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DSO News 9-11-2013



Gabrielle Poshadlo; (313) 576-5194;

Veteran executive announces her retirement as Chief Operating Officer

Detroit, (September 11, 2013) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) announced today the promotion of 12 members of its team. Originally announced at a staff-wide meeting by DSO President and CEO Anne Parsons last week, the reorganization comes following the decision of Patricia Walker, veteran DSO Chief Operating Officer, to resign her position in order to move on to the next adventure in her distinguished career.

Effective September 1, Paul Hogle, Executive Vice President, and Linda Lutz, Chief Financial Officer, have each agreed to take on new areas of responsibility, in addition to their previous assignments. Hogle will add artistic planning, orchestra operations, education programs, community engagement, presentations, and archives to his assignments. Lutz will add human resources and facility operations and maintenance to her portfolio. Both Hogle and Lutz report to the CEO.

Erik Rӧnmark has been promoted to General Manager and Artistic Administrator. The General Manager and Artistic Administrator is an executive leadership position for the DSO, with responsibility for directing orchestra operations, artistic administration and concert production. Rӧnmark will lead all DSO operations, while managing key internal and external relationships of the organization. Rӧnmark will report to the Executive Vice President.

Alice Sauro has been promoted to Orchestra Manager. The Orchestra Manager is a senior leadership position for the DSO with responsibility for planning, organizing and managing day-to-day orchestra operations and concert production. The Orchestra Manager supervises orchestra personnel staff, stage technicians, library staff, operations and productions coordinator, and the assistant to the Music Director. Sauro will report to the General Manager and Artistic Administrator.

Scott Harrison has been promoted to Executive Director of Board Engagement and Strategy. The Executive Director of Board Engagement and Strategy will be the chief engagement officer in pursuit of fully activated and deployed governance body members. The Executive Director will work seamlessly with the leadership from the Directors, Trustees, Governing Members, Orchestra and the Administration in pursuit of DSO strategy and innovation. Harrison will continue to serve as Executive Producer of Digital Media and report to the Executive Vice President.

Three other Director-level promotions were simultaneously announced:

Chris Harrington has been promoted to Director of Audience Development and Managing Director of the Paradise Jazz Series. Eric Woodhams has been named Director of Digital Media. Anna Savone is newly promoted to Director of Catering and Retail Services.

Finally, there are new assignments for several key managers: Lindsey Evert is the new Loyalty Program and Strategy Manager, Kathryn Ginsburg has been named Artistic Manager, Bree Kneisler assumes the role of Prospect Research and Advancement Services Manager, and Anné Renforth has been promoted to Patron Sales and Service Manager.
The reorganization included the elimination of five positions. The following is an alphabetical listing of the eliminated positions: Archivist, Controller, Director of Human Resources, Human Resources Coordinator, and Manager of Popular & Special Programs. Thanks to a generous gift from DSO Trustee Jim Mitchell, those affected will receive the complimentary services of Lee Hecht Harrison in helping transition those individuals into new employment opportunities. These functions have been reassigned, or contracted externally, allowing the DSO to create several new positions in the areas of digital media; fundraising; and community, educational and artistic support. Job descriptions will be posted at, and interested parties should send their cover letter and resume to

About Patricia Walker

Patricia Walker joined the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in 1999 as Vice President of Human Resources. In 2007 she was promoted to the position of Chief Operating Officer. While her more recent experience has been in the not-for-profit environment, Patricia has also been successful in healthcare and the public sector. Walker’s successful career is augmented by an MA in Cultural Anthropology from Cornell University, and a BA in English (magna cum Laude) from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

In addition to being a full-time executive, Patricia supports a variety of youth programs including the Ann Arbor Youth Chorale, the Huron High School Cross Country team, the Huron High School choirs, youth volunteer programs at the Ann Arbor VA Hospital, and the Huron Rowing Association.

Patricia has participated on the HR Committee of the Board of HAVEN for 11 years, and she is the Fundraising Coordinator for the Huron Rowing Association. Walker is a member of Inforum Michigan (formerly the Women’s Economic Club), and a member of SHRM (Society of Human Resources Management).

“Pat served the DSO for over 14 amazing years, and in the last five, she took on an extensive executive role during one of the organization’s most stressful times in our recent history,” said Anne Parsons. “She met and overcame challenges with patience and an inner strength that enabled others to carry on; she has shown empathy and support to all she encountered; her resiliency and fortitude have made her an outstanding partner and caretaker to the DSO.”

Walker helped build the outstanding professional team which allowed the DSO to reconsider the roles and responsibilities and the preceding promotions, rather than search outside the organization.

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Lineup includes two programs in Birmingham and FREE finale concert at Orchestra Hall


DETROIT 6/4/2013 – As part of the AVANTI Summer MusicFest, the Musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) will perform three concerts for the public this summer, which will include a rare opportunity to hear small ensembles in an intimate space, a presentation of beloved large repertoire, and a fun-filled family afternoon featuring AVANTI Workshop students and DSO Musicians. The performances will take place on Thursday, July 25 and Friday, July 26 at 7:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church of Birmingham, and Saturday, July 27 at 1:30 PM at Orchestra Hall.


Concert Details:


Summer Music in the Sanctuary

WHEN:         Thursday, July 25 at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE:       First United Methodist Church of Birmingham, 1589 W. Maple Road, Birmingham

PROGRAM: Barber’s Summer Music, Williams’ Air and Simple Gifts, Dohnanyi’s Sextet in C Major

Orchestra: Appalachian Spring

            WHEN:         Friday, July 26 at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE:       First United Methodist Church of Birmingham, 1589 W. Maple Road, Birmingham

PROGRAM: Copland’s Appalachian Spring, Bartok’s Rumanian Dances, Handel’s Arrival of the Queen of Sheba

This concert will also feature AVANTI students in three collaborations: AVANTI’s new solo and conducting competitions, and the AVANTI Chorale. These outstanding new programs provide yet another opportunity for AVANTI Workshop students to collaborate with professionals, taking their music-making to the next level.


Ticket prices for the July 25-26 Birmingham concerts have been lowered to $20 with a special patron/preferred seating ticket price of $50, and can be purchased online at: or reserved by calling 313-530-5118.


AVANTI Workshop Finale and Silent Auction

WHEN:        Saturday, July 27 at 1:30 PM

WHERE:      Orchestra Hall, 3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit

PROGRAM: AVANTI’s Workshop students will perform side-by-side with DSO Musicians on the Detroit Symphony’s home stage, while a silent auction supporting AVANTI Summer MusicFest takes place.


Complimentary tickets for the Saturday, July 27 Orchestra Hall concert can be obtained online at  or at the Max M. Fisher Music Center Box Office beginning June 15.


Tickets will also be available at the door.



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Detroit Symphony Orchestra announces 2013-2014 Season!

Purchase tickets at

or call 313-576-5111

Leonard Slatkin crafts adventurous collection of repertoire

DSO Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik programs season inspired by vintage music sensations

DSO Assistant Conductor Teddy Abrams crafts magical family series

Yo-Yo Ma and Lang Lang headline DSO Presents series

Absolutely no ticket price increases across all series

DETROIT, (February 10, 2013) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) announced programming today for its 2013-14 Orchestra Hall Classical, Pops, and Young People’s Family Subscription Series. The new season reflects absolutely no increases in individual ticket prices.

The DSO and Music Director Leonard Slatkin, entering the sixth season of a partnership that has been described as producing a “sweeping sonic landscape” by the Detroit Free Press, are putting forth an adventurous combination of major classical repertoire and an assortment of imaginative and technically demanding World Premieres of music by prominent contemporary composers from all around the world.

Ambitious recording projects will continue next season, expanding the reach of the Orchestra through innovative digital distribution. Live from Orchestra Hall, the DSO’s unprecedented series of live HD webcasts, will continue during 2013-14, bringing the best of the DSO Classical Series to a global audience. Stay tuned for a complete schedule.


“It is my privilege to present our 2013-14 season to you.  This is a year in which we see and hear both the old and new, the familiar and the unknown, as well as celebrating the diversity and artistry of our orchestra.

