabama Symphony Youth Orchestra. A Georgia native, Roderick was awarded the prestigious Robert J. Harth Conducting Prize from the Aspen Music Festival in 2013, which led to a return to the festival as a conducting fellow and national recognition. He has also held prestigious fellowships with the Chicago Sinfonietta as a part of the Project Inclusion Program, and the Chautauqua Music Festival’s David Effron Conducting Fellowship.

Cox, earned a master of music degree in conducting from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. His conducting teachers have been Mallory Thompson and Victor Yampolsky, Robert Spano, Larry Rachleff, Mei-Ann Chen and Adrian Gnam.  In 2009 he received a bachelor of music degree in music education from Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music, graduating summa cum laude.

About Branford Marsalis

NEA Jazz Master, renowned Grammy Award®-winning saxophonist and Tony Award® nominee composer Branford Marsalis is one of the most revered instrumentalists of his time.  The three-time Grammy Award® winner has continued to exercise and expand his skills as an instrumentalist, a composer, and the head of Marsalis Music, the label he founded in 2002 that has allowed him to produce both his own projects and those of the jazz world’s most promising new and established artists.

Marsalis made his Broadway debut as the composer of original music for the Tony Award® winning Broadway revival of August Wilson’s play “Fences.”  Marsalis received a Tony nomination in the category of category of “Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre” and a 2010 Drama Desk Award® for “Outstanding Music in a Play” for his participation. Following these successes, Marsalis was asked to score the 2011 Broadway premiere of “The Mountaintop” starting Samuel Jackson and Angela Bassett.

Leader of one of the finest jazz Quartets today, and a frequent soloist with classical ensembles, Branford has become increasingly sought after as a featured soloist with such acclaimed orchestras as the Chicago, Detroit, Düsseldorf, and North Carolina Symphonies and the Boston Pops, with a growing repertoire that includes compositions by Copland, Debussy, Glazunov, Ibert, Mahler, Milhaud, Rorem and Vaughan Williams.

About Laquita Mitchell

Soprano Laquita Mitchell consistently earns acclaim in eminent opera companies throughout North America and Europe. Already in her young career, she has led performances with the Los Angeles Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, New York City Opera, Washington National Opera, Opéra Comique in Paris, among many others.

In her compelling debut as Bess in Porgy and Bess with the San Francisco Opera, Opera News said “Soprano Laquita Mitchell, in her first outing as Bess, dazzled the SFO [San Francisco Opera] audience with her purity of tone and vivid theatrical presence.” She has since reprised the role with New Jersey State Opera, the Atlanta Opera; Madison Symphony, the Boston Symphony Orchestra (at both Tanglewood and Symphony Hall), and also the Robert Russell Bennett Porgy and Bess Suite with the Cleveland Orchestra, Santa Barbara Symphony, Sheboygan Symphony and with the Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra in Sopot, Poland.

Hailed in the New York Times for her portrayal of Violetta  in Verdi’s “La Traviata” in New York City Opera’s 2012 season opener said “Ms. Mitchell’s voice is rich, shimmering and sizable, her singing was tender and expressive”.  Other notable appearances include Micaela in Carmen at the New York City Opera; Leonora in Il trovatore in South Carolina as well as with Nashville Opera; the role of Sharon in Terrance McNally’s Master Class at the Kennedy Center; Musetta in La bohème in a return to the Los Angeles Opera; Mimì in La bohème with Cincinnati Opera and at the Utah Symphony and Opera; Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Florentine Opera, Portland Opera; and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with Opera New Jersey.

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DSO PRESENTS CHINA BROADCASTING CHINESE ORCHESTRA IN CHINESE NEW YEAR CONCERT

World-renowned maestro Pang Kapang makes his Orchestra Hall debut

Detroit, (January 14, 2016) – The internationally acclaimed China Broadcasting Chinese Orchestra (CBCO) makes its Orchestra Hall debut with graceful, joyous, and energetic works in honor of the Chinese New Year, presented by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO).  In celebration of the Year of the Monkey, renowned conductor Pang Kapang leads the orchestra in performing popular and traditional music showcasing the rich history of China.

DSO Principal Cellist Wei Yu will perform as soloist with CBCO banhu performer Jiang Kemei on the cheerful Huaer Caprice, which tells the timeless love story of a guard and a local girl. The program, which also includes traditional pieces such as the jubilant Spring Festival Prelude and vivid Birds Adoring the Phoenix, takes place at Orchestra Hall on Monday, February 22 at 8 p.m.

The DSO will webcast the Chinese New Year Celebration to a global audience during the Monday evening performance via the DSO’s “Live from Orchestra Hall” series. Log on to dso.org/live to view the concert from your computer or mobile device anywhere in the world.

Please Note: The DSO does not appear on this performance.

About China Broadcasting Chinese Orchestra

Founded in 1953, the music of the China Broadcasting Chinese Orchestra (CBCO) is composed of the string, plucked, wind, and percussion instruments it made famous as the brand for Chinese music. Conductor and composer Peng Xiuwen, who led CBCO for more than 50 years, helped establish the orchestra as the symbol of Chinese culture, and its arrangements symbolize the Chinese folk music other professional folk orchestras now embrace.

The orchestra, which has produced CDs, movies, and television and radio programs, has performed in more than 70 countries around the world.

CBCO conductor Pang Kapang is also music director of the Macao Chinese Orchestra and principal conductor of the China Opera and Dance-Drama Theatre, China Oriental Symphony Orchestra, and Oriental Chinese Orchestra.

About Wei Yu

Wei Yu has been Principal Cello, the James C. Gordon Chair, of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra since January 2015. He performed Dvořák’s Cello Concerto in his Nov., 2015, solo debut with the DSO.

Prior to joining the DSO, Wei was a member of the New York Philharmonic. He is a prizewinner at the Hudson Valley Philharmonic String, Holland American Music Society Cello, Music Teacher National Association (MTNA National Collegiate Strings), Canada’s National Music Festival, Calgary’s Kiwanis Festival, and China’s National Cello competitions.

Born in Shanghai, China, Wei earned his B.M. from North Park University in Chicago and M.M. from the Juilliard School in New York.

Ticket Information

Tickets to the Chinese New Year Celebration, $15 general admission and $50 for reserved box seats, may be purchased at dso.org, via the free DSO to Go mobile app, in person at the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center Box Office (3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit), or by calling (313) 576-5111.

Performance

Chinese New Year Celebration featuring China Broadcasting Chinese Orchestra

Mon., Feb. 22 at 8 p.m.

Pang Kapang, conductor

Chen Yin, pipa

Zhou Yixiana, suona

Hou Changging, bamboo flute

Jiang Kemei, banhu, jinghu

Cui Junmiao, yue qin

Ma Li, pan-ku

Program to include:

LI HUANZHI                                                             Spring Festival Prelude

Traditional, arranged by Peng Xiuwen,                                    Moonlit River in Spring

Traditional, arranged by Wang Fujian                          Birds Adoring the Phoenix

Traditional, arranged by Gu Guanren                          A Lovely Rose

Traditional, arranged by Bai Haoyu                             Flowing Stream

MAO YUAN and LIU TIESHAN                                Dance of the Yao People

TANG JIANPING                                                        Dance of the Golden Snake

JIAN GUANGYI and WANG ZHIWEI                                   New Song of the Herdsmen

Traditional, arranged by Liu Wenjin                            Jasmine Flower

BAI HAOYU                                                               Huaer Caprice

Traditional, arranged by Wu Hua                                 Night Thoughts

JIANG YING                                                               Silk Road

M-1 Rail Construction

Attendees can find up-to-date details about the best route to take to Orchestra Hall during construction of the M-1 Rail streetcar in Midtown at dso.org/m1 and m-1rail.com. Woodward will always remain open in Midtown throughout the construction period. Complete closures are restricted to the downtown section of the rail line. Work has commenced on the southbound track between Temple and Canfield streets, shifting traffic to the northbound side of Woodward. There is one north bound, one south bound and one turn lane open on this stretch. Coming in to Midtown, an extra 15 minutes for travel time is recommended, as well as using Cass Avenue, instead of Woodward Avenue when possible.

About the DSO:

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 Smokey Robinson 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. Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. Fisher Music Center, one of America’s most acoustically revered concert halls, the DSO actively pursues a mission to impact and serve the community through music. For more information visit dso.org or download the free DSO to Go mobile app.

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DSO, DPTV RING IN 2016 WITH TELEVISED NYE CONCERT, PARTY

AMERICAN IDOL FINALIST MICHAEL LYNCHE TO JOIN ORCHESTRA

FOR R&B SOUL HITS

DETROIT, (December 17, 2015) – New Year’s Eve with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) is back by popular demand with a live televised evening of R&B soul hits performed by American Idol Finalist Michael Lynche. The extravaganza begins 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 31 at the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center (3711 Woodward Ave.) with red carpet arrivals and a strolling dinner in The Music Box, followed by the DSO concert in Orchestra Hall at 10 p.m. broadcast live by Detroit Public Television (DPTV) WTVS. After the revelers join the orchestra in a live rendition of Auld Lang Syne at the stroke of Midnight, the after party throughout The Max will feature a DJ, dancing, champagne and a late night breakfast buffet.

