<September 2017>


DSO and Music Director Leonard Slatkin depart for Asia Tour 2017 on July 11, performing eleven concerts in Japan and China

Asia Tour 2017 marks DSO’s first international tour in 16 years; guest soloists include pianist Makoto Ozone and violinist Akiko Suwanai in Japan, and cellist Trey Lee in China

Free Detroit send-off concert at Orchestra Hall on July 9 at 3 p.m.

Follow the DSO on the road throughout July at #DSOAsia2017

Detroit, (June 27, 2017) – On Tuesday, July 11, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) departs on its historic Asia Tour 2017, a trip that will include the orchestra’s debut performances in China and its first visit to Japan in 19 years. Music Director Leonard Slatkin will conduct the DSO in eleven concerts from July 14 to 29, 2017, from Tokyo to Shanghai, marking his first overseas tour with the orchestra and the DSO’s first international tour since Europe in October 2001. The DSO’s Asia Tour 2017 will launch with a free hometown send-off concert in Detroit on Sunday, July 9 at 3:00 p.m. that will be webcast online through the Live from Orchestra Hall series.

“It brings me great pleasure to be able to perform with the wonderful musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in Japan and China,” said DSO Music Director Leonard Slatkin. “The DSO’s webcast series has engaged a global online audience for six years, and we are now eager to play live for many people who have become fans by watching us on their screens. We are proud of our reputation as a bold and forward-thinking orchestra, and we will always aim to be friendly and engaged with all of our audiences, both at home and abroad, while maintaining the utmost artistic excellence.”  

“Music is a universal language that inspires collaboration,” said DSO President and CEO Anne Parsons. “With this tour, the DSO is providing unique opportunities for partnership and intersection between the arts, tourism, business, community, and education sectors. The DSO is particularly honored to bring the positive message of Michigan as a premier destination for creative and business achievement, and we hope that this tour stimulates ongoing exchange and cooperation between the great city of Detroit and all the communities where we perform. We thank our tour sponsors for their engagement and support of this vision.”

Lead support for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Asia Tour 2017 is provided by the William Davidson Foundation and Ford Motor Company and Ford Motor Company Fund.

Major support is provided by General Motors, Princeton Management and Lamont Street Partners, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, and Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

Friend support is provided by Little Caesars Enterprises, Inc., Toyota, Shinola, The Applebaum Family Foundation, Deloitte, Lear, Oakland County Economic Development Corporation, Aisin Group, Delphi Automotive, and Denso. Community support is provided by the Barbara Frankel and Ronald Michalak, Detroit Chinese Business Association, Japan Business Society of Detroit, Michigan China Innovation Center, and Michigan State University.

“Bill Davidson was a long-time supporter of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He wanted the orchestra to travel and represent the best of Michigan and its cultural institutions,” says Ralph J. Gerson, a member of the William Davidson Foundation’s executive committee and an officer of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. “In keeping with his vision, the William Davidson Foundation is pleased to support the symphony’s tour of Asia. China and Japan are of increasing importance to our community, economically and culturally. We are delighted residents of these countries will have the opportunity to enjoy our outstanding symphony just as we do.”

“The DSO is more than a collection of talented musicians. They are cultural ambassadors for our entire region,” said Jim Vella, President, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. “We are proud to build on our long history of supporting the orchestra by enabling new audiences to share in the joy of a DSO performance.”

“As longstanding supporters of the DSO, we know firsthand of the rich cultural history the orchestra shares with its audiences and we’re proud to once again help expand the audience abroad,” said Jackie Parker, Director of Corporate Giving, General Motors.

