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Detroit Symphony Orchestra Unmasked

Sunday, January 24, 2010 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. only on WRCJ 90.9 FM

 In the first hour, meet composer and musician Billy Childs. His Violin Concerto will be given its world premiere by the DSO with Detroit native and award-winning violinist Regina Carter.  The work will be one of three compositions by contemporary African-American composers to be performed at the DSO’s “Classical Roots” concerts beginning Jan. 29

 In the second hour, host Jimmy Rhoades has an intimate conversation with legendary Detroit choral conductor (and former DPS music teacher) Brazeal Dennard.  Mr. Dennard reflects on his career with musical selections featuring The Brazeal Dennard Chorale.

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Cellist Sol Gabetta makes DSO debut in Brahms & Barber

DETROIT, (Jan. 15, 2010) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and Music Director Leonard Slatkin welcome acclaimed cellist Sol Gabetta to Orchestra Hall for her debut performances, Feb. 4-6, in Brahms & Barber. The program, continuing the celebration of 100 years of Barber, features Mennin’s Concertato for Orchestra Moby Dick”, Barber’s Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 22, and Brahms’ Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73. The concerts take place on Thu., Feb. 4 at 8:00 p.m.; Fri., Feb.5 at 10:45 a.m.; and Sat., Feb. 6 at 8:30 p.m.

Born of Russian-French parents in Cordoba, Argentina, in 1981, the charismatic cellist Sol Gabetta is forging an impressive career; she has a recording contract with SonyBMG, is the Director of her own festival, and has invitations from important orchestras all over the world. In 2004 Sol Gabetta was awarded the prestigious Credit Suisse Young Artist Award, which was celebrated by a concert with the Vienna Philharmonic under the baton of Valery Gergiev performing Shostakovich at the 2004 Lucerne Festival. Winner of the 2007 Echo Klassik Award and a 2007 Grammy Award nominee, Sol Gabetta has worked this season with orchestras such as Munich Philharmonic, Washington National Symphony Orchestra and on tour with the Basel Chamber Orchestra. Recitals have led her to many major venues and festivals in Europe and Asia, amongst them Vienna Musikverein, Luxembourg Philharmonie and the Louvre in Paris. READ MORE

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Leonard Slatkin and The Detroit Symphony Orchestra Release first CD on Naxos with Rachmaninov’s Symphony No. 2

DETROIT, (Jan. 6, 2010)-On January 26, 2010 the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and Music Director Leonard Slatkin will release their first recording together on the Naxos label. The CD features two works by Russian composer Sergey Rachmaninov, Symphony No.2, Op. 27 and Vocalise, Op. 34, No. 14.  The music was recorded in live performances at Orchestra Hall in September 2009.

 “It is possible that of all the works in the standard repertoire, I have conducted the Rachmaninov 2nd the most frequently,” said Leonard Slatkin.  “Some 35 years ago I recorded the work, and with the passage of time, my approach has undergone quite a few changes.  This new recording represents the first symphonic collaboration between the Detroit Symphony, myself and Naxos.  I look forward to the completion of this cycle and to the many projects we have planned for the future.” READ MORE

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Two-time Grammy Award-winning Soloist to Perform DSO Premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s “Concerto for Violin” at Orchestra Hall

DETROIT, (Jan. 6, 2010) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO), conductor Leonard Slatkin, and violinist Hilary Hahn take the stage on Jan 21-23 in Hahn & Higdon. The program, part of PVS Chemicals, Inc. Signature Classical Series, features Gioachino Rossini’s Overture to La Gazza Ladra (The Thieving Magpie), the DSO Premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Concerto for Violin, as well as Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47.  The performances take place on Thu., Jan. 21 at 8:00 p.m.; Fri., Jan. 22 at 10:45 a.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sat., Jan. 23 at 8:30 p.m.