The concert will also be webcast via Live From Orchestra Hall, available free via any desktop or mobile device at dso.org/live.

Led by DSO Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik and Music Director Leonard Slatkin, the orchestra will perform three sets featuring favorites like “Blue Suede Shoes” and “Twistin’ the Night Away”; classical music with a popular twist, as arranged by Leonard Slatkin’s father, Felix Slatkin, and transcribed by Leonard’s wife, Cindy McTee; and as a finale, a collection of chart toppers like “Eleanor Rigby” and Ray Charles’ “Unchain My Heart.”

Party packages and concert-only tickets are available now, ranging in price from $40-$500. Party packages include party favors and access to pre-concert cocktail reception and post-concert party. For tickets, visit dso.org/nye, or call the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center Box Office at (313) 576-5111.

Evening Schedule:

Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015

Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center

8 PM—Red carpet arrivals and strolling dinner in the Music Box and Atrium

10 PM—Concert in Orchestra Hall

MIDNIGHT—New Year champagne toast & Auld Lang Syne

Afterparty until 2 AM

About Michael Lynche:

Michael Lynche’s life has been defined by two things: love and second chances. The Florida native and devoted family man’s rise from obscurity was well documented through his riveting appearance on American Idol. Known to America as “Big Mike,” he was famously “saved” by the judges, giving him a second chance to continue through the prized competition.

After wowing millions of fans on American Idol with his comforting and powerful voice and performing throughout the United States as part of the American Idol LIVE! tour, Michael has created his sonically rich and lyrically inviting debut album. The first single, “Who’s Gonna Love You More” has been rising steadily on the Urban Adult Contemporary charts. The second single, “Today” has impacted Adult Contemporary and Smooth Jazz radio this summer.

Mike’s heartfelt music has been virtually a lifetime in the making. He got his first guitar when he was three and would take his axe to church, where he would mimic the moves of the band’s guitar player. Beyond church, Michael’s mother shared her love of music with Mike and introduced him to a wide range of artistic sounds and styles, including 2Pac, The Notorious B.I.G., Michael Jackson, Earth, Wind & Fire, Bonnie Raitt and Jimi Hendrix.

Even though Mike was enamored with music and the arts throughout his school, his focus eventually shifted to football. Michael’s work on the gridiron was rewarded when he earned an athletic scholarship to University of Central Florida. It was following a break from school to take care of his ailing mother, when Mike bought a guitar and a remarkable thing happened.

Soon thereafter Mike gave music a second chance, when a friend asked him to perform at his wedding in New York City. While Michael was at that point working in the public school system mentoring gifted and at-risk students, in his hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida, he agreed to perform. It was during that trip, walking through Time’s Square, Mike decided moving to the Big Apple to pursue his musical dreams was the right career path. A few years later, Mike auditioned for American Idol, which launched his recording career.

None of Michael’s remarkable journey would have been possible without the love of his wife and the second chances he has enjoyed throughout his life. Now, with Mike’s new album, signed by Big3 Records and CEO Bill Edwards, Mike gets to live out his dreams, both as a family man and musically.

About the DSO:

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 Smokey Robinson 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. Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. 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 or download the free DSO to Go mobile app.

About DPTV:

Detroit Public Television (DPTV)-WTVS-TV is the non-commercial, viewer-supported PBS member station serving the nation’s 11th largest television market, with 1.5 million weekly viewers in Southeast Michigan and 1.2 million weekly viewers across Canada. DPTV is a leader in programming related to health and the environment, public affairs, arts and culture and children. It is also a leading national producer and distributor of programming for Public Television, and winner of a 2012 Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia Award, as well as the only dual PBS licensee / entertainment label in the country, operating as DPTV Media.  For more information, visit www.dptv.org

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ANNUAL MEETING: DSO ELECTS MARK DAVIDOFF BOARD CHAIRMAN; DSO CELEBRATES THIRD CONSECUTIVE BUDGET SURPLUS, PHILLIP WM. FISHER LEADERSHIP TENURE

DETROIT, (December 10, 2015) – Phillip Wm. Fisher, Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) Board Chairman since December 2012, closed the 2015 Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) Annual Meeting of the Governing Members today as his last official order of business as Chairman. Mark Davidoff, Michigan Managing Partner at Deloitte LLP, was elected DSO Chairman by the Board of Directors during their meeting following the Governing Members’ proceedings.

Fisher’s three-year tenure boasted three consecutive balanced budgets and a relentless dedication to the pursuit of “oneDSO” – Mr. Fisher’s trademark slogan symbolizing a new collaborative, cohesive and caring culture between musicians, administration and volunteer leadership. This work inspired the theme of this year’s Annual Meeting, “A Celebration of Culture.”

Mr. Fisher will now lead the DSO’s fundraising effort to secure a sustainable future including a permanent endowment.

Davidoff’s tenure as Chairman of the Board of the DSO commences immediately. As one of Crain’s “Most Connected People,” and the leader of the 2015 Mackinac Policy Conference and Chair of the Detroit Regional Chamber Board through June 2016, he has established himself as an invaluable member of the Detroit business community. Davidoff intends to bring the value of the DSO to the Detroit community with him into the board rooms he frequents and ensure our organization remains a current topic among his peers. A DSO Director since 2011, his relationship with the orchestra deepened as he played a pivotal role in the architecture of “BluePrint: 2023,” the DSO’s 10-year plan announced at the Annual Meeting three years ago.

“The DSO is built on a foundation of tradition and leadership,” Davidoff said. “Building on the historic positive change brought to the institution under Phillip Fisher’s Chairmanship and supported by world-class leadership through Maestro Slatkin, our orchestra, and our professional team, the DSO is positioned to further its place as one of the greatest cultural institutions on the planet. The next period will continue our dedication to artistic excellence, our march to financial sustainability, our commitment to outreach in Detroit and around the globe, and our role as a driver of cohesion for Detroit and Michigan.”

With subscriptions, donor base and annual giving on the rise since 2011, the DSO’s income statement reflects an operating surplus for the third consecutive year. This achievement owes in large part to annual operating contributions of $17.42 million, exceeding the budget goal of $17.18 million. This is the fourth consecutive year of increased individual giving ($5.5 million) and subscription sales growth (14,172 subscriptions). Fiscal Year 2015 concluded on August 31, 2015 and represents the 2014-15 concert season.

The meeting opened with a video account of the last fiscal year’s artistic accomplishments, including Live From Orchestra Hall: Classroom Edition, Symphony in D, Motown Meets the Big Easy and Tchaikovsky Festival. Chairman Phillip Wm. Fisher brought the meeting to order. Some 200 DSO Directors, Trustees, Governing Members, Volunteer Council members, community leaders, orchestra musicians and staff members were in attendance.

The membership unanimously elected Matthew B. Lester and Arn Tellem to the DSO Board of Directors alongside the renewal of seven directors for additional terms of service.

Lester served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees throughout 2015 and was responsible for kick starting young leadership participation as the first chair of the Next Generation Committee. He was instrumental in early efforts to activate the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center through the ASSEMBLE @ the Max lecture events, and continually focuses on identifying exposure opportunities for the DSO.

Arn is Vice Chairman of Palace Sports and Entertainment. He has a remarkable and distinguished career as an elite sports agent and is crossing over into team management. He is new to Detroit, is an arts fan, and is energized by the potential of our city and our region. The opportunity to contribute to the region’s revitalization was a key factor in his decision to join Palace Sports and Entertainment.

Outgoing Chairman Phillip Wm. Fisher closed the meeting with a keynote focusing on “one DSO culture,” a philosophy he coined at the beginning of his tenure following an organization-wide culture survey using the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI). He spoke of the journey the DSO has traveled since 2012 and how it has changed business practices, personnel and himself.

“We have changed together over the past three years,” he began. “From individuals holding onto the past, to a self-confident and trusting team focused on the future. This is hard, selfless work that defines our oneDSO culture. The success of our current culture is not mine, but rather all of you who lead with your hearts and hopes for a better tomorrow.”

Speaking to the DSO’s growing culture of giving, President and CEO, Anne Parsons – holder of the James B. and Ann V. Nicholson Chair – announced a new recognition wall for donors, recognizing Lifetime Giving. Donors who have reached the milestone of $100,000 and above are celebrated for the totality of their cumulative giving to the DSO across many programs, special events and campaigns.

“Today, we unveil Lifetime Giving – a new way for the DSO to recognize the magnitude of benevolence from our incredible community of patrons and donors,” Parsons said. “This is just one of the DSO’s many ways of thanking these supporters who in their lifetime, through their participation in DSO’s annual fund, galas, Musical Feasts, tribute gifts, sponsorships, endowment and capital campaigns have given cumulatively anywhere from $100,000 to over $25 million.”

The Annual Meeting was immediately followed by a meeting of the DSO Board of Directors, who completed the following items of business:

  •  -   Appointed officers of the Board of Directors, including incoming chairman Mark Davidoff. See page 5 for the full roster
  • -   Appointed Ric Huttenlocher of JPMorgan as Chairman of the Trustees
  • -   Appointed two new trustees. See page 5 for their names
  • -   Recognized the distinguished service of David R. Nelson by naming him Director Emeritus. See page 6 for a full list of Directors Emeriti

After accepting the ceremonial gavel from Phillip Fisher, Mark Davidoff adjourned the meeting in his first official action as DSO Chairman of the Board.