The DSO, our soloists, guest conductors and I will bring music by beloved composers such as Beethoven, Brahms, Dvorak, Debussy, Tchaikovsky and so many more to life.  Returning to the standard repertoire is always welcome, both by the audience as well as the orchestra.

Coming back to Orchestra Hall are artists such as Gil Shaham, Hilary Hahn, Kathleen Battle, Leon Fleisher and Yefim Bronfman.  Many musicians from the orchestra will be front and center as well.

There are major premieres of works by David Del Tredici and Bright Sheng, among others. Outstanding young talent will be making debuts on our stage. And of course there is the great Detroit Symphony on each of the programs.

I hope you will take advantage of this season’s offerings and become among the first to secure your seat at the Max.”


The DSO will tackle a host of major symphonic repertoire during the 2013-14 season that will both feature key guest artists and showcase the talent of DSO musicians. The line-up includes Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 (Oct. 10-12), Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 (Nov. 7-8), Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra (Nov. 15-17), Brahms’ Symphony No. 4 (Dec. 6-7), Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4 (Dec. 12-13), Schubert’s Symphony No. 9 (Jan. 24-26), Orff’s Carmina Burana (Jan. 30-Feb. 2), Respighi’s Fountains of Rome (Feb. 13-15), Dvořák’s Symphony No. 6 (Feb. 20-22), Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade (March 21-23), Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10 (April 4-6), Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 6 (April 25-27), Copland’s Appalachian Spring (May 16-18), Nielsen’s Symphony No. 4 (May 22-24), and Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 (May 30-31), among many others.


Slatkin’s penchant for new music by contemporary composers will be on display next season with a number of World and North American Premieres on the schedule at Orchestra Hall. The 2013-14 season opens with the first of two World Premieres of Chinese-American composer Bright Sheng’s music. Violinist Gil Shaham will premiere Sheng’s Violin Concerto on opening weekend (Oct. 4-6), and later in the season, Sheng’s Zodiac Tales will receive its world premiere on a program with Orff’s Carmina Burana (Jan. 30-Feb. 2). Building on the success of the DSO’s 2011-12 performance of David Del Tredici’s Final Alice, the Orchestra will perform the World Premiere of Del Tredici’s opera Dum Dee Tweedle (Nov. 30-Dec. 1), a setting of Chapter 4, “Tweedledum and Tweedledee” from Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. DSO Principal Harp Patricia Masri-Fletcher will perform the World Premiere of Allan Gilliland’s Harp Concerto (March 27-29) on a program with seven other DSO soloists. The final World Premiere of the season will feature a work by Chinese-American composer Wang Jie (March 27-29), winner of the DSO’s sixth annual Elaine Lebenbom Memorial Award for Female Composers. The work is as yet untitled.

The DSO will also perform the North American premiere of Cyborg by Spanish composer Ferran Cruixent, who composed the piece in 2010 on a commission from the Staatskapelle Weimar in Germany.

The season will also feature a DSO premiere of Aaron Copland’s Hear Ye! Hear Ye! as part of the Orchestra’s ongoing project to record a complete set of Copland’s six ballets. Other DSO premieres next season include Mason Bates’ Violin Concerto, Piazzolla’s Sinfonia de Buenos Aires, John Williams’ Tuba Concerto and Carter’s Remembrance.

CLASSICAL DEBUTS & GUEST ARTISTS: World-renowned soprano Kathleen Battle to star in annual “Classical Roots” concert

Leonard Slatkin will conduct the orchestra in 13 of 21 classical concert programs, including the annual tradition honoring African American composers, “Classical Roots,” which will star soprano Kathleen Battle.  During the other weeks, the DSO will welcome back a number of conductors who have become both orchestra and audience favorites including Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Hans Graf, Andrew Litton, and Carlos Kalmar, while some newcomers, who have garnered great excitement and acclaim in recent seasons, will make their Detroit debuts:

Teddy Abrams (Oct. 25-27) is the DSO’s Assistant Conductor since the 2012-13 season and will lead the DSO for his subscription concert debut in a program celebrating 100 years since the birth of composer Benjamin Britten. The program includes Britten’s Piano Concerto, Wagner’s Overture to The Flying Dutchman, Sibelius’ The Oceanides, and Debussy’s La mer.

Giancarlo Guerrero, Music Director of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra, will make his DSO debut on Feb. 13-15 in a program featuring Gershwin’s Cuban Overture, Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Respighi’s Fountains of Rome, and Piazzolla’s Sinfonia de Buenos Aires.

Swiss conductor Thierry Fischer (May 1-3) will make his DSO debut conducting a program starring Louis Lortie performing Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Fischer is Principal Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Chief Conductor of the Nagoya Philharmonic, and Music Director of the Utah Symphony Orchestra.

Music Director of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Sinfonietta, Mei-Ann Chen (Dec. 12-13) will make her DSO debut alongside Marc-André Hamelin performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 17. Also on the program are Mozart’s Overture to The Magic Flute, Mendelssohn’s Overture to Midsummer Night’s Dream and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4.

The DSO will welcome exciting soloists from the world over, but many DSO musicians will take the spotlight as well. Concertmaster Yoonshin Song will perform Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 2 (Nov. 30-Dec. 1) and a special program of DSO solos (March 27-30) will feature Principal Flute David Buck performing John Williams’ Flute Concerto and Principal Tuba Dennis Nulty performing Williams’ Tuba Concerto, both for later release on Naxos; Principal Harp Patricia Masri-Fletcher performing the World Premiere of Allan Gilliland’s Harp Concerto; Principal Trombone Kenneth Thompkins performing Elliott Carter’s Remembrance; and violinists Sheryl Hwangbo, Rachel Klaus, Adrienne Rӧnmark and Hong-Yi Mo performing Vivaldi’s Concerto for Four Violins.

Soloists making their DSO debut in 2013-14:

  • British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor makes his DSO debut on Oct. 25-27 performing the Britten Piano Concerto, celebrating 100 years since the composer’s birth, conducted by DSO Assistant Conductor Teddy Abrams
  • Moscow-born violinist Alexandra Soumm will make her North American debut Nov. 7-8 performing Sibelius’ Violin concerto, conducted by Leonard Slatkin
  • Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers will perform the DSO premiere of Mason Bates’ Violin Concerto, a work that was written for her, on Dec. 6-7 with Leonard Slatkin conducting
  • Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov will make his DSO debut performing Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini on Feb. 13-15 with Giancarlo Guerrero conducting
  • Violinist Benjamin Schmid will make his DSO debut performing Korngold’s Violin Concerto on Feb. 22 with Hans Graf conducting
  • Italian violinist Augustin Hadelich will make his DSO debut on April 25-27 performing the Beethoven Violin Concerto with Andrew Litton conducting
  • Cellist Zuill Bailey will make his DSO debut on May 22-24 performing Elgar’s Cello Concerto, a piece he recently recorded with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra on the Telarc label


The 2013-14 season will see the continuation of two recording projects spearheaded by Leonard Slatkin. The DSO began a three-disc project last year with Naxos to record all six ballets by Aaron Copland, and the material for the second disc will be recorded in the new season.

An on-going endeavor to record a complete set of John Williams’ concerti featuring DSO Principal musicians will also continue in 2013-14 with performances of the Williams Flute Concerto and Tuba Concerto. Past releases have included John Williams Horn Concerto (2010) featuring DSO Principal Horn Karl Pituch, John Williams’ Violin Concerto featuring former DSO Concertmaster Emmanuelle Boisvert (2011), Williams’ Five Sacred Trees featuring DSO Principal Bassoon Robert Williams (2013), and the Williams Cello Concerto featuring DSO Principal Cellist Robert deMaine (2013). The concerti are direct-to-digital recordings on the Naxos label available to download via the DSO to Go mobile app, iTunes and Instant Encore.

Live recordings are scheduled for the following performances:

  • Copland’s Hear Ye! Hear Ye! (Oct. 10-12), Three Latin American Sketches (Dec. 6-7), and Appalacian Spring (May 16-18), conducted by Leonard Slatkin for the second disc of the Copland ballet recording project
  • John Williams’ Flute Concerto and Tuba Concerto (March 27-30), conducted by Leonard Slatkin for the Williams concerti project

The public is encouraged to attend live concerts to be a part of DSO history as it is made.