 Recently named Gramophone magazine’s Artist of the Year, violinist Hilary Hahn is a two-time Grammy Award-winning soloist celebrated for her probing interpretations, technical brilliance, and compelling presence on stage. Hahn appears regularly with the world’s elite orchestras and on the most prestigious recital series in Europe, Asia and North and South America. Hahn has released 11 solo albums on the Deutsche Grammophon and Sony labels, in addition to three DVDs, an Oscar-nominated movie soundtrack, an award-winning children’s record, and various compilations. READ MORE

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Grammy-Award Winner Chris Botti to Perform at Orchestra Hall

DETROIT, (Jan. 6, 2010) – Trumpeter and composer Chris Botti, described by the Los Angeles Times “as a break out musical star,” is making his way to Detroit for a performance at Orchestra Hall with his ensemble. The concert, part of the Bank of America Paradise Jazz Series, will be performed on Fri., Jan. 15, 2010 at 8 p.m. The performance will be preceded by Civic Jazz Live! Featuring The Civic Jazz Orchestra in The Music Box at 6:30 p.m.

Best known as a contemporary jazz artist, Grammy Award-winner Chris Botti has created his own individual sound and has transformed the world of contemporary jazz with his signature style, a fusion of pop, jazz and classical melodies. Since the release of his 2004 critically acclaimed CD When I Fall In Love, Botti has become the largest-selling American instrumental artist. His ongoing association with PBS has led to four number one jazz albums, as well as multiple gold, platinum and Grammy Awards. Over the past three decades, he has recorded and performed with some of the biggest names in music including Frank Sinatra, Sting, Josh Groban, Michael Bublé, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, John Mayer, Andrea Bocelli, Joshua Bell and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler. READ MORE

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Beyond Rivers of Vision

James Lee, III
B. Nov. 26, 1975 in St. Joseph, Michigan

James Lee, III completed his bachelors degree in piano and his masters and doctorate degrees in composition from the University of Michigan. Some of his primary teachers included William Bolcom, Bright Sheng, and Michael Daugherty. Lee has composed works that have been premiered in Michigan, Maryland, Massachusetts, California, Indiana, Alabama, Minnesota, South Africa, Austria and Japan. Last season the DSO performed the world premiere of Lee’s A Different Soldier’s Story under the direction of Leonard Slatkin. READ MORE

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Violin Concerto (DSO Premiere)

Jennifer Higdon
B. Dec. 31, 1962 in Brooklyn, New York

Jennifer Higdon started late in music, teaching herself to play flute at the age of 15 and beginning formal musical studies at 18, with an even later start in composition at the age of 21. The League of American Orchestras reports that she is one of America’s most frequently performed composers. READ MORE

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Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47

Dmitri Shostakovich
B. Sept. 25, 1906 in St. Petersburg,Russia
D. Aug. 9, 1975 in Moscow, Russia

A Soviet composer at the height of communist rule in his native Russia, Shostakovich is the prime example of a creative artist forced to operate within a totalitarian system. Though subject matter and style were often dictated by the government, he managed to produce works of great strength and beauty. READ MORE

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Lumina (DSO Premiere)

Olly Wilson
B. Sept. 7, 1937 in St. Louis, Missouri

Olly Wilson’s richly varied musical background includes not only the traditional composition and academic disciplines, but also his professional experience as a jazz and orchestral musician, work in electronic media, and studies of African music in West Africa itself. His catalogue includes orchestral and chamber works, as well as works for electronic media. READ MORE

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“Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing”

John Rosamond Johnson
B. Aug. 11, 1873 in Jacksonville, Florida
D. Nov. 11, 1954 in New York City
James Weldon Johnson (Lyrics)
B. June 17, 1871 in Jacksonville, Florida
D. June 26, 1936 in Wiscasset, Maine

 “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” was first performed in commemoration of President Lincoln’s birthday on Feb. 12, 1900 by a choir of 500 schoolchildren from the segregated Stanton School in Jacksonville, Florida, hometown of the sibling creators John Rosamond and James Weldon Johnson. The song quickly gained popularity as it became a way to protest racism, violence towards African-Americans and discriminatory Jim Crow segregation laws. The NAACP adopted the song as “The Negro National Anthem” in 1919. “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” regained popularity during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and was entered into the Congressional Record in the 1990s as the official African-American National Hymn, inspired in part by Melba Moore’s hit recording. READ MORE

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