The DSO is grateful for the leadership of its Board of Directors on Asia Tour 2017, in particular Chairman Mark A. Davidoff and Asia Tour Chairman Arthur C. (Bud) Liebler. The DSO would also like to thank additional leadership from its Asia Tour Steering Committee: Consul General Mitsuhiro Wada and Public Relations Officer Mizuki Eguchi of the Consulate-General of Japan in Detroit; Consul General Hong Lei and Consul for Cultural Affairs Min Zhang of the Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in Chicago; Milan Stevanovich, Vice President, Global Strategy, of the Detroit China Business Association; Jerry Xu, President of the Detroit Chinese Learning Foundation; Takashi Omitsu, Corporate Executive Advisor for IMRA; Jim Forger, Dean of the College of Music at Michigan State University; Brian Connors, Executive Director of the Michigan-China Innovation Center; Shirley Young of Shirley Young Associates, LLC, and senior adviser to General Motors Asia Pacific; John Bracey, Executive Director of the State of Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs; and Ralph Gerson, Board Member, William Davidson Foundation.

The DSO thanks its tour organizers for their ongoing guidance: Masahide Kajimoto, Sylvie Bouchard, Uliana Khamkheeva, and Jörn Tews at Kajimoto Music for Japan and June Shillman and Black Cats Production Company for China.

DSO Asia Tour 2017

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra will launch its Asia Tour 2017 with a free hometown send-off concert in Orchestra Hall on Sunday, July 9 at 3 p.m. to say thank you to its supporters and fans in the Detroit community. The performance, led by Music Director Leonard Slatkin, will feature repertoire to be performed on the tour: Cindy McTee’s Double Play, Korngold’s Violin Concerto with guest soloist Akiko Suwanai, and Copland’s Symphony No. 3 (recently released as a recording with the composer’s Three Latin American Sketches on the Naxos label).

The July 9 send-off concert will also be webcast for free via the DSO’s Live from Orchestra Hall series presented by the Ford Motor Company Fund and made possible by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. DSO fans can view the webcasts anywhere, on any device, at dso.org/live.

The DSO will then depart from Detroit Metro Airport on Tuesday, July 11, arriving in Tokyo, Japan the following day. While in Japan, the DSO will perform at Seitoku University in Chiba on July 14, Toyota City on July 15, and Osaka on July 16. The DSO then returns to Tokyo for a concert on July 17 and performance as part of the International Music Festival NIPPON on July 19. The Japan leg of the DSO’s tour concludes in Fukui on July 20. Guest soloists in Japan will be pianist Makoto Ozone and violinist Akiko Suwanai.

The DSO will then fly from Japan to China for five concerts, performing in Suzhou on July 22, Wuhan on July 23, Changsha on July 25, and Chongqing on July 27, before concluding the tour with a performance in Shanghai at the Oriental Arts Center on July 29. The guest soloist in China be cellist Trey Lee. The DSO will return to Detroit from Shanghai on Sunday, July 30.

Music to be performed on tour will include several American works that Slatkin and the DSO have highlighted in recent seasons. Full repertoire for the concerts in Japan will be: Copland’s Symphony No. 3, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue (featuring Ozone), Korngold’s Violin Concerto and Takemitsu’s Far calls, coming far! (both featuring Suwanai), Barber’s Adagio for Strings, Bernstein’s Candide Overture, and Cindy McTee’s Double Play. In China, repertoire will be Chinese composer Wang Liping’s The Dream of the Red Chamber Capriccio for Cello and Orchestra (arr. Alfred Wong and Trey Lee, with Lee as soloist), as well as Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 and Bernstein’s Candide Overture. See below for complete programs.

Follow the DSO on tour throughout the month on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, using #DSOAsia2017.

About Leonard Slatkin

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

During the 2016-17 season—in addition to his regular duties in Detroit and Lyon—he returned to Pittsburgh and St. Louis, toured the U.S. and Europe with the ONL, conducted overseas with the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, Verdi Orchestra in Milan, and San Carlo Theatre Orchestra in Naples, and served as chairman of the jury and conductor of the 2017 Cliburn Competition.

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 Brahms, 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 Decoration of Honor in Silver, the League of American Orchestras’ Gold Baton Award, and the 2013 ASCAP Deems Taylor Special Recognition Award for his book, Conducting Business.