DSO POPS SEASON: Friday night pops series returns

New DSO Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik begins his three-year tenure with the Orchestra by programming a tour of the last century of Pops favorites, starting in the 1930s with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers classics. Audiences will enjoy music by John Williams and Ray Charles, a 100-year retrospective of Broadway favorites, lounge music reminiscent of the Mad Men Era, a tribute to Led Zeppelin, a flurry of patriotic anthems and a special orchestral celebration of cherished Looney Toons scores. A DSO tradition will also return to Orchestra Hall as Thomas Wilkins conducts the DSO patrons’ annual favorite, Home for the Holidays, in December. (See full listing of DSO pops programs at the end of this release).


Assistant Conductor Teddy Abrams has programmed thrills and surprises for young music lovers of all ages in his second YPFC season with the DSO. Beginning with a Halloween Mystery Party with the DSO, complete with costumes, the series will teach junior audience members how to recognize classical music in popular culture, link classical repertoire with music they are sure to recognize and present a musical portrait of a young Mozart, who wrote his first symphony at only 8 years old.

The Tiny Tots series, geared toward children 2-6, will feature the Candy Band, a group of rockin’ Detroit moms, a Dr. Seuss program starring jazz drummer Sean Dobbins, a performance by Abrams’ own Sixth Floor Trio, and a Caribbean adventure with the Gratitude Steel Band. (See full listing of DSO YPFC and Tiny Tots programs at the end of this release)


The celebrity-packed 2013-14 series of “DSO Presents” special concerts features a wide variety of household names from Yo-Yo Ma (April 9) and Lang Lang (Sept. 28) to the Indigo Girls (Oct. 30), all performing with the DSO. Holiday specials include the Vienna Boys Choir (Dec. 2) and a one-night-only performance of Handel’s Messiah (Dec. 14).


Subscription packages for classical, pops, and Young People’s Family series are on sale now.  The deadline to renew for all existing subscribers is March 28.  As part of the DSO’s Patron-Minded Pricing Program, classical subscription ticket prices continue to reflect up to a 50 percent reduction from 2009 levels. For both classical and pops subscriptions, patrons will receive at least one of their concerts free with every package, excluding Box Level classical subscribers.

Students of any age can attend any Orchestra Hall concert free all season long by purchasing a Soundcard for $25. More information is available at


2013-14 Classical Season Subscription prices

Subscription packages will be sold in groups of 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 21

  • 7 concert series prices will be $90 for Upper Balcony, $150 for Mid-Balcony and Main Floor B, $300 for Main Floor A and Dress Circle and $490 for the Box Level.
  • 8 and 9 concert series prices will be $105 for Upper Balcony, $175 for Mid-Balcony and Main Floor B, $350 for Main Floor A and Dress Circle and $800 for the Box Level.
  • 12 concert series will be $150/$250/$500/$840
  • 14 concert series prices will be $180/$300/$600/$1,400
  • 21 concert series will be $240/$400/$800/$2,100

2013-14 Pops Season Subscription prices—Eight concerts for the price of seven!

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

  • Coffee Concerts – 8-concert series prices will be $128 for Upper Balcony, $208 for Mid-Balcony, $288 for Main Floor B, $320 for Main Floor A, $336 for Dress Circle and $448 for the Box Level.
  • Friday nights, Saturdays or Sundays – 8-concert series prices will be $133 for Upper Balcony, $266 for Mid-Balcony, $336 for Main Floor B, $406 for Main Floor A, $476 for Dress Circle and $735 for the Box Level.

2013-14 Young People’s and Tiny Tots Subscription prices—Buy an adult YPFC subscription and your first child attends Free!

  • YPFC Concerts for Adults ( child) – 4-concert series will be $52 for Main Floor B, $72 for Main Floor A, $96 for Dress Circle and $120 for Box Level
  • YPFC additional children (25% off) – 4-concert series will be $39 for Main Floor B, $54 for Main Floor A, $72 for Dress Circle and $90 for Box Level
  • Tiny Tots Series (General Admission in The Music Box) –4-concert series will be $40 per person

Subscriptions can be purchased by visiting or calling the DSO’s Box Office at 313-576-5111.


The internationally acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra, which celebrated its 125th anniversary in December 2012, 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 season and acclaimed conductor, arranger, and trumpeter Jeff Tyzik was appointed Principal Pops Conductor in November 2012. 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 at 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 or download the free DSO to Go mobile app.



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

Programs and artists subject to change



Opening Weekend: Gil Shaham

Friday, October 4, 2013 at 8 p.m.

Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 8 p.m.

Sunday, October 6, 2013 at 3 p.m.

Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Gil Shaham, violin

Rimsky-Korsakov – Russian Easter Overture

Bright Sheng – Violin Concerto (World Premiere)

Ravel – Rapsodie Espagnole

Ravel – Pavane for a Dead Princess

Ravel – Daphnis and Chloe: Suite No. 2


Tchaikovsky’s Fifth

Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.

Friday, October 11, 2013 at 10:45 a.m.

Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 8p.m.

Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Conrad Tao, piano

Copland – Hear Ye! Hear Ye! (DSO premiere)

Beethoven – Piano Concerto No. 1

Tchaikovsky – Symphony No. 5


Benjamin Britten Centennial!

Friday, October 25, 2013 at 10:45 a.m.

Saturday, October 26, 2013 at 8 p.m.

Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 3 p.m.

Teddy Abrams, conductor

Benjamin Grosvenor, piano

Wagner – Overture to The Flying Dutchman

Britten – Piano Concerto

Sibelius – The Oceanides

Debussy – La Mer


Mahler Symphony No. 4

Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.

Friday, November 8, 2013 at 8 p.m.

Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Alexandra Soumm, violin

Ilana Davidson, soprano

Ferran Cruixent – Cyborg (North American Premiere)

Sibelius – Violin Concerto

Mahler – Symphony No. 4

Virtuoso Liszt

Friday, November 15, 2013 at 10:45 a.m.

Saturday, November 16, 2013 at 8 p.m.

Sunday, November 17, 2013 at 3 p.m.

Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, conductor

Kirill Gerstein, piano

Liszt – Les Preludes

Liszt – Piano Concerto No. 1

Bartok – Concerto for Orchestra


Wolfgang & Wonderland

Saturday, November 30, 2013 at 8 p.m.

Sunday, December 1, 2013 at 3 p.m.

Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Yoonshin Song, violin

Hila Plitmann, soprano

Scott Ramsay, tenor

Michael Kelly, baritone

WSU Symphonic Choir

Dr. Norah Duncan IV, choir director

Mozart – Violin Concerto No. 2

David Del Tredici – Dum Dee Tweedle (World Premiere)


Slatkin Conducts Brahms

Friday, December 6, 2013 at 10:45 a.m.

Friday, December 6, 2013 at 8 p.m.

Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 8 p.m.

Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Anne Akiko Meyers, violin

Copland – Three Latin American Sketches

Bates – Violin Concerto (DSO Premiere)

Brahms – Symphony No. 4


Mozart & Mendelssohn

Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.

Friday, December 13, 2013 at 10:45 a.m.

Mei-Ann Chen, conductor

Marc-André Hamelin, piano

Mozart – Overture to The Magic Flute

Mozart – Piano Concerto No. 17

Mendelssohn – Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Mendelssohn – Symphony No. 4


Hilary Hahn

Friday, January 24, 2014 at 10:45 a.m.

Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 8 p.m.

Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 3 p.m.

Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Hilary Hahn, violin

Beethoven – Overture to Consecration of the House

Nielsen – Violin Concerto

Schubert – Symphony No. 9


Carmina Burana

Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.

Friday, January 31, 2014 at 8 p.m.

Saturday, February 1, 2014 at 8 p.m.

Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 3 p.m.

Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Kiera Duffy, soprano

Nicholas Phan, tenor

Hugh Russell, baritone

University Musical Society Choral Union

Ann Arbor Youth Chorale

Bright Sheng – Zodiac Tales (World Premiere)

Orff – Carmina Burana


Valentine’s Weekend: Ravishing Rachmaninoff

Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.

Friday, February 14, 2014 at 10:45 a.m.

Friday, February 14, 2014 at 8 p.m.

Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8 p.m.

Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor

Daniil Trifonov, piano

Gershwin – Cuban Overture

Rachmaninoff – Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

Respighi – Fountains of Rome

Piazzolla – Sinfonia de Buenos Aires (DSO Premiere)


Divine Dvořák

Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 8 p.m.

Hans Graf, conductor

Benjamin Schmid, violin

Webern – Im Sommerwind

Korngold – Violin Concerto

Dvořák – Symphony No. 6


Classical Roots

Saturday, March 8, 2014 at 8 p.m.

Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Kathleen Battle, soprano

Brazeal Dennard Chorale

Underground Railroad



Friday, March 21, 2014 at 10:45 a.m.

Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 8 p.m.

Sunday, March 23, 2014 at 3 p.m.

Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano

Gould – Spirituals

MacMillan – Piano Concerto No. 3 (DSO Premiere)

Rimsky-Korsakov – Scheherazade


Orchestra Solos!

Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.

Friday, March 28, 2014 at 8 p.m.

Saturday, March 29, 2014 at 8 p.m.

Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Hong-Yi Mo, violin

Adrienne Rönmark, violin

Sheryl Hwangbo, violin

Rachel Klaus, violin

David Buck, flute

Dennis Nulty, tuba

Patricia Masri-Fletcher, harp

Kenneth Thompkins, trombone

Vivaldi – Concerto for Four Violins

John Williams – Flute Concerto (DSO Premiere)

Wang Jie – Lebenbom Commission (World Premiere)

Allan Gilliland – Harp Concerto (World Premiere)

John Williams – Tuba Concerto (DSO Premiere)

Carter – Remembrance (DSO Premiere)

Britten – Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra


Leon Fleisher

Friday, April 4, 2014 at 10:45 a.m.

Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 8 p.m.

Sunday, April 6, 2014 at 3 p.m.

Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Leon Fleisher, piano

Druckman – Mirage

Ravel – “Left Hand” Concerto

Shostakovich – Symphony No. 10


Beethoven Violin Concerto

Friday, April 25, 2014 at 10:45 a.m.

Friday, April 25, 2014 at 8 p.m.

Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 3 p.m.

Andrew Litton, conductor

Augustin Hadelich, violin

Beethoven – Violin Concerto

Prokofiev – Symphony No. 6


Lortie Plays Chopin

Thursday, May 1, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.

Friday, May 2, 2014 at 10:45 a.m.

Saturday, May 3, 2014 at 8 p.m.

Thierry Fischer, conductor

Louis Lortie, piano

Debussy – Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun

Chopin – Piano Concerto No. 1

Berlioz – Excerpts from Romeo and Juliette


Bronfman Plays Beethoven

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 10:45 a.m.

Saturday, May 17, 2014 at 8 p.m.

Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 3 p.m.

Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Yefim Bronfman, piano

Krzysztof Penderecki – Jacob’s Dream

Beethoven – Piano Concerto No. 3

Copland – Appalachian Spring


Elgar Cello Concerto

Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 24, 2014 at 8 p.m.

Carlos Kalmar, conductor

Zuill Bailey, cello

Brahms – Variations on a theme of Joseph Haydn

Elgar – Cello Concerto

John Adams – Tromba lontana (DSO Premiere)

Nielsen – Symphony No. 4


Mahler’s Third Symphony

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 8 p.m.

Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 8 p.m.

Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Elizabeth Bishop, mezzo-soprano

UMS Choral Union

MSU Children’s Choir

Mahler – Symphony No. 3



Opening Weekend: The Music of John Williams

Robert Bernhardt, conductor

Fri., Oct. 18 at 10:45 a.m. & 8 p.m.

Sat., Oct. 19 at 8 p.m.

Sun., Oct. 20 at 3 p.m.

Fred & Ginger

Teddy Abrams, conductor

Fri., November 1 at 10:45 a.m.

Sat., November 2 at 8 p.m.

Sun., November 3 at 3 p.m.

Ellis Hall is Ray Charles

Jeff Tyzik, conductor

Fri., November 22 at 10:45 a.m. & 8 p.m.

Sat., December 23 at 8 p.m.

Sun., December 24 at 3 p.m.

Home for the Holidays

Thomas Wilkins, conductor

Fri., December 20 at 10:45 a.m. & 8 p.m.

Sat., December 21 at 8 p.m.

Sun., December 22 at 3 p.m.







A Tribute to Led Zeppelin

Brent Havens, conductor

Fri., Jan. 17 at 8 p.m.

Sat., Jan. 18 at 8 p.m.


A Century of Broadway

Jeff Tyzik, conductor

Fri., February 7 at 10:45 a.m. & 8 p.m.

Sat., February 8 at 8 p.m.

Sun., February 9 at 3 p.m.

The Cocktail Hour: Music of the Mad Men Era

Steven Reineke, conductor

Fri., March 14 at 10:45 a.m. & 8 p.m.

Sat., March 15 at 8 p.m.

Sun., March 16 at 3 p.m.

Bugs Bunny on Broadway

Erik Ochsner, conductor

Fri., April 11 at 8 p.m.

Sat., April 12 at 8 p.m.

Sun., April 13 at 3 p.m.

Patriotic Pops!

Jeff Tyzik, conductor

Fri., May 9 at 10:45 a.m. & 8 p.m.

Sat., May 10 at 8 p.m.

Sun., May 11 at 3 p.m.


Lang Lang with the DSO

Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Sat., Sept. 28, 2013 at 8 p.m.

Indigo Girls with the DSO

Wed., Oct. 30, 2013 at 7 p.m.

Vienna Boys Choir

Mon., Dec. 2, 2013 at 7 p.m.

Handel’s Messiah

Jean-Marie Zeitouni, conductor

Sat., Dec. 14, 2013 at 8 p.m.

Yo-Yo Ma with the DSO

Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Wed., April 9, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.


A Halloween Mystery Party with the DSO

Teddy Abrams, conductor

Sat., Oct. 26 at 11 a.m.

Here, There and Everywhere!

Teddy Abrams, conductor

Sat., Nov. 23 at 11 a.m.

Rock! Sing! Swing!

Teddy Abrams, conductor

Sat., Feb. 8 at 11 a.m.

The Magical Life of Mozart

Teddy Abrams, conductor

Sat., May 10 at 11 a.m.


Rock O’Ween with the Candy Band

Sat., Oct. 26 at 10 a.m. in The Music Box

Sean Dobbins and Friends—Jazz Meets Dr. Seuss

Sat., Nov. 23 at 10 a.m. in The Music Box

Teddy’s Excellent Adventures Featuring the Sixth Floor Trio

Sat., Feb. 8 at 10 a.m. in The Music Box

Caribbean Fun Time!

Sat., May 10 at 10 a.m. in The Music Box

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CDs for sale!

Save Our Symphony Pop-up CD Store!

Many thanks to the local musicians who have made these CDs available to Save Our Symphony members.

CDs are $10.00 each, plus $1.00 each for shipping and handling.  Quantities are limited
Contact  to arrange for payment and delivery.

All proceeds will go directly to Save Our Symphony.
Click on the image for a closeup of the CD

Piper’s Holiday – Ervin Monroe and Alexander Jonjic

pipers-holiday_0 pipers-holiday-back


Holiday Brass – Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings

holiday-brass_0 holiday-brass-back


Detroit Symphony Wind Quintet
Erv Monroe, Don Baker, Ted Oien, Paul Schaller, Bob Williams, Karl Pituch, Eugene Wade

dso-wind-quintet dso-wind-quintet-back


Hobson’s Choice – St Clair Trio
Emmanuelle Boisvert, Marcy Chanteaux, Pauline Martin

hobsons-choice hobsons-choice-back


Barn Burner – Randy Hawes

barn-burner barn-burner-back


Pavane – Erv Monroe, Terry Herald

pavane pavan-back


Musical Treasures – Erv Monroe, Fontaine Lang

musical-treasures musical-treasures-back


The Classical Album – Erv Monroe, Alexander Zonjic

the-classical-album the-classical-album-back


An Affair of the Harp – Kerstin Allvin plays James Hartway

affair-of-the-harp affair-of-the-harp-back


City Sketches – Music of James Hartway
St Clair Trio, Fedora Horowitz, Earnestine Nimmons, Laura Larson, Kerstin Allvin, Flavio Varani, Ray Ferguson, Glenn Carlos, Peter Schoenbach

city-sketches city-sketches-back


Imaginary Creatures – Music of James Hartway
Pauline Martin, Pamela Schiffer, Catherine Wilson, Rob Conway, Caroline Coade, Kerstin Allvin, Jeffery Zook

imaginary-creatures imaginary-creatures-back


Gestures – David Assemany

gestures gestures-back


Collage – David Assemany

collage collage-back

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Josh and Sasha…

 …world class, charismatic and casual!