 

2014-15 At-a-Glance                                                                                                             

  • -    $30,000 = third consecutive operating surplus
  • -    Subscription sales – in terms of revenue, and households subscribing – grew across every product for the fourth consecutive season
  • -    $17.42 million in fundraising supported operations with an additional $1.9 million in payments added to the endowment
  • -    600,000+ = total classical audience across metro Detroit and around the world via Live From Orchestra Hall webcast series, making the DSO’s the nation’s largest classical concert audience
  • -    892= number of applicants, from across the globe, for 8 orchestra auditions
  • -    $1.4 million=amount raised at the 2015 Heroes Gala honoring the Davidson/Gerson Family following a performance by the DSO with Randy Newman

 

Blueprint 2023                                                                                                                                   

Recapitalization

Revealed at the 2012 Annual Meeting, Blueprint 2023 is the DSO’s industry-leading 10-year plan for recapitalization. Conceived by the Recapitalization Task Force (a collaborative team representing DSO stakeholder groups), the plan posits that more concerts in more venues across our community coupled with rebuilding audiences, sustaining a thriving annual fund and slowing the growth rate of expenses is a winning formula for recapitalization. The framework for a sustainable, viable future for the DSO is predicated on four, interconnected considerations:

1. Build and maintain an impactful audience size
2. Nurture a robust, realistic and sustainable level of annual giving
3. Across all expenditures, prioritize the investment in people
4. Achieve adequate long-term capitalization in terms of new endowment

FY15 represented Year 2 of Blueprint 2023 and progress was measured monthly using eight “dashboard metrics” correlated to annual goals and based on levels needed to reach 2023 targets.

Year-end dashboard metrics (as of Aug. 31, 2015):

 

Actual

Goal

FY14

Contracted musicians

76

85

72

Unrestricted Cash

$29,000

$4 million

$2.2 million

Ticket sales

$6.20 million

$6.40 million

$6.45 million

Classical subscribing households

4,808

4,500

4,521

Individual donors

6,986

7,500

7,227

Digital Media audience

YTD webcast audience

YouTube Subscribers

Facebook fans

Twitter followers

475,000*

5,068

40,410

23,000

250,000

Total of 85,000

500,000*

3,000

33,750

13,150

Rental, Retail, Food/bev revenue

$481,000

$537,000

$339,000

Education

CYE roster

Student audience

Soundcards

824

106,413

1,197

1,100

20,000

1,200

746

20,566

952

*includes live and encore audiences

 

Governance

Blueprint 2023 also called for a rethinking of the DSO’s governance structure, resulting in three leadership spheres of influence, all existing within the context of one DSO culture with lines of communication, inspiration and innovation intertwined.

One DSO Culture

 

  • Board of Directors—fiduciary cohort, charged with issues of accountability, strategic thinking and cultural stewardship. Blueprint ideal size: 18 to 25 members.  FY15 result: 26

Matthew Lester and Arn Tellem were elected to the Board of Directors at the meeting, to serve in that capacity for a term of three years.

The following officers were elected to lead Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Inc. for the term of one year:

Mark A. Davidoff, Chairman
Dr. Glenda D. Price, vice chair
Laura Marcero, treasurer
Arthur T. O’Reilly, secretary
Ralph J. Gerson, officer-at-large
Janice Uhlig, officer-at-large
James G. Vella, officer-at-large

  • Board of Trustees—tasked with fostering and nurturing innovation, creativity and organizational learning. In its third year, Trustees Chairman Matt Lester has grown the group to 66 members and has formed taskforces in the areas of next generation, digital initiatives, programming, branding, re-visioning and diversity. At the Annual Meeting, Lester resigned his chairmanship of the Trustees, and Ric Huttenlocher of JPMorgan was elected as his successor. Blueprint ideal size: 50-75 members. FY15 result: 66

The following individuals were elected to the Board of Trustees at the meeting:

Ric Huttonlocker, chairman
Maureen T. D’Avanzo
Joseph Mullany

Huttenlocher is a former member of the DSO Board of Directors, current Gabrilowitsch Society Member and led the Trustee Annual Fund Committee, successfully acquiring 100 percent participation in the annual fund.

  • Governing Members—voting members who elect members of the board of directors and dedicate themselves to outreach, advocacy and philanthropy. Blueprint ideal size: unlimited. FY2015 result: 36

In his remarks, Governing Members Chairman James C. Farber spoke about the “Path to 500,” a strategy to grow the membership over the next three years strengthening our base of support at the $2,500+ level.

In recognition and appreciation of longstanding, distinguished service to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, in 2013 the Board established the office of “Director Emeritus.” Emeritus status is a title of privilege that entitles the bearer to have continued leadership association with the DSO. The honor is based on the quality of service demonstrated as a Board member rather than time served; it is a clear recognition of distinguished service. The following individuals were announced as new Directors Emeriti at the Annual Meeting:

Phillip Wm. Fisher, Chairman Emeritus
David R. Nelson

These individuals join a distinguished group of Lifetime Members, chairmen and directors emeriti:

Robert A. Allesee
Floy Barthel
Mrs. Mandell L. Berman
John A. Boll, Sr.
Richard A. Brodie
Lois and Avern Cohn
Peter Cummings, Chairman Emeritus
Marianne Endicott
Sidney Forbes
Mrs. Harold Frank
Barbara Frankel
Herman Frankel
Samuel Frankel*
Stanley Frankel, Chairman Emeritus
Paul Ganson
Alfred R. Glancy, III, Chairman Emeritus
Mort and Brigitte Harris
David Handleman, Sr.*
Gloria Heppner, Ph.D.
Dr. Arthur L. Johnson*
Hon. Damon J. Keith
Richard P. Kughn
Harold Kulish
Dr. Melvin A. Lester
Robert Steven Miller, Chairman Emeritus
James B. Nicholson, Chairman Emeritus
Robert E.L. Perkins, DDS
Marilyn Pincus
Lloyd E. Reuss
Jack A. Robinson*
Marjorie S. Saulson
Alan E. Schwartz
Jean Shapero
Jane Sherman
David Usher
Barbara Van Dusen
Arthur A. Weiss, Esq.
Clyde Wu, MD*

*deceased

2014-15: A Year in Review                                                                                                   

Operating Results At-A-Glance

2015Actual 2015Budget 2014Actual 2013Actual
Ticket Revenue +$6.20 +$6.40 +$6.45 +$6.26
Other Earned Revenue +$1.21 +$1.48 +$1.30 +$0.97
Contributed Revenue +$17.42* +$17.18 +$17.06 +$18.31
Endowment draws and real estate income +$2.90 +$2.77 +$2.77 +$2.32
Total Revenue $27.73 $27.83 $27.58 $27.86
Expenses -$27.70 -$27.83 -$27.52 -$27.84
Net Surplus/(Deficit) from Core Operations $0.03

-

$0.06    $0.02
(dollars in millions)

*Exclusive of funds raised for activities outside the operating budget

The 2014-15 season resulted in an operating surplus of $30,000, representing the DSO’s third consecutive year in the black.

Earned Revenue

Overall

While reported national trends reveal waning orchestra subscription rates and a greater reliance on single ticket sales, the DSO finished its 2014-15 season with its fourth consecutive year of subscription growth across all product lines; subscription revenue was up 1.6 percent while the number of families subscribing was up 5.4 percent.

Classical Series

Inclusive of subscriptions and single tickets, paid Classical concert attendance at our Classical Concert Series presented by PVS Chemicals Inc. increased by 1.1 percent while the overall Classical audience totaled 605,000, an increase of 24 percent over FY14, encompassing live and digital venues.

Pops Series

Subscription revenue from the DSO Pops Series presented by the MASCO Corporation Foundation and Greektown Casino Hotel increased by 8 percent and subscriber base grew by 16 percent compared to the previous year.

With box office revenues exceeding $432,000, 2014’s “Home for the Holidays” concerts set the box office record for the December concert event. The previous record was set in 2013 with more than $425,000 in revenue. Led by Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik, Santa Claus joined the DSO for The Night Before Christmas and the Detroit Children’s Choir, Bloomfield Hills High School Choirs and Grosse Pointe South High School Choirs performed holiday favorites from “In Dulci Jubilo” to “Carol of the Bells.”

Paradise Jazz Series

In Terence Blanchard’s third season as Fred A. & Barbara M. Erb Jazz Creative Chair, the Paradise Jazz Series sponsored by MGM Grand Detroit saw a remarkable 24 percent increase in the number of subscribers as well as a 9 percent increase in subscription revenue.

Summer programming

Last summer’s Salute to America concerts achieved an all-time sales record during the 22nd year of the DSO’s collaboration with Greenfield Village. With more than $650,000 in ticket sales, the previous year’s record was exceeded by 7 percent, which was also a record-setting year. Nearly 29,500 fans attended the concerts on July 1-4, achieving the third-highest attendance figure in the event’s history. Across seven days of concerts at Greenfield Village, Ford House and Meadow Brook Music Festival, enough people attended concerts to fill Orchestra Hall 20 times.