Slatkin has conducted virtually all of the leading orchestras in the world. As Music Director, he has held posts with 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. For more information, visit leonardslatkin.com.

About the Soloists

Praised by The Times (London) for her “noble playing, with its rhythmic life, taut and rigorous,” Japanese violinist Akiko Suwanai is the youngest ever winner of the International Tchaikovsky Competition and now enjoys a prestigious international career. Universally acclaimed for her performances of key works for the violin from composers such as Tchaikovsky, Brahms, and Mendelssohn, Suwanai is also noted for the breadth of her repertoire, ranging from Bach to contemporary works. She gave the world premiere of Peter Eötvös' Violin Concerto Seven, written for her, at the Lucerne Festival under Pierre Boulez in 2007 and since then has performed this signature work on numerous occasions across the globe. Suwanai also gave the Japan premiere of James MacMillan’s Violin Concerto with the NHK Symphony Orchestra in 2012.

Suwanai is Artistic Director of the International Music Festival NIPPON, which she launched in 2012. Past Festival highlights include Karol Beffa’s Violin Concerto with Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and Paavo Järvi and the world premiere of Eric Tanguy’s In a Dream with pianist Akira Eguchi—both works commissioned by the Festival—and the Japanese premiere of Salonen’s Violin Concerto with the Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by the composer.  The Festival also offers chamber music, master classes, and charity concerts in aid of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Brought up in a musical rich environment, Makoto Ozone taught himself organ at a very young age. He first appeared on TV at the age of six and was performing regularly on Osaka Mainichi Broadcasting. Ozone turned his attention towards jazz piano at the age of twelve after attending an Oscar Peterson concert. He moved to the U.S. in 1980 to study jazz composition and arranging at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. In 1983, Ozone graduated at the top of his class and gave a solo recital at Carnegie Hall, and he became the first Japanese musician to sign an exclusive contract with CBS. 

In 1983, Ozone joined vibraphonist Gary Burton's quartet and has since toured the world extensively with them. In addition to composing for and playing with Burton, Ozone has also worked with many other top international jazz musicians including Chick Corea, Branford Marsalis, and Ellis Marsalis. In 2004, he formed the No Name Horses big band in Japan with which he has performed in France, Austria, the U.S., the UK, Singapore, and Japan. In recent years, Ozone has been performing works from the classical music repertoire, including concertos by Gershwin, Bernstein, Mozart, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, and Shostakovich. In addition to his performing career, Ozone hosts a popular jazz music radio program and writes music for live theater and TV.

Hailed a “miracle” by Gramophone magazine, Trey Lee enthralls audiences with his virtuosity that combines intellectual sophistication with emotional depth and sensitivity. His concerto debut at Carnegie Hall won him a standing ovation, with The New York Times declaring him “the excellent cellist… with enveloping richness and lyrical sensitivity.” Lee collaborates with esteemed conductors, composers, and orchestras worldwide and is often invited as a featured artist at major events around the world, such as the launch of The IMAGINE Project to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child; a concert initiated by United Nations Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon alongside Maestro Lu Jia, composer Tan Dun, and coloratura soprano Sumi Jo; and Phoenix Television’s global live broadcast concert with the China Symphony Orchestra at the Beijing National Center for Performing Arts.

Born in Hong Kong, Lee attended Juilliard’s Pre-College Division, Harvard University (where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics), the New England Conservatory, Madrid’s Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofia, and the Cologne Musikhochschule. He has founded two music festivals in Asia: the Musicus Fest and Hong Kong International Chamber Music Festival. An advocate of Chinese music and culture, Lee is Artistic Director of Musicus Society, which aims to promote Chinese culture internationally and through cross-cultural collaboration. He gave the world premiere of Bright Sheng’s latest cello concerto, The Blazing Mirage, inspired by Dunhuang, one of China’s foremost cultural treasures. In addition, Lee has re-arranged and co-composed The Dream of the Red Chamber Suite, based on an original score by Wang Liping about the epic Chinese literary masterpiece, and premiered it with the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra. 