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Avanti Summer MusicFest 2012!

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DSO Concertmast Yoon Shin Song with DSO Civic Co-Concertmaster Sofia Pokrzywa at a Governing Member Gala on September 27, 2013

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A message from Art O’Reilly


Dear Friend:

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra has, for more than a century, inspired our community with world-class music and artistry. For many of us, the DSO is a bridge between our past and our future. Listening to the world’s top musicians play on the magnificent stage of Orchestra Hall, not only reminds us of our grand and ambitious history; it also replenishes our wellspring of optimism about the future of our great community.

As we look forward, we understand the challenges ahead. But we also understand that the strength of the DSO is not found in the bricks, mortar, and steel upon which Orchestra Hall was built. Rather, it is found in fellowship of leaders, patrons and musicians who have worked for many years to preserve and grow this cultural jewel of Detroit and Southeast Michigan.

The mission of the Governing Members is to ensure that this tradition of support continues well into the next century. We are community leaders who recognize that the DSO is a dominant thread in Detroit’s rich cultural tapestry, a destination for education and learning for all of Southeast Michigan, and a symbol that music and culture are flourishing in our community. We have accepted responsibility for preserving this institution by committing to be ambassadors for the DSO in our social and business communities and outspoken advocates for arts and culture generally.

As Chairman of the Governing Members and as a Member of the Board of Directors, I am dedicated to ensuring that our DSO remains a vital and vibrant part of our great community. But I need your help. The bedrock for a sustainable and vibrant DSO is a broad base of Governing Members who are willing and able to provide the enthusiasm, leadership, and philanthropy necessary to preserve this cultural gem. Won’t you join us?
Together, we will ensure that the DSO remains a part of our lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren.

Engage and inspire,

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Avanti pictures and video!

Well, the Avanti Summer MusicFest is over.  It was a tremendous success, and we are all exhausted!  Click here to see pictures of the event:

Avanti Photos -July 2012

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A message from DSO President Anne Parsons

Dear DSO friends,I would like to take a moment to recognize one of our most beloved neighbors and cultural partners, the Detroit Institute of Arts. For more than a century, the DIA has enriched our lives by offering access to countless iconic works, incredible spaces, innovative programs and exhibitions, and a collection recognized as one of the top in the nation. Once sustained by public funding, the museum is now in danger of closing its doors.

The DIA is in critical need of votes from Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne county residents at Tuesday’s primary election in order to secure long-term financial sustainability. Following two decades of decline in resources from the state and city of Detroit, the proposed millage (0.2 mil over the next ten years; approximately $15 annually per home of $150,000 fair market value) would cover this shortfall and benefit our communities with:

  • Free and unlimited access to the DIA
  • Free school field trips
  • Programs for students and senior citizens
  • Expanded hours of operation and support for exhibitions

Please let your voice be heard tomorrow, Tuesday, August 7. I hope you will join me in voting ‘YES’ in support of keeping the DIA a vital part of our community.

The DIA is undoubtedly one of our city’s jewels, and like your Detroit Symphony Orchestra, is deeply committed to keeping Metro Detroit’s arts and culture scene vibrant, thriving, and accessible for generations to come. I thank you for taking the time to read this message, and for the role you play in ensuring Detroit’s future is bright.


Anne Parsons
President and CEO

P.S. For more information about the millage, please visit

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Avanti Summer MusicFest Next Week!


JULY 19-21


WHERE First Presbyterian Church, Birmingham
WHEN Thursday. July 19, 7:30 p.m. Tickets $25, $35, $50
  Friday. July 20, 7:30 p.m. Tickets $25, $35, $50
WHERE Orchestra Hall, Detroit
WHEN Saturday. July 21, 1:30 p.m. Free Admission

SPREAD the WORD on FB & TWITTER (#Avanti)

Make History, Make a Difference…
By Attending AVANTI concerts you are ushering in a brand new music festival for Metro Detroit.  Attending AVANTI concerts means you believe in the DSO Musicians’ vision to “Take a Step Forward.”

To Buy Tickets or For More Info Visit or

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For Immediate Release

Contact: Kevin Good
(248) 909-9656,



Detroit, MI  July 9, 2012 – Musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (MDSO) will perform two evening concerts at the First Presbyterian Church in Birmingham (1669 W. Maple Road, Birmingham) on July 19 and 20 at 7:30 p.m.  The concerts feature intimate chamber works by Mozart, Barber and Hanson on Thursday evening, and orchestral works by Copland, Beethoven and Mozart on Friday evening. The concerts are an important part of the AVANTI Summer MusicFest, an exciting collaboration between the MDSO, the DSO, and Save Our Symphony (SOS).

Approximately 150 local music students, ages 14 to 18, will complete a week of intense study and instruction under the tutelage of approximately 50 DSO musicians July 16-21. “The AVANTI experience will be a great opportunity for these kids,” said Larry Hutchinson, DSO Bass player and
member of the DSO’s Education Committee. “Detroit Symphony Musicians teach the students and sit side- by-side with them in ensemble rehearsals during the day. Then the students get to hear the MDSO perform chamber and orchestral music Thursday and Friday evenings. There aren’t too many places where teaching and leading by example are that immediate and direct.”

In addition to the two AVANTIi Festival concerts, young musicians from Birmingham, Troy, Grosse Pointe, Ann Arbor and many other area communities will perform a free concert alongside musicians from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra on July 21 at 1:30 p.m. at Orchestra Hall (3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit). The concert takes place after a week of rigorous workshops at Derby Middle School in Birmingham, offered through the inaugural AVANTI Summer MusicFest. Ticket prices for AVANTI concerts at First Presbyterian Church of Birmingham are $50, $35 and $25 and may be purchased online at, or at the door.  Proceeds will support the AVANTI Summer MusicFest. To reserve complimentary tickets for the July 21 concert at Orchestra Hall, or for further information please visit


About AVANTI Summer MusicFest
AVANTI Summer MusicFest (www.avantisummermusicfest  .org) is Michigan’s newest summer music festival. The festival enables music students to take their playing to a new level in a weeklong workshop coached by the MDSO, and it also presents summer concerts of the highest caliber to metro Detroit audiences. AVANTI  Summer MusicFest is a pilot project conceived by The Musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and collaboratively developed and supported by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Save Our Symphony



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First Annual Avanti Summer Soirée

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Cornelia Pokrzwya

Cornelia Pokrzywa -

For those of us who eagerly awaited the end of the strike and the return of the musicians to Orchestra Hall, the 2011-12 season brought many highlights tempered by bittersweet moments and some notes of longing.

The shortened Spring-Summer offerings in 2011 brought us one of the saddest days in recent memory – the final concert of much-beloved concertmaster Emmanuelle Boisvert. Since her departure was a direct result of the strike, there was no opportunity for a fond and formal farewell. Her last concert was simply her last concert. Other retirements and departures followed. As a result, the 2011-2012 season featured perhaps the largest number of substitute musicians that audiences had ever seen.

For those of us who hold a special fondness for our musicians, it was often difficult to come to concerts knowing that we may not see or hear a favorite. Some, of course, had moved on for good. Others, due to the strike, took on obligations that limited their performances in the 2011-12 season.

Audience favorite Kim Kennedy led the 2011-12 season as acting concertmaster, performing solos and a concerto to the delight of those who have admired her playing for years. The recent announcement of a new concertmaster has many audience members excited for what will come.

One benefit of the limited offerings this season: many of the musicians took to concertizing in the community and beyond. Local chamber music programs gave the audience the opportunity to listen to our esteemed musicians in more intimate settings. A brunch series at the Birmingham Community House, the ProMozart Society, Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, and the neighborhood concerts all gave audiences the opportunity to hear music in new and different settings.