In its second full season, @ the Max activities (including Mix @ The Max and Om @ The Max yoga classes set to live chamber music) had a total attendance of nearly 4,000. This new product line generated gross revenue of $55,000, an increase of 22 percent over FY14.

Family programming

Family subscriptions (Young People’s Family Concerts and Tiny Tots) saw 2 percent increases in subscription base and revenue. Overall revenue for family programming was up more than 8 percent.

Rentals

In an effort to activate The Max 365 days a year, rentals are an important part of the DSO’s earned revenue. Partners during FY15 included the 23rd annual Concert of Colors, the Sphinx Organization Honors Concert and Competition, Neighborhood Legal Services Dinner, Karmanos Race for The Cure, Heroes of Breast Cancer, DSA Graduation, Promusica, Oakland Symphony Orchestra Concert, Midtown’s Noel Night & DLECTRICITY, Avanti’s finale concert, WSU’s MLK Celebration, WSU Medical School Orientation, WSU Mondays @ The Max Concert Series, the Detroit Medical Center, WSU School of Medicine Alumni Luncheon, Tuesday Musicale of Detroit Concert, the Chaldean Chamber of Commerce, Suzuki Royal Oak Institute of Music, and Teach for America.

New partners included the University of Michigan – Detroit Center, St. John Armenian Church, and CultureSource, and new events included Teen Hype Breakfast, Ronald McDonald House Reception, Beyond Evergreen Concert, Forward Cities Reception, Alpha Phi Alpha Gala, The Future Project Kick-Off, University of Michigan Black Alumni Reception, SAY Detroit’s premiere of documentary honoring Judge Damon Keith, the Detroit Regional Chamber Foundation’s Detroit Scholarship Fund Event, Quicken Loans Team Member Orientation,  and JARC’s Fundraising Event featuring David Blaine.

We also welcomed back MI Minority Business Development Council Awards Event, Lawrence Tech Auto Show Preview Awards Party, Crain’s Automotive News Awards, Gilda’s Club Big Night Out, Motor City Tap Fest, Chief’s Cooking for Kids, The Lincoln Motor Company, James Tatum Concert, The Tillman annual Holiday Concert, and Accelerate MI Awards.

Contributed Revenue

In fiscal year 2014, the DSO raised $17.42 million in annual, event, operating grants and project contributions, exceeding its ambitious annual fundraising goal of $17.18 million. The success in individual giving is owing to the generosity of 9,745 donors.

  • -   A roster of leadership giving begins on page 9
  • -   Giving to the Annual Fund from Directors, Directors Emeriti, Trustees and Lifetime Directors exceeded $4 million with an average gift of $20,000 and a median gift of $10,000 from Directors alone
  • -   The Governing Members, the DSO’s voting body, grew for the fifth consecutive year reaching 362 members (91 new families) who contributed $2.2 million to the FY15 Annual Fund. In addition, 84 board members contributed at the Governing members level, for a total of 446 individuals
  • -   Under the leadership of Janet and Norm Ankers, the Gabrilowitsch Society ($10,000+ giving club) in its third year secured more than 50 members giving a total of $1.24 million to the annual fund, a 10 percent increase over FY14. Some 54 board members also give at this level
  • -   Corporate support came in at just under $1.6 million and foundation grants totaled $3.35 million
  • -   Every donor at every level played a critical part! With individual gifts ranging from $1 to $1 million, the median gift was $100
  • -   Under the leadership of President Debbie Savoie and President Elect Virgina Lundquist, the DSO Volunteer Council generated roughly $159,000 in support through events, activities and staffing the DSO retail operations. Membership to the group was also up 20 percent

During FY15 leadership gifts revamped physical spaces at The Max and paved the way for new artistic and educational programs:

  • -   Barbara Van Dusen, past recipient of the DSO’s Heroes Gala award, was recognized for her generosity through the naming of the Barbara Van Dusen Musicians’ Lounge, which provided updated amenities such as a plasma stage monitor
  • -   The Mandell and Madeleine Berman Foundation helped the DSO launch a pilot season for Live From Orchestra Hall: Classroom Edition, bringing our educational concerts to students in their own classrooms, sharing the experience of the DSO as widely as possible
  • -   The Bonnie Ann and Robert C. Larson Fund for guest pianists last season supported Anne Marie McDermott’s performance of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 9 “Jeunehomme” and this spring will bring us Jeremy Denk
  • -   Lee and Floy Barthel provided funds for essential preventive maintenance and energy saving that reduces costs and risks including various projects such as new lighting for the parking deck as well as re-pointing and masonry work to our historic Orchestra Hall
  • -   Clyde and Helen Wu left a gift that will carry on their vision of accessible music education for years to come
  • -   Marjorie Fisher’s operational support is commemorated in perpetuity with the renaming of the DSO’s Midtown Detroit campus, the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center
  • -   Alfred R. Glancy, III established the Capital Reserve and Technology Fund, which provided a new phone system throughout The Max, subsidized safety improvements within Orchestra Hall, and sponsored a traffic study to identify the most efficient patron practices during and after M-1 rail construction

The DSO continued its innovative Community Support Month initiative in FY15. At year end, the first concert-based fundraising initiative in DSO history had raised $6 million over its four-year run.

DSO staff contributed to the Annual Fund with 100 percent participation in response to an anonymous $250,000 challenge grant.

The DSO is proud to be a community-supported orchestra and strives to also be community supporting. In celebration of the generous support that makes programming possible at the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, around metro Detroit and across the world through global webcasts, in FY15 the DSO board, staff and musicians donated approximately 4,650 hours of service to the community through a company-wide Day of Service, in-kind event services and engagements at hospitals, schools, libraries and the like.

The DSO received leadership gifts from the following individuals, corporations and foundations at the $250,000 level and above:

  • Mr. and Mrs. Lee Barthel
  • Mandell & Madeleine Berman Foundation
  • Penny & Harold Blumenstein
  • Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
  • Julie & Peter Cummings
  • Marvin & Betty Danto Family Foundation
  • The William M. Davidson Foundation
  • DTE Energy Foundation
  • Mrs. Marjorie Fisher
  • Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation
  • Ford Motor Co. Fund
  • Samuel & Jean Frankel Foundation
  • Mr. & Mrs. Stanley Frankel
  • Hudson-Webber Foundation
  • Ruth & Al Glancy
  • Mr. & Mrs. Morton E. Harris
  • Danialle & Peter Karmanos, Jr.
  • John S. & James L. Knight Foundation
  • The Kresge Foundation
  • McGregor Fund
  • The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
  • Mr. & Mrs. James B. Nicholson
  • PVS Chemicals Inc.
  • Mrs. Richard C. Van Dusen

Endowment Results

The DSO benefits from endowment funds held by the organization as well as by third parties. The DSO’s beginning endowment fund balance on Sept. 1, 2014 was $38.6 million.  After contributions, market losses and customary draws in support of the DSO mission, the ending balance across held and third party funds on Aug. 31, 2015 totaled $36.6 million. Of this amount, $15.9 million represents the DSO-held endowment.

Changes in Endowment Investments
(millions of dollars)

 Beginning  Contributions Market losses  Distribution Ending
Owned & Controlled $15.5 $1.9 $(0.9) $(0.6) $15.9
Third-Party Controlled for DSO Benefit $23.1 $0 $(1.4) $(1.0) $20.7
Grand Total $38.6 $1.9 $(2.3) $(1.6) $36.6

Third-party controlled endowment assets are invested and distributed by the third parties in accordance with their established policies.

Artistic Excellence

Auditions and new hires

Four musicians won auditions with the DSO in the last year: Wei Yu, Principal Cello; Alexander Kinmonth, Principal Oboe; Isaac Trapkus, bass; and David Binder, trombone.  FY15 saw an extensive and well attended audition schedule, with eight auditions held. Auditions attracted a total of 892 applicants from both national and international backgrounds.

Premieres & Guest Artists

Throughout the 58 classical programs at Orchestra Hall, the orchestra welcomed several new faces to the stage for their subscription debut: Swedish trumpeter Håkan Hardenberger, violinist Elina Vähälä; pianists Behzod Abduraimov and Beatrice Rana, world-renowned mezzo-soprano Isabelle Druet, Swiss pianist Anne-Marie McDermott and Patricia Racette. The following world-renowned conductors also made their Detroit debuts: Jakub Hrůša, Andrey Boreyko, Cristian Macelaru and Joshua Weilerstein.

Slatkin’s leadership voice for new music by contemporary composers was on display last season with a number of World and North American premieres:

  • -   Leonard Slatkin’s own Endgames received its World Premiere last November on a program with the DSO Premiere of his wife Cindy McTee’s Trombone Concerto performed by DSO Principal Trombone Kenneth Thompkins
  • -   Swedish trumpeter Håkan Hardenberger joined the orchestra in the American premiere of the Trumpet Concerto composed for him by Swedish composer Tobias Broström
  • -   The DSO performed 17 other works last season new to its repertoire, including William Bolcom’s Circus Overture, composed in honor of Slatkin’s 70th birthday

Jeff Tyzik put together his second Pops season as DSO Principal Pops Conductor, which garnered a 16 percent increase in subscribers for the series. Highlights of the 2014-15 season included tributes to Simon & Garfunkel and Nat King Cole, the aerial acrobatics of Cirque de la Symphonie, and Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess. The ensemble returned to Meadow Brook Music Festival for an appearance for the Music of Star Wars, attracting over 6,000 people.