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 ardent commitment to Detroit. As a community-supported orchestra, generous giving by individuals and institutions at all levels drives the continued success and growth of the institution. Esteemed conductor Leonard Slatkin, called “America’s Music Director” by the Los Angeles Times, became the DSO’s 12th Music Director, endowed by the Kresge Foundation, in 2008. 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. With growing attendance and unwavering philanthropic support from the Detroit community, the DSO’s performance schedule includes Classical, Pops, Jazz, Young People’s, and Neighborhood concerts, and collaborations with high profile artists from Steven Spielberg 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, which now reaches tens of thousands of children with the new Classroom Edition expansion. Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, one of America’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, the DSO actively pursues a mission to embrace and inspire individuals, families, and communities through unsurpassed musical experiences. For more information visit dso.org.


Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Leonard Slatkin, Music Director and Conductor

Sunday, July 9 at 3 p.m.


Akiko Suwanai, violin

Cindy McTee Double Play

Korngold Violin Concerto

Copland Symphony No. 3

Akiko Suwanai’s performance is presented in collaboration with the International Music Festival NIPPON, in Japan, of which Ms. Suwanai is the Artistic Director. The Festival is kindly supported by Toyota Industries Corporation, Toyota Motor Corporation, Toyota Tsusho Corporation, and Aisin Seiki Co. Ltd.

Free tickets for the send-off concert can be reserved at dso.org, by calling (313) 576-5111, or in person at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center (3711 Woodward Avenue, Detroit).



Bernstein’s Candide Overture, Cindy McTee’s Double Play, Barber’s Adagio for Strings, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, Copland’s Symphony No. 3, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue (Makoto Ozone, piano), Takemitsu’s Far calls, coming far! and Korngold’s Violin Concerto (Akiko Suwanai, violin)

Friday, July 14 at 6:15 p.m.  


Makoto Ozone, piano

Bernstein, McTee, Gershwin, Tchaikovsky

Saturday, July 15 at 4 p.m.

CONCERT 2: TOYOTA CITY (Toyota City Concert Hall)

Makoto Ozone, piano

Bernstein, Barber, Gershwin, Copland

Sunday, July 16 at 3 p.m.

CONCERT 3: OSAKA (The Symphony Hall)

Makoto Ozone, piano

Bernstein, McTee, Gershwin, Tchaikovsky

Monday, July 17 at 3 p.m.

CONCERT 4: TOKYO (Bunkyo Civic Hall)

Makoto Ozone, piano

Bernstein, Barber, Gershwin, Copland

Wednesday, July 19 at 7 p.m.


Akiko Suwanai, violin

Takemitsu, Korngold, Tchaikovsky

Thursday, July 20 at 7 p.m.

CONCERT 6: FUKUI (Harmony Hall Fukui)

Makoto Ozone, piano

Bernstein, Barber, Gershwin, Copland



All: Bernstein’s Candide Overture, Wang Liping’s The Dream of the Red Chamber Capriccio for Cello and Orchestra (arr. Alfred Wong and Trey Lee) (Trey Lee, cello), Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4

Saturday, July 22 at 7:30 p.m.

Concert 7: SUZHOU (Suzhou Poly Grand Theatre)

Sunday, July 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Concert 8: WUHAN (Qintai Concert Hall)

Tuesday, July 25 at 7:30 p.m.

Concert 9: CHANGSHA (Changsha Concert Hall)

Thursday, July 27 at 7:30 p.m.

Concert 10: CHONGQING (Shi Guangnan Grand Theatre)

Saturday, July 29 at 7:30 p.m.

Concert 11: SHANGHAI (Shanghai Oriental Arts Center)


For Press Inquiries, please contact:

Ben Breuninger
Public Relations Coordinator
bbreuninger@dso.org | 313.576.5196