Still, for many of us, the best place to hear the orchestra is Orchestra Hall. Some of the most memorable concerts this season included the Festival of Flutes with Sir James Galway alongside the DSO’s own Sharon Sparrow and Jeff Zook, who performed Vivaldi’s Piccolo concerto to a full house. Favorite conductors featured this season included Neemi Jarvi, Jerzy Semkov, and Thomas Wilkins. It’s clear that Detroit audiences know, love and appreciate the conductors who know and respond to the heart of the DSO. The season finale will feature Robert DeMaine.

Looking ahead, the audience knows that DSO is a living, growing organization. We cannot stop change, nor should we strive to stop it. Audience input, however, remains an important goal as the DSO continues to develop new offerings. We must stay involved, whether as subscribers, donors, or new media users. As we know, cultural institutions in Detroit need community support. Let’s step up and hold our orchestra out to the world as a successful example

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David Faulkner –

Saturday, Oct 8, Michel Camilo piano concerto #2 and Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique, Leonard Slatkin conductor:

The Camilo was certainly new to my ears. I recall it being well performed by Mr. Camilo. I did not sense any real soul to the piece or Camilo’s interpretation. The Berlioz seemed rather mundane, predictable, somewhat choppy and i recall being nearly asleep after a couple movements. I believe there were about 30 substitute players that evening. Charles Dutoit’s colourful and highly dramatic reading of Symphonie Fantastique had me on the edge of my seat right from start to finish in a concert a few year’s back at OH. It seemed that Slatkin et al needed a blood transfusion in comparison to Dutoit.

Friday Oct 21, Neilsen Helios Overture, Franz Liszt piano concerto #2, Tchaikovsky Symphony #6(Pathetique), Jerzy Semkow conductor, Kirill Gerstein soloist:

The Helioz overture was rich with atmosphere and buzzed with excitement. I am not a big Liszt fan and especially not of the 2nd concerto. However it was lovingly performed by Gerstein and kind of won me over a least for that evening. Maestro Semkow has long been a favorite conductor of mine in Detroit. He has consistently given HIGHLY musical and polished performances mostly of Mendelsson, Mahler, Bruckner, Mozart and so forth. It was clear that night that Mr. Semkow was not well as he sat down to conduct the entire program. The Tchaikovsky had some wonderfully profound moments but i felt semkow took the 3rd movement (Marche) at a nearly impossible slow tempo. However Mr. Semkow should be thanked formally by DSO management for giving over 32 years of wonderful concerts to Detroit audiences. Are you listening DSO?

Thursday, Nov 17, Festival of Flutes featuring James Galway, Lady Jeanne Galway, Maria Piccinini, Jeff Zook-piccolo, Hai-Xin Wu-violin:

The program featured Bach Brandenburg concerto #4, Paquito D’Rivera Gran Danzon, Mozart flute concerto #2. The Bach was well played and quite spirited. The Gran Danzon found Maria Piccinini in great form. This piece was most interesting, with many unusual rhythms and colourful effects throughout. Jeff Zook took an engaging and fun romp thru the Vivaldi piccolo concerto. I was amazed at how zook was able to negotiate rapid-fire trills and runs and not losing his breath. Mr. Galway’s playing in the Mozart was “pretty” and technically flawless. One would have liked a little more depth and variance of tonal quality. All in all a very enjoyable night.

Friday Nov 25, Schubert “Unfinished” Symphony, Rachmaninov Symphony #3, Mason Bates “B-Sides.” Leonard Slatkin conductor, Mason Bates-Electronica:

The Schubert sounded like Mr Slatkin was in a big hurry to get it over with. Over the top dynamics and no sense of mystery. Things improved with the Rachmaninov. This was a well played but somewhat restrained effort. There were some wonderfully lush moments in the string melodies. The B-Sides exploded with all kinds of subtle color and dynamic shifts. Mason Bates is clearly an interesting composer. Although a bit repetitive the last movement was downright infectious.

Friday Jan 20, Franck Symphony in D Minor, Saint Saens Piano Concerto #2. Helen Bouchez Conductor, Conrad Tao soloist.

Mr. Tao’s playing in the concerto was full of high drama but also wonderfully tender when called for. Tao’s technical skills were enormous but he still managed to play quite musically for the most part. I enjoyed hearing the Franck which i had not heard for many years. Mrs. Bouchez’s conducting was fairly straight-forward but had moments of extra sparkle.

Friday Feb 24, John Adams, On the Transmigration of Souls, Brahms German Requiem. Leonard Slatkin Conductor, UMS Choral Union:

The Adams was plagued from the start with the “recorded” parts being too prominent against the hushed strings of the orchestra. Tho the piece was clearly moving it struck me as rather disjointed in parts. I enjoyed the Brahms. The Choral Union sang with strong conviction and produced mostly a unified fairly rich sound. There was however a very wobbly out of control vibrato from one of the sopranos which overwhelmed parts of the score. Slatkin’s conducting was fairly predictable but did have some beautiful moments.

Fri March 23, Mozart Don Giovanni Overture, Beehtoven Piano Concerto #5, Mozart Symphony # 38. Nicholas McGegan Conductor:

The Don Giovanni was rather pedestrian. The Beehtoven played by Robert Levin was rather earthbound. Levin’s brutally aggressive attack and bleached out tonal quality were not pleasing to these ears. I was lost by the end of the first movement. Nicholas McGegan led a fine performance of the Mozart symphony. Although McGegan is very much in the “original instrument” style of playing, he doesn’t go over the top with the lack of vibrato and somewhat dried-out tonal quality. The piece was quite engaging and refreshing to hear a new-”old” twist on things.

Sat March 31, Brahms Piano Concerto #2, Wagner-DEVLIEGER Die Meistersinger-Orchestral Tribute. Neeme Jarvi Conductor, Helene Grimaud soloist:

The LONG LONG overdue return of Neeme Jarvi. Mrs Grimaud’s playing in the Brahms was very competent and quite engaging overall. Once again though i thought her playing became rather strident and aggressive, almost out of control at times. Especially in the prayer-like second movement more poetry in her playing would have helped. Well the second half was all Neeme Jarvi. It took all of about five minutes to realize how much the DSO misses the charisma and innate musicality of Jarvi. It seemed like years since the sound of the cellos and strings had that much warmth and bloom to the sound. Jarvi ever the bubbly type had the audience very engaged right from the start. The two American encores were wonderful!

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David Assemany

David Assemany –

I attended almost every classical week of the 2011-12 Season. I did miss the Classical Roots concert, and I will miss the Saint-Saëns concert next week.

From the outset it was clear that this was not the DSO from season’s past; so many faces gone, so many unknown musicians on the stage.   The strings sounded distinctly different, who were all those percussionists, and what is with those cameras?!  This was going to take some getting used to.

As the season progressed I got used to seeing the new faces.  There seemed to be consistency in who was subbing which was good of course.  The string sound filled out, the percussion section sounded good from the outset, the flutes found excellent players to fill out the section.  I have always been a fan of Kim Kennedy, and seeing her step up as Acting Concertmaster was nice, as was hearing her in the starring role quite a few times, most notable the recent Wagner/Waxman Tristan and Isolde Fantasy.  Acting Principal Flute Sharon Sparrow was her usual spectacular self.  Other people who shone when asked to move up in the section included Úna O’Riordan, Cello and Geoffrey Johnson, English Horn.

As a pianist, I always look forward to the big piano concertos. This season had several highlights, one of them completely unexpected; the Conrad Tao concert in January featuring the Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto No. 2 in G-minor. I loved it so much I went back the next night, and then watched the webcast! Conrad is a mesmerizing pianist, with technique to burn and more importantly a soul. He is a young man with quite a career already, and one to watch in the future.

Another unexpected delight was Final Alice by David Del Tredici. I had never heard of the piece, and quite honestly did not expect to love it. I did however love it, once again watching the webcast after attending the concert live the night before. It was a tour de force for the soprano Hila Plitmann, and the musicians got quite a workout as well. There are probably not many conductors who could pull this piece off as well as Maestro Slatkin did.