Assistant Conductor, Phillip and Lauren Fisher Community Ambassador

Following a nationwide search, DSO selected Michelle Merrill, 30, as Assistant Conductor, who has since relocated to Detroit from Jacksonville, Fla. where she served as guest conductor for the Jacksonville Symphony, in addition to her role as Assistant Conductor of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic. Merrill filled the position vacated in 2014 by Teddy Abrams, who is now Music Director of the Louisville Orchestra. Merrill, who is now mid-way through her second season with the DSO, holds the title of Phillip and Lauren Fisher Community Ambassador, and has programmed and led our Young People’s Family Concerts and launched the first episodes of Live From Orchestra Hall: Classroom Edition, which reached tens of thousands of students with just two webcasts.

Paradise Jazz Series

Five-time Grammy Award-winning trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard curated his third season of the Paradise Jazz Series as the DSO’s Fred A. & Barbara M. Erb Jazz Creative Chair, which resulted in a 24 percent increase in the number of jazz subscribers for the series and featured Blanchard himself on stage for several of the presentations. The season began with a performance by vocalist Dianne Reeves and also included legendary saxophonist Wayne Shorter and his quartet, saxophonist and Detroit native Kenny Garrett, and the John and Gerald Clayton duo. The DSO and Music Director Leonard Slatkin joined Blanchard and his quintet to close out the Paradise Jazz Series performing Blanchard’s Grammy-winning A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem For Katrina) to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

Each Paradise Jazz Series concert was preceded by a Music Box Performance of Civic Jazz Live, which added to the overall experience for DSO jazz audiences and provides incredible performance opportunities for our Civic Jazz students.

Recordings

The 2014-15 season concluded a three-disc project with Naxos to record all six ballets by Aaron Copland with recordings of Billy the Kid and Grohg. The DSO’s new in-house Live From Orchestra Hall label also produced a digital box set of Tchaikovsky’s complete symphonies recorded during the February Tchaikovsky Festival.

Tchaikovsky Festival

Nearly 17,000 tickets sold during last year’s three-week Tchaikovsky Festival, and 30 percent of single ticket buyers were new to the DSO. Ticket sales during the festival, when compared to a non-Festival three-week span were exponentially higher. The orchestra performed each of Tchaikovsky’s symphonies along with several other works spanning the composer’s tumultuous career. The National Endowment for the Arts sponsored digital content for the festival, which included a stop-motion trailer featuring Maddy, the Russian nesting doll that became the DSO’s beloved mascot.

Live recordings of the six symphonies were recorded for digital release on the DSO’s in-house label, Live From Orchestra Hall. The recording was released in May in celebration of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s 175th birthday and appeared in the Top 5 on iTunes Classical charts. With 576 downloads sold, and over 97,000 streams, “Tchaikovsky’s Six Symphonies” is the DSO’s most successful recording of Slatkin’s tenure.

Motown Meets the Big Easy

Supported by a Knight Arts Challenge grant, A Musical Tale of Two Cities: Motown Meets the Big Easy added festival elements to the performance of Erb Jazz Chair Terence Blanchard’s “A Tale of God’s Will: A Requiem for Katrina.” Blanchard, a New Orleans native, composed the momentous work as a score to accompany Spike Lee’s four-hour documentary “When the Levees Broke.” Activities included a screening of the documentary accompanied by a discussion panel and a performance in The Music Box by New Orleans funk group Big Sam’s Funky Nation. A total of 2,100 tickets sold for the three-day festival, with several patrons attending multiple events.

Symphony in D

In November 2014, the DSO announced a partnership with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and composer Tod Machover to compose a symphony about Detroit, for Detroit and essentially by Detroit. Machover spent the next year collecting sounds from around the city and from Detroiters who submitted sound files of their own in order to answer the question, “What does Detroit sound like?” The DSO performed the World Premiere of “Symphony in D” in November 2015 to a sold out audience, and was featured in The New York Times and the BBC.

Tosca

Leonard Slatkin began a tradition last May of ending each season with an opera in concert production. Our semi-staged version of Puccini’s Tosca starred world-renowned soprano Patricia Racette singing the role of Tosca, great American tenor James Valenti as Cavaradossi and internationally-acclaimed American bass-baritone Raymond Aceto as Scarpia. Slatkin led the DSO alongside the UMS Choral Union and Michigan State University Children’s Choir. The current season will end with a concert version of Salome.

The Most Accessible Orchestra on the Planet

A chief DSO goal is to “mean more to more people.” As a community-supported orchestra, the DSO acknowledges its dependence not only on those community members who regularly give generously to the orchestra, but also on each individual who attends a concert. Becoming the most accessible orchestra on the planet is paramount to achieving a deeper meaning among a broader audience base. The organization maintains focus on these values with clear mission and vision statements, and a list of strategic pillars, which are listed below.

Mission: The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, a leader in the world of classical music, embraces and inspires individuals, families and communities through unsurpassed musical experiences.

Vision: The Detroit Symphony Orchestra is an inclusive and culturally relevant community where all people can experience their world through music.

Strategic Pillars
To realize our mission and vision as a world-class, community-rooted orchestra and venue . . .

  • -   We pursue artistic and educational vitality paired with financial viability, resulting in being vigorously celebrated
  • -   We work daily to be the most accessible orchestra on the planet, digitally and physically
  • -   We play our part in the success of Detroit as a community gathering place sounding brightly from the Woodward Corridor
  • -   We embrace our role as a community-supported and community-supporting orchestra

In the 2015 fiscal year, the DSO was successful in this regard on several fronts.

  • Day of Service—On the afternoon of October 10, 2014 the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center was closed for the Second Annual Detroit Symphony Orchestra Day of Service. Some 80 DSO musicians, board and staff spent the afternoon serving three Detroit organizations as a show of gratitude for the support the Orchestra receives daily from its community. The activity was repeated this fall with plans to add a second event in the spring.
  • 37/11—37/11 is the DSO’s social and professional network for our next generation of patrons. For just $37 per year, members receive benefits such as $11 tickets to Classical, Pops and Jazz Series concerts and exclusive opportunities to interact with DSO musicians, guest artists, conductors and more!  This program was re-launched in the 2012-13 season and currently maintains a membership of 214.
  • Community Week—Following a review of 15 self-nominated finalists, the DSO selected four community venues to perform free concerts in September 2014, powered by the DTE Energy Foundation. Taking into consideration 14,000 votes from the pool of nominees, the DSO performed for sold-out crowds at the Brighton Center for the Performing Arts, Garden City High School, Greater Grace Temple and Lake Orion High School.
  • Soundcard—Inspired by Leonard Slatkin, in 2011-12 the DSO introduced Soundcard—the $25, all-access student pass for Classical, Pops and Jazz concerts at Orchestra Hall. During the 2014-15 season, 1,650 Soundcards were issued to students who used them to attend concerts 2,694 times throughout the season, a 13 percent increase in usage over the previous year.

Digital Initiatives

Live from Orchestra Hall webcastsEver since the first Live From Orchestra Hall webcast in 2011, the DSO has continued to increase its investment in digital technology and remain in the vanguard of 21st century orchestra innovation. During the 2014-15 Live From Orchestra Hall season (presented by the Ford Motor Company and made possible with the generous support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation), the DSO presented 28 webcasts reaching over 450,000 viewers worldwide.

Significant improvements were made to the Alfred R. Glancy Control Room, including new monitors and furniture, contributing to an increased production value for the Live From Orchestra Hall product.

DSO Replay—In August, the DSO launched the nation’s only on-demand classical performance archive to some 5,000 inaugural members. Through Replay, music fans can stream full-length classical works on-demand in HD. Boasting more than 100 works originally performed on the orchestra’s Live From Orchestra Hall webcast series, the archive is refreshed with new content each week during the classical season. Users simply log on to dso.org/replay to explore the new online environment.

The DSO is the first American orchestra to make its performance archive available on-demand. Prior to Replay’s inception, past Live From Orchestra Hall footage was only available through special encore broadcasts on dso.org/live or through YouTube clips. All patrons who join the Annual Fund with a gift of $50 or more receive full access. Viewers can browse content by composer, date or through a rotating series of curated playlists such as “Virtuoso Violin,” “Living Composers,” “Made in America” and many more.