The webcasts evolved over the course of the season. They were a little rough at first, which is not surprising as they were navigating uncharted territory at every turn. However the Digital Media team led by Scott Harrison and Eric Woodhams quickly became expert at producing an excellent webcast. Kudos guys, looking forward to next season!

The Mix at the Max event in April was a fun departure from the norm. Featuring the Brooklyn-based chamber orchestra The Knights, it included a pre-concert mixer with food and drink from several local restaurants. The crowd was young and enthusiastic. Hopefully this sort of event will bring people to the hall who would not normally attend a classical concert.

A disappointment for me was the reduced season of classical concerts actually performed in Orchestra Hall. Most of the venues that the community concerts were performed in are acoustically poor and even the good ones don’t hold a candle to Orchestra Hall. I hope the ensuing seasons reduce the commitment to the community concerts and focus on getting those people to come to the DSO’s wonderful home stage. How about a free ticket to a concert in the hall with every purchase of a community concert ticket? Busses from the burbs?

On a different topic, I must tell about my experiences as an SOS officer with the DSO administration and staff at the MAX: Going into the season, I saw potential for friction with the administration while we from SOS tried to become more involved in the behind the scenes work of producing ‘world class music on the stage of Orchestra Hall.’ Happily this was not the case. The staff was always polite, professional, friendly and efficient. Upper management, starting right at the top with Anne Parsons, went out of their way to make the SOS Governing Members feel welcome and listened to. Our concerns were not always addressed, but they were always respectfully heard. We were not shy about pushing our way into the daily goings on. Our presence at the hall was always (seemingly) welcomed.

And finally, I would like to extend a big welcome to: Sheryl Hwangbo, violin – Monica Fosnaugh, English horn – Johanna Yarbrough, French horn – Peter McCaffrey, cello – David LeDoux, cello – Yoonshin Song, Concertmaster!

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Fundraising for Avanti Music Fest.

Dear SOS members:

Avanti Summer Music Fest is well on its way.  We have over 150 students confirmed; we have our Ensemble Directors in place & an enthusiastic Steering Committee that is working hard to make this all happen.

However, we still need YOU!  We are in the midst of fundraising, having our first event on May 20th at Our Lady Star of the Sea.  Please read about it at . You can help!  We are having a reception after the silent auction & concert and are in need of decorations for tables and goodies to serve.

All you bakers, now is your chance to show off your skill. We are looking for cookies or brownies, any kind of hand held sweet for the reception.

Not at home in the kitchen?  How about purchasing some 2 liter bottles of soda or lemonade?  Or donating money for us to purchase them and/or the decorations (plastic table cloths, napkins, name tags for Avanti families, etc)?

Want to attend? Great!  Not only will we take your donation at the door, there will be a silent auction on which to bid and opportunities to volunteer for various tasks (helping with parking, manning the name tag table, keeping the goodies stocked, etc as well as that most important task: clean up!).

Please contact me with how YOU can help!

Bev Williams

Avanti Steering Committee




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May is DSO Community Support Month!

An Annual Fund gift to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra is your vote of confidence in the DSO’s critical role in the community and to making great music for all to hear.

The DSO is a community-supported orchestra and your commitment is essential to our success. We invite you to play your part through frequent ticket purchases and tax-deductible annual donations. Your gift supports activities including Live from Orchestra Hall webcasts, Civic Youth Ensembles and our Neighborhood Series and community performances throughout Metro Detroit.

To give a gift amount of your choice, please visit

Let’s build a community…

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Detroit, (Feb. 15, 2012) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO), The Musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (MDSO) and Save Our Symphony (SOS) have announced a six-day intensive summer experience for young musicians ages 14-18, who will have the opportunity to train with DSO musicians. Avanti Summer MusicFest is scheduled for July 16-21, 2012 at Derby Middle School in Birmingham, Mich. and will culminate in a live student performance on the world-renowned stage at historic Orchestra Hall.

“Avanti is yet another example of the progressive way in which all the components of the DSO are uniting. This initiative, coming from the musicians, shows how much all of us care about the musical education of our city’s young people,” said DSO Music Director Leonard Slatkin. “With coaching, master classes, sectional rehearsals and performances, I believe that we are truly paving a path to the future.”

Open to 140 students, the program is composed of a band and an orchestra, in which students will rehearse two hours each day. Students will spend an additional two hours daily in small sectionals led by DSO musicians on their respective instruments.

Kevin Good, a 33-year veteran trumpeter with the DSO said, “This provides a much-needed local camp for music students during the summer break. We’re excited about reaching young performers who have had little to no experience with the DSO, but who have studied music in their schools and want to take it to another level.”

Open enrollment for Avanti’s workshop is currently underway and will close as each instrument section is filled. Tuition for the workshop is $300. Interested parents, students or teachers can visit to download application forms. Applications must be fully completed and will be considered in the order in which they are received. DSO musicians contributed $5,000 to help with financial aid to students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend.

SOS President Judy Doyle said, “This project is a demonstration of the different parties within the DSO and the community coming together, working collaboratively, respectfully and admiring what each party brings to the table. By partnering with the community on this pilot, the musicians and the DSO created a new and fresh model for connecting with its public.” The success of Avanti this July will lay the foundation for future summer festival workshops and concerts along with additional partnership opportunities between the MDSO, the DSO and the community.

Donate to Avanti Summer MusicFest

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The Voice from Outside: Stakeholder Resistance in Nonprofit Organizations

Click HERE to read the article in the December 2011 edition of Non-Profit Quarterly

December 13, 2011
Sean Buchanan and Patricia Bradshaw

What Exactly Is Stakeholder Resistance?A board-approved merger between two nonprofits is quashed due to pressure from donors. Two Girl Scouts mobilize opposition to the use of palm oil in Girl Scout cookies and get the nonprofit to change the recipe. A recreation center on the verge of closure is prevented from doing so by the work of community members. A labor dispute between musicians and management in the Detroit Symphony Orchestra leads to the creation of an advocacy group that becomes a powerful voice in the negotiation process. These examples highlight an emerging phenomenon that is gaining momentum worldwide—that of what we are calling “stakeholder resistance,” but what some executive directors may experience as “stakeholder rebellion.”

What is interesting about stakeholder resistance is that it originates with individuals who are not “insiders” in organizations, and that these “outsiders” are at times engaging in acts that challenge, disrupt, and even change organizational policies, practices, and actions. These individuals can actually limit the autonomy of organizational decision making, yet they are not legislators, lobby groups, or key funders. Generally speaking, an organization’s stakeholders are those who are linked to an organization in ways other than a formal contract.1

In the case of nonprofits, stakeholders often include donors, members, and community members who engage with the organization either directly or indirectly.2 Frequently, a strategic planning process includes a stakeholder analysis—an exercise that involves identifying key stakeholders as well as their interests and sources of power. The really influential, or those whose interests are perceived to be a threat, are then attended to, and the rest are mostly ignored. Clients being served or small, widely distributed individual donors are examples of those who have traditionally been seen to have interests in alignment with those of the organization or as having diffuse power bases and hence not necessary to include in a strategic planning process.

The term resistance was originally used with a negative connotation, as in “resistance to planned and top-down change,” and it implied that compliance with the dictates of the leadership was expected and positive.3 Since then, the term has been reclaimed by more critical scholars as an act of purposefully undermining the status quo and the taken-for-granted ways things are always done, and resistance is celebrated as an act that pushes back on established power relations.4 Within the second tradition, studies have focused primarily on two types of resistance: workplace resistance and civil society resistance. Workplace resistance focuses on how workers resist employer practices, actions, and rules. This resistance consists of both overt actions such as strikes, whistle blowing, and sabotage and more covert actions of resistance through rhetoric, shirking, cynicism, and humor.5

Research on civil society resistance, on the other hand, has focused well outside the domain of the organization and examines social movements and the processes by which groups form resistance against dominant rules, norms, or practices in society.6 Environmental NGOs have received particular attention for their acts of resistance. For example, the actions taken by Greenpeace to prevent Shell Oil’s decision to dispose of an oil-storage buoy in the deep sea eventually resulted in Shell’s overturning its initial decision.7 Civil society resistance differs from workplace resistance because it emerges from an external source, whereas workplace resistance emerges internally.