Social Media—Our Facebook audience increased by 18 percent to 40,410 followers as of Aug. 31, 2015. Thanks to the international reach of the DSO’s recordings and Live From Orchestra Hall webcasts, 30 percent of the Facebook audience comes from abroad, including fans in Mexico, Brazil, Italy, France, Spain, Canada, Venezuela, Germany and South Korea. Over 23,000 people follow the DSO on Twitter, a 16 percent increase over last year. Launched in July of 2012, the DSO’s Instagram account currently has 6,625 follows, a followership that has tripled in just the last year. The DSO’s Tumblr account was launched during the Florida Tour two years ago, and has gained nearly 500 followers in the last year alone. The DSO’s YouTube channel has served as an important tool for Live From Orchestra Hall, where encore webcasts receive thousands of views. Our YouTube channel garnered 661,000 views this past year, with nearly 71 percent of traffic from international audiences.

Wu Family Academy

With the support of a seven-figure, multi-million dollar gift from the late Clyde and Helen Wu, the DSO has expanded its music education initiatives to benefit the Southeast Michigan region, identifying and responding to the needed resources of all eight of our Neighborhood Residency Initiative communities including Detroit. Last season, the DSO’s education department underwent a comprehensive restructure, with former Sphinx-organization staffer Caen Thomason-Redus, an alumnus of our African American Fellowship Program, at the helm.

According to The College Entrance Examination Board, students participating in the arts for at least four years score 59 points higher on the verbal section and 45 points higher on the math section of the SAT. Furthermore, according to Americans for the Arts, students who regularly participate in the arts are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement and to win an award for writing an essay or poem and three times more likely to be awarded for school attendance.

This data provides compelling proof that quality arts education today is a necessity for changing the cultural and economic landscape of Detroit tomorrow. The goal of The Wu Family Academy of Learning and Engagement is to provide programming that expands the understanding and appreciation of the arts for all, empowering them to have confidence in their creative decisions and to spark a passion that will last a lifetime. The results are a generation of leaders capable of shaping a brighter future for us all.

The DSO’s Civic Youth Ensemble program, which now operates under the umbrella of the Wu Family Academy, is one of the preeminent and most comprehensive youth training programs in America. The CYE training programs encapsulate classical, jazz, wind and choral studies, as well as chamber music—training 746 young people per week at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center. The CYE program offers more than 20 ensembles and opportunities to train with CYE’s highly specialized faculty and DSO musicians.

Neighborhood Residency Initiative (NRI)

Last fall the DSO received a $3.75 million grant from the William Davidson Foundation in support of its popular Neighborhood Concert Series, renaming the series the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series. The grant supports the series of concerts throughout metro Detroit, as well as additional performance and education activities outside of Orchestra Hall.

The series is named in honor of philanthropist William Davidson, former president and CEO of Guardian Industries Corp. Davidson shared a long-lasting relationship with the DSO and his generous support helped to strengthen the organization in many ways, including support of the DSO’s domestic and international tours. The series took place in eight neighborhoods, taking a total of 28 performances to Beverly Hills, Bloomfield Hills, Canton, Dearborn, Grosse Pointe, Macomb, Southfield and West Bloomfield Township. In the series’ fourth season, 14,394 tickets were purchased with an average house fill rate of 81 percent. Total ticket revenue earned for the entire neighborhood series was $325,526, an increase of 5 percent compared to the previous season. The season closed with 2,041 subscriptions sold to 1,043 households, 359 of which were new to the series.

1,268 of the households that attended a neighborhood performance during FY14 had no previous history with the DSO. Of these new households, 10 percent went on to attend one or more concerts at Orchestra Hall.

The Neighborhood Concert Series is fully and generously sponsored by the William Davidson Foundation, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts. The series is presented by WRCJ 90.9 FM.

Community & Learning

In order to expand and deepen our commitment to community, we created the department of Community & Learning. This new department unifies our education and community engagement areas, allowing for greater creativity and effectiveness along the path of being the most accessible orchestra on the planet.  An exceptional team was attracted from around Detroit and across the country as we searched for the skills, experience and passion necessary to deliver the programs already pioneered by the DSO, as well as new initiatives that will further transform the Orchestra’s role in the community.

Flagship programs encompassed within Community & Learning include the Wu Family Academy for Learning and Engagement, the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series, the longstanding Educational Concert Series and Young People’s Family Concerts, the Symphony in D project, the Music Alive Composer-in-Residence program featuring Gabriela Lena Frank, the DTE Energy Foundation Community Concerts, and many others. Through this vast array of partnerships and programs, the DSO offered nearly 400 community experiences and reached an incredibly diverse audience of more than 150,000.

This level of community engagement is made possible through the generous support of partners such as the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation, Clyde and Helen Wu, DTE Energy Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, New Music USA, the League of American Orchestras, American House Senior Living Communities, Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation, the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation, Macy’s, the Ford Motor Company Fund, Target, Rock Ventures LLC, Beaumont Health and Detroit Public Schools.

High-Profile Public Events

Heroes Gala

With a goal of raising $1 million, proceeds from the Sixth Annual Heroes Gala were raised in support of the DSO’s commitment to transforming the lives of children and youth across our region through music education. The event grossed more than $1.4 million, breaking the Heroes Gala record. Four decades of unforgettable songs, plus Randy Newman’s evocative scores for hit movies such as “The Natural” and “Toy Story” came to life throughout this evening of music.

The evening took place in tribute to the Davidson/Gerson family. The DSO fondly remembers William Davidson’s passionate belief that full community engagement is not possible with concerts at Orchestra Hall alone. He proved his wisdom by funding domestic and international tours for the DSO, and his family has continued that legacy by supporting our travel to southern Florida and New York City. Last season, the newly-named William Davidson Neighborhood Concert series served thousands of families around metro Detroit.

Classical Roots

The 15th annual Classical Roots celebration honoring two longtime champions, the Honorable Damon J. Keith and DSO violinist Joseph Striplin welcomed 330 guests to The Max and grossed $245,000. The concert was led by longtime DSO collaborator Thomas Wilkins and featured the work of George Walker — the first African-American Pulitzer Prize winning composer — performed by his son, Gregory Walker.

New Year’s Eve

The DSO rang in the New Year on Dec. 31, 2014 with its first ever New Year’s Eve Concert and extravaganza. Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik paired up with trumpet player Byron Stripling and organist Bobby Floyd to lead the orchestra in a swinging combination of jazz standards such as “Sweet Georgia Brown” and “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” as well as light classical selections by Strauss and Smetana. Boasting a packed house at Orchestra Hall, the concert was televised live on Detroit Public Television to thousands of metro Detroiters. Major funding was provided by the Stanley and Judith Frankel Family Foundation. The event grossed $120,000 with 200 gala attendees, and a 1,560 total live attendance. Some 3,000 viewers logged on to view the concert at dso.org/live and 66,690 on-air viewers watched via DPTV.

Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center rededication

In recognition of a lifetime of support to the organization, the DSO is honored to have added local philanthropist Marjorie S. Fisher’s name to its home at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in July 2015. The performance and community center at 3711 Woodward Avenue, home to historic Orchestra Hall, The Music Box, Robert A. and Maggie Allesee Rehearsal Hall and Jacob Bernard Pincus Music Education Center, shall now be known as the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center.

Members of the DSO community gathered with members of the Fisher family to officially unveil the new signage on Woodward Ave. during a ceremony on July 9.

Nicknamed The Max, the center jointly celebrates Mr. Fisher’s founding vision for a cultural campus that also serves as a community gathering place with Mrs. Fisher’s extraordinary personal legacy of philanthropic support of the DSO’s musicians and programs. Including recent commitments, Mr. and Mrs. Fisher, together with their family and Foundation, have supported the center with more than $25 million in cumulative giving.

About Mark Davidoff

Mark is the managing partner of the Michigan practice of Deloitte LLP. He is the organization’s top leader in the state, overseeing more than 1,200 professionals based in Detroit, Grand Rapids and Midland. In addition to serving clients in the marketplace, he is responsible for the strategy, operations, talent and business development of the statewide practice. Mark collaborates with the Deloitte U.S. Firms and global organization — Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited — to bring the best Deloitte resources and talent to help Michigan companies, organizations and governments respond to today’s challenges.

Mark joined Deloitte in 2005 after experiences in both public accounting and serving in significant C-Suite positions for various not-for-profit organizations in the health care and social services arena. He has more than 30 years of professional experience including serving as the CFO for Mercy Services for Aging, as well as CFO and then executive director/COO for the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit.

Mark is a CPA and holds a BSBA from Wayne State University and a Master of Management from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Mark currently serves on the following community boards:

-           Detroit Downtown Partnership

-           Detroit Economic Club

-           Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce

-           Detroit Institute of Arts

-           Detroit Symphony Orchestra

-           Michigan Chamber of Commerce

-           M1 Rail

-           United Way for Southeast Michigan

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LEONARD SLATKIN, DSO FORGE NEW DEAL

DETROIT, (December 3, 2015) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) Board of Directors has ratified a new contract with Music Director Leonard Slatkin, which extends his relationship with the nation’s fourth-oldest ensemble through the 2019-20 concert season.  The agreement secures Slatkin’s role as Music Director through the 2017-18 season – a remarkable 10 years of visionary, artistic accomplishment – after which he will become the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s first-ever Music Director Laureate.