Stakeholder resistance, we are suggesting, falls in the space between workplace resistance and civil society resistance.8 These stakeholders are not employees of an organization but are likely more closely connected to the organization than the broader civil society. Take the case of the failed merger between Smile Train and Operation Smile—two organizations that repair cleft palates of children across the world. The resistance to the merger planned by the two boards of directors emerged primarily from the Smile Train donors, who mobilized opposition to the merger though an online petition.

In the case of the resistance enacted against the Girl Scout organization for its use of palm oil in cookies, it was two members of the girl scouts who engaged in the resistance. Fifteen-year-old Rhiannon Tomtishen and sixteen-year-old Madison Vorva learned through a Girl Scout project that the habitat of orangutans in Southeast Asia was diminishing because rainforests were being cleared for palm oil plantations. Palm oil, as it turns out, is a key ingredient in all Girl Scout cookies. After a failed attempt at sparking change with the Girl Scouts directly, Rhiannon and Madison began mobilizing support from other activist groups such as Rainforest Action Network.

Stakeholder resistance can also emerge from community members who interact with an organization. When a YMCA in Elmira, New York, was on the verge of shutting down due to a lack of funds, over two thousand community members signed an online petition urging local officials to find a solution to keep the YMCA operating. Meanwhile, grassroots groups of students from a local university and local elders met to discuss how the Y could be saved. This resulted in the adoption of the YMCA by a local senior center, allowing it to continue to operate.

On other occasions, stakeholder resistance might emerge from several groups simultaneously. The dispute between musicians and management in the Detroit Symphony Orchestra led to the creation of an advocacy group called Save Our Symphony, composed of several stakeholder groups including donors, audience members, and the local community. As the above examples illustrate, stakeholder resistance is unique in that it emerges from individuals and groups who are connected to an organization but often don’t have the immediate access of an employee.

What Is Causing These Acts of Resistance?

While the specific causes of stakeholder resistance differ from organization to organization, it appears that underlying almost all the acts is a deep dissatisfaction with the organizations’ responsiveness to their stakeholders. Specifically, in each of the examples highlighted in this article the acts of resistance against the organization resulted from a lack of voice given to their stakeholder groups in organizational decisions. This marginalization of the stakeholders may stem from the fact that they were considered to be secondary stakeholders,which afforded them less of a direct influence on organizational decision making than primary stakeholders, such as board members.9 Furthermore, these secondary stakeholders are less organized than other broader stakeholder groups such as social movement organizations like the environmental NGOs mentioned earlier.10 Thus, with less assumed importance to the organization and less formal power, these stakeholders are often not given adequate attention by their focal organizations.11 Under these conditions of little formal voice and low organizational responsiveness, stakeholders who have a particular interest that they feel strongly about are more likely to engage in the types of resistance this article describes. It may also be the case that there may be a triggering event that activates resistance and that these events are difficult to anticipate. As the resistance mobilizes and the emotional subtext gets more heated (these acts are often accompanied by anger or anxiety), there is an amplification of a collective voice among what are normally diffuse actors.

Although these stakeholders are often in marginalized positions vis-à-vis the organizations, the organizations often attempt to communicate with them. Traditionally this has been through publications such as newsletters, which represent one-way communication mechanisms. The collective voice of stakeholders would traditionally be at a membership meeting, and while revolts have taken place in such forums, they could also at times be anticipated and managed. Nonprofit leaders recognize that these stakeholders have a critical role in the success of the organization, and failure to meet the needs of stakeholders can have many negative consequences.12

What Is Enabling These Acts of Resistance?

What has caused this apparent surge of stories of stakeholder resistance? Why now? One commonality to all these examples is the presence of social media as a tool for stakeholder communication, mobilization, and engagement. As recent examples in Egypt and Libya have demonstrated, social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter can play a large role in activism and resistance. There are several reasons for the effectiveness of social media in resistance—primarily, the direct, efficient, and low cost of Internet communication provides a powerful tool to engage a wide variety of stakeholders who may be isolated from traditional forms of collective action.13 Interestingly, the interactivity of social media facilitates an unprecedented degree of two-way communication between organizations and stakeholders. Increasingly, nonprofits are using social media to engage their stakeholders through information provision, disclosure of performance, fundraising, and two-way communication.14 This communication provides an avenue for organizations to engage stakeholders; however, it also provides a means for stakeholders to resist organizational actions or practices.

For example, the dispute in the Detroit Symphony Orchestra was made very public through social media, with the Save Our Symphony advocacy group creating a Facebook page where stakeholders could communicate with each other and the organization.

Opposition to the Smile Train and Operation Smile merger and the closing of the Elmira, New York, YMCA gained momentum through the use of social media platforms. And when a group in Minnesota started a campaign to boycott the annual Basilica Block Party to protest the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis’s support of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, it was done through the group’s Facebook page, which gained over six thousand followers.

Stakeholder resistance can also occur right on the organization’s own social media sites, albeit in a more disorganized fashion. For example, one way in which stakeholders voiced support for a ban on palm oil in Girl Scout cookies was to post negative comments on the Girl Scout Facebook page.

In all the above cases, previously diffuse actors came together virtually and thus shifted their power base.

Strategic planning processes that include stakeholder analysis of stakeholders’ respective interests and power must include a more critical appreciation of the power of these previously relatively powerless actors and take into account the impact of social media. Ironically, as with the Girl Scouts example, the sites that are often used in these resistance actions are ones established by the nonprofits themselves; when these are not managed well or monitored, there is no one to respond to concerns that are expressed or to catch the trigger events, and before long strong emotions—and then actions—escalate.

Challenges and Opportunities for Organizations

Stakeholder resistance presents a number of challenges for nonprofits. As a result of the increasing two-way communication between organizations and stakeholders, there is greater opportunity for formal resistance on the part of stakeholders than ever before. Moreover, the actions of organizations are becoming more transparent and publicly available, leaving little opportunity for organizational actions, practices, and policies to go unnoticed by stakeholders.

Another challenge for organizations with respect to stakeholder resistance is that it takes place on a public stage. In the cases of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra dispute and the Smile Train and Operation Smile merger opposition, the debates occurred in a very public way on company websites and Facebook pages. In some cases the debates can get very heated and, in some cases, reflect negatively on the organization as a whole.

Studies have shown that while most nonprofits have a social media presence, it tends to be underutilized as a communication tool. One study examined the Facebook pages of 275 nonprofits and found that relationship building with stakeholders was virtually nonexistent.15 Another study of nonprofits suggested that these organizations appeared to view the mere creation of social media pages as active engagement with stakeholders.16 Thus, it appears that while social media is providing more of an opportunity for organizations and stakeholders to communicate with each other, the bulk of interaction occurs during periods when stakeholders are unhappy with the organization.

Of course, the increasing engagement and power of stakeholders need not be viewed as a negative for nonprofits—especially considering how many of them are actively trying to increase stakeholder engagement and how many are committed to democratic participation. The generative dialogic communication between organization and stakeholder that is facilitated by social media offers an opportunity for these organizations to openly and effectively engage stakeholders and build a greater sense of community.

In the cases of stakeholder resistance outlined in this article, the organizations under scrutiny appear to have lacked a clear and open line of communication with their stakeholders. By closing themselves off, the organizations, perhaps inadvertently, created a barrier between themselves and their stakeholders. We suggest that these are the conditions under which stakeholder resistance will most likely occur.

Acts of stakeholder resistance are unlikely to disappear anytime soon. As the examples in this article indicate, stakeholders have been quite successful in their acts of resistance. Mitchell, Agle, and Wood note that organizations are likely to be most responsive to stakeholders with high levels of power, legitimacy, and urgency; and when stakeholders actively resist, they increase the power they have in relation to the organization by mobilizing opposition and resources.17 This increased power then works to heighten the urgency and enhance the legitimacy of their grievance in the eyes of the organization and the world at large. The increasing power of social media provides an important tool as well as a potential weapon for stakeholders, and the trend in stakeholder resistance will likely continue to grow in importance as more stakeholders begin to make their voices heard—making it essential for nonprofits to put serious time and effort into their active engagement with their stakeholders.

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