“This arrangement allows me to both complete and fulfill my artistic vision for the orchestra and gives me the additional opportunity to serve the orchestra in many different ways as they transition to my successor,” said Slatkin. “My passion for the city of Detroit remains unabated.  The DSO has been at the forefront of the city’s resurgence and serving a decade as music director has given me the opportunity to be part of the awakening of a ‘new’ city and ‘new’ orchestra. That the board, orchestra and staff support this decision is deeply appreciated.”

Slatkin has held the DSO’s Kresge Foundation Music Director Chair since 2008. As Music Director Laureate, he will program, prepare and conduct four concert weeks during each classical season and advise on artistic matters, personnel and artistic titled positions. The search for his successor will be a collaborative process led by the DSO’s Board of Directors, musicians of the orchestra and administrative leadership with meaningful involvement from Governing Members, Trustees, patrons and the community at large.

“We are indebted to Leonard for the innumerable contributions he has made to achieve the DSO’s artistic and institutional goals,” said Phillip Wm. Fisher, DSO Board Chairman. “I’ve seen Leonard’s innovative spirit manifest itself through initiatives like the weekly webcasts, the Soundcard student ticketing program and the Neighborhood Residency Initiative, and I look forward to that continuing throughout the coming seasons.”

Following the conclusion of his role as Music Director Laureate, Slatkin looks forward to embarking on the next phase of his career, during which he plans to maintain his conducting schedule while exploring other opportunities. For the time being, he and his wife, composer Cindy McTee, plan to maintain their residence in Detroit.

“It is my honor and privilege to partner with Leonard as he continues to steward our organization through a period of enormous positive change,” said Anne Parsons, DSO President & CEO. “Today’s announcement underscores the depth of his relationship with this great orchestra and a remarkable commitment to our wonderful city. I am thrilled by this news of our continued collaboration, and I look forward to working together as we move forward towards an even brighter future of access, excellence and service to our diverse communities.”

“Here in Detroit, we have been fortunate to have some of the world’s finest musicians serve as our Music Director – Paul Paray, Antal Dorati, Gunther Herbig and Neeme Järvi,” said Karl Pituch, DSO Principal Horn and member of the Artistic Advisory Committee. “Leonard Slatkin has continued and built upon this great tradition. As one of the most respected American maestros, he has led us through some tough times and produced many remarkable recordings, webcasts, tours and festivals. One of his most important achievements has been the respectful, collaborative working environment he has created. With so many new musicians to integrate into our ensemble and the constant pressures of performing music at the highest level, this has been invaluable.”

Under Slatkin’s entrepreneurial leadership, the DSO has made the following artistic accomplishments:

-More than 30 world-class musicians have joined the orchestra’s prestigious ranks, including each principal position.

-Innovative collaborations with Kid Rock, John Williams and Steven Spielberg have raised millions for the DSO and attracted fans from across the musical spectrum, some of whom have become loyal donors.

-The DSO’s long-awaited return to Carnegie Hall during the 2013 Spring for Music Festival brought an innovative program of Ives’ complete symphonies and a unique collaboration with cabaret singer Storm Large to the country’s most famous stage.

         -Tours to southern Florida in 2010 and 2014 showcased the DSO as Detroit’s most exportable cultural asset.

-The launch of a groundbreaking digital presence through the Live from Orchestra Hall webcast series, as well as its on-demand companion, “RePlay,” have globalized the DSO’s sound and put the orchestra at the vanguard of technological achievements in the classical music world.

-The visionary Neighborhood Residency Initiative increased the volume of classical concerts by placing neighborhood subscription series in seven metro Detroit suburbs and placing DSO musicians in schools, hospitals, senior living centers, libraries and myriad other intimate performance settings.

About Leonard Slatkin:

Internationally acclaimed conductor Leonard Slatkin is Music Director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and the Orchestre National de Lyon (ONL). He also maintains a rigorous schedule of guest conducting throughout the world and is active as a composer, author, and educator.

Highlights of the 2015-16 season include a three-week Brahms festival in Detroit; engagements with the St. Louis Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and NHK Symphony in Tokyo; debuts with Beijing’s China Philharmonic Orchestra and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra; and a summer tour of Japan and China with the ONL.

Slatkin’s more than 100 recordings have garnered seven Grammy awards and 64 nominations. His recent Naxos recordings include works by Saint-Saëns, Ravel, and Berlioz (with the ONL) and music by Copland, Rachmaninov, Borzova, McTee, and John Williams (with the DSO). In addition, he has recorded the complete Beethoven and Tchaikovsky symphonies with the DSO (available online as digital downloads).

A recipient of the prestigious National Medal of Arts, Slatkin also holds the rank of Chevalier in the French Legion of Honor. He has received Austria’s Declaration of Honor in Silver, the American Symphony Orchestra League’s Gold Baton Award, and the 2013 ASCAP Deems Taylor Special Recognition Award for his book, Conducting Business.

Slatkin has held posts as Music Director of the New Orleans, St. Louis, and National symphony orchestras, and he was Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra. He has served as Principal Guest Conductor of London’s Philharmonia and Royal Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, and the Minnesota Orchestra.

He has conducted virtually all of the leading orchestras in the world, including: New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, all five London orchestras, Berlin Philharmonic, Munich’s Bayerischer Rundfunk, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, and Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

Slatkin’s opera conducting has taken him to the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington National Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Santa Fe Opera, Vienna State Opera, Stuttgart Opera, and Opéra Bastille in Paris.

Born in Los Angeles to a distinguished musical family, he began his musical training on the violin and first studied conducting with his father, followed by Walter Susskind at Aspen and Jean Morel at Juilliard. He makes his permanent home in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, with his wife, composer Cindy McTee.

About the DSO:

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 Smokey Robinson 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. Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. 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 or download the free DSO to Go mobile app.

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EUGENE AND MARCIA APPLEBAUM FAMILY FOUNDATION GRANT FORGES THREE-YEAR DSO PARTNERSHIP WITH WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY

Atrium Gallery Space to display works from the Wayne State University Art Collection

Detroit, (November 19, 2015) –  Thanks to the generosity of the Eugene and Marcia Applebaum Family Foundation, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and Wayne State University (WSU) have established a new three-year multi program partnership.

The lead effort kicks off November 20, when the DSO will transform its atrium walls at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center into gallery space displaying the work of second generation Cass Corridor artist Kurt Novak. The exhibition, entitled Kurt Novak: Detroit Portraits, is the first of four that will visit the three-story atrium space each year through 2018.  Each exhibition will celebrate a different artist, with works on loan from the WSU collection.

“It’s an honor to provide a temporary home for the collection of a cherished midtown neighbor,” said Paul Hogle, DSO Executive Vice President. “We aspire for The Max to serve as a community hub for all things art, whether it be performed on stage or on canvas. The Applebaum family shares that vision, and together with them we’ve developed a unique program that will deepen the DSO’s connection to our community.

The Eugene and Marcia Applebaum Family Foundation grant provides for two other facets of this new partnership between the DSO and WSU, each currently planned for this season only:

Applebaum Fellowship Program – Three WSU students or recent graduates will be hired for part-time 33-week fellowships in the areas of Music Education, Community Engagement and Audience Research.

The first Applebaum Fellow, focusing on Music Education, will gain experience coordinating all DSO youth ensembles and provide project and program support for the DSO Soundcard student ticket program and the Student Committee and the Educational Concert Series.

Working with the DSO’s Community Engagement team, the second Applebaum Fellow will have the opportunity to provide research, general project support and program evaluation. Example projects/programs include: Diversity & Inclusion, Classical Roots Concert and Celebration, Day of Service, Music Alive Composer-in Residence, Chamber Recital Series, 1967 commemoration.

The final Applebaum Fellow will work alongside a professional market research firm to better understand current and potential DSO audiences as well as conduct further research and data collection efforts to help advance the DSO’s community reach.

The selection process is currently underway, and the successful candidates will be announced soon.

Replay - All freshmen in the WSU Honors College who are currently enrolled in the DSO’s Soundcard program will receive free access ($50 value) to Replay, the DSO’s on-demand archive companion to the Live From Orchestra Hall webcast series. Soundcard provides the students with access to live orchestra performances all season long for just $25. Replay ensures they can enjoy those performances again and again at their leisure.

“Our family is proud to help establish a partnership among two vitally important Detroit institutions – the DSO and Wayne State University.  They are both leaders in advancing and enriching Detroit.  Their collaboration and synergy is a meaningful demonstration of the arts and education coming together for the greater good, of which we are so pleased to strengthen,”  said Eugene Applebaum.

Kurt Novak: Detroit Portraits, on exhibit Nov. 20, 2015-June 5, 2016, features images of several locally-born artists captured using a flatbed scanner in place of a traditional camera. Each portrait depicts the subject with the tools of their trade in the style of the 19th century “occupational portrait” genre. Each scan takes approximately eight minutes and during this time the artist directs the subject in pre-determined ways to produce the blurs and multiple appendages seen in the images.

“This is a wonderful collaboration on  many levels” said Matthew Seeger, Dean of the College of Fine Performing and Communication Arts. “The interaction between the visual arts and music can create important insights for both and the long collaboration between two great Detroit institutions, the DSO and Wayne State continues to enrich our community.  We are excited that the University Art Collection is now part of that collaboration.”

An alumnus of WSU, Kurt Novak has been making art for nearly 35 years, creating primarily installations, sound projects and sculpture. He has been in numerous solo and group exhibitions in the US and abroad. In 2001, Novak changed his medium to scanner photography.

See below for a schedule of future exhibitions at The Max presented by the Eugene and Marcia Applebaum Family Foundation from the Wayne State University Art Collection:

September, 2016 to February, 2017—“Capriccios” and “Watergate Trials” by William Gropper;

Twenty-five framed black and white lithographs (from the Capriccios series of 50) and the complete Watergate Trials series of ten framed color lithographs, six month exhibition

March, 2017 to June, 2017—“Reimagining Spirit: The Woodcuts of Arthur C. Danto”; Thirty framed black and white woodcuts, four month exhibition

October, 2017 to January, 2018 — “The Legend of John Brown” by Jacob Lawrence; Complete series of 22 framed color silkscreens, four month exhibition

About the DSO

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 Smokey Robinson 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. Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. Fisher Music Center, one of America’s most acoustically revered concert halls, the DSO actively pursues a mission to impact and serve the community through music. For more information visit dso.org or download the free DSO to Go mobile app.

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DSO CLOSES OFFICE FRIDAY FOR THIRD ANNUAL DAY OF SERVICE FOLLOWING SYMPHONY IN D WORLD PREMIERE

(DETROIT, November 17, 2015) – Following the world premiere of Symphony in D on the morning of November 20, the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center will close for the Third Annual Detroit Symphony Orchestra Day of Service. DSO Musicians, Board and Staff will spend the afternoon serving one of four Detroit organizations as a show of gratitude for the support the Orchestra receives daily from its community.

This project is in observance of two important events. The first being Community Support Month, the DSO’s twice-yearly concert-based fundraising initiative taking place the entire month of November; the second being Symphony in D, a symphony for Detroit, by Detroit composed by Tod Machover of the MIT Media Lab.

On Friday afternoon DSO personnel will read to and play with children and also do a classroom clean-up at Focus: HOPE Center for Children; create holiday-themed arts and crafts with families at the Coalition on Temporary Shelter; do outdoor manual labor to prepare the farm for winter at Michigan Urban Farming Initiative; and at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, prepare materials for children and hospital facilities to create a wall mural that will be displayed at DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan.

The DSO successfully hosted its first Day of Service in 2013, assembling comfort packages for children entering or coming out of surgery at Children’s Hospital of Michigan; crafting, gaming and reading with 3-4 year-olds at the Children’s Center Head Start Academy; and in partnership with Midtown Detroit, Inc., a group wood chipped, gardened and cleaned a green space in Midtown. In 2014 DSO volunteers planted flowers at Belle Isle Conservancy, winterized and removed wood chips from the children’s play-scape assembly at Peggy’s Place and participated in an art installation with children at Children’s Hospital of Michigan.

About Community Support Month

The Community Support Month Initiative, launched in November 2011, has collectively raised more than $5 million from more than 5,000 donors and is the only initiative of its kind among American orchestras.

As the DSO earns its identity as a community-supported orchestra, Community Support Month is aimed at greatly expanding the Annual Fund donor base and providing each ticket buyer with more meaningful opportunities to make Annual Fund gifts to the DSO. During the month of November DSO fans can make a contribution to the DSO via envelope, pledge card, by phone or online at dso.org/donate.

About Symphony in D

With more than 100 hours of audio and some 15,000 sound files, Detroiters have submitted more sounds to composer Tod Machover for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s upcoming Symphony in D premiere than for any of his other four “City Symphonies” in Toronto; Edinburgh, Scotland; Perth, Australia and Lucerne, Switzerland.

The completed Symphony in D, which will include a selection of these sound submissions from the Detroit community, will premiere at Orchestra Hall on Friday, Nov. 20 at 10:45 a.m. and Saturday, Nov. 21 at 8 p.m. The Saturday performance will also feature a free MaxCast live HD video of the concert projected on the side of historic Orchestra Hall. It can be viewed on Parsons Street where hot chocolate and s’mores will be served. The Saturday performance will also be webcast worldwide via the DSO’s Live From Orchestra Hall series. Log on to dso.org/live on your desktop or mobile device to experience the concert wherever you may be.

The project is made possible by a generous grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Learn more at dso.org/SymphonyinD.

About the DSO

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 Smokey Robinson 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. Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. Fisher Music Center, one of America’s most acoustically revered concert halls, the DSO actively pursues a mission to impact and serve the community through music. For more information visit dso.org or download the free DSO to Go mobile app.

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SINGLE TICKETS ON SALE NOW FOR FIFTH SEASON OF DSO’S WILLIAM DAVIDSON NEIGHBORHOOD CONCERT SERIES

New Clinton Township concert series now available at Macomb Center for the Performing Arts 

Detroit, (November 10, 2015) – As of 9 a.m. today, single tickets are on sale for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s (DSO) fifth season of the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series in seven venues across Metro Detroit.

Tickets are available for concerts in neighborhoods including Beverly Hills, Bloomfield Hills, Canton, Clinton Township, Grosse Pointe, Southfield and West Bloomfield Township. General admission tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for students.

Due to high demand and the limited capacity of these intimate venues, purchasing tickets early is recommended, as many neighborhood venues nearly sell out on subscription alone. Subscriptions are still available for $100 in Beverly Hills, Bloomfield Hills, Canton and Grosse Pointe and $75 in Southfield and West Bloomfield. This season, the DSO introduces a new concert series in Clinton Township at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts with subscriptions at $100 for four concerts. Subscriptions can be purchased online at dso.org/neighborhood, by phone at 313.576.5111 or in-person at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center Box Office (3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit).

Featuring repertoire from select Orchestra Hall concerts, as well as selections prepared especially for the neighborhoods, the 2015-16 season marks the fifth year of the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series. Audiences will see Music Director Leonard Slatkin on the podium, Principal Bass Kevin Brown performing Vanhal’s Double Bass Concerto and Assistant Principal Flute Sharon Sparrow performing Ibert’s Flute Concerto. Guest soloists include Augustin Hadelich, violin; Chee-Yun Kim, violin; Maya Beiser, cello; Simon Trpčeski, piano; Cho-Liang Lin, conductor and violin; Paul Huang, violin; Louis Schwizgebel, piano and Jessica Rivera, soprano.

Performances are scheduled beginning December 13, 2015 through July 24, 2016. A donation of $25 or more to the DSO’s Annual Fund waives all subscription fees.

The William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series is made possible by a generous grant from the William Davidson Foundation and the support of WRCJ 90.9 FM. Renamed last season in honor of philanthropist William Davidson, the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series brings even more opportunities for Metro Detroiters to experience the magic of the symphony close to home.

A full schedule of neighborhood concerts is available at dso.org/neighborhood.

Ticket Information

Single tickets can be purchased for $25 for adults and $10 for students at dso.org, in-person at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center Box Office (3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit), or by calling 313.576.5111.

The Box Office is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and two hours prior to each scheduled concert through intermission, with the exception of special holiday hours.

If buying tickets in-person, be aware of traffic changes on Woodward Avenue due to M-1 Rail construction. For construction updates go to dso.org/m1.

About Soundcard

At just $25 for the season, Soundcard provides students of all ages, elementary school to college, with admittance to most Classical, Pops and Paradise Jazz series concerts at Orchestra Hall, as well as performances at seven venues in Metro Detroit for the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series. Soundcard memberships are on sale now, but members may start reserving single tickets starting two weeks prior to their selected concert date. Membership is valid through the end of the 2015-16 season. Tickets are issued up to two weeks prior to each concert. A Soundcard member must present a valid student ID to a Will Call attendant or usher upon arrival. The name on the student ID must match the name on the Soundcard account. Cards and tickets are non-transferrable. Admittance is subject to availability and seating is at the discretion of the Box Office. Soundcard was inspired by Leonard Slatkin and introduced in 2011.

About the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series

Since its launch in 2011, the series has experienced sold out concerts, beginning with its six Metro Detroit performance residencies. In addition to traditional concerts, the Neighborhood Residency Initiative allows musicians to perform in intimate settings for suburban audiences. Throughout the season, DSO musicians perform in Metro Detroit schools, hospitals, libraries, places of worship and myriad other unexpected places.

Throughout the 2015-16 season, four performances will take place at each venue in Beverly Hills, Bloomfield Hills, Canton, Clinton Township, Grosse Pointe, Southfield and West Bloomfield. With subscriptions on sale in August, venues in Beverly Hills (Seligman Performing Arts Center), Bloomfield Hills (Kirk in the Hills Presbyterian Church) and Canton (Village Theater at Cherry Hill) are on track to sell out on subscription alone. In previous years, the Grosse Pointe series sold out on subscription, prompting the DSO to move to a new, larger location at Our Lady Star of the Sea (467 Fairford Road, Grosse Pointe Woods) this past season. With current interest, this venue is still on track to sell out on subscriptions.

About the DSO

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 Smokey Robinson 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. Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. Fisher Music Center, one of America’s most acoustically revered concert halls, the DSO actively pursues a mission to impact and serve the community through music. For more information visit dso.org or download the free DSO to Go mobile app.

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