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Newsroom

DSO RENAMES FACILITY FOR LONG-TIME SUPPORTER

The Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center is home to DSO, community partners, special events, more

DETROIT, (July 9, 2015) – In recognition of a lifetime of support to the organization, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) is honored to add local philanthropist Marjorie S. Fisher’s name to its home at the Max M. Fisher Music Center. The performance and community center at 3711 Woodward Avenue, home to historic Orchestra Hall, The Music Box, Robert A. and Maggie Allesee Rehearsal Hall and Jacob Bernard Pincus Music Education Center, shall now be known as the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center.

Members of the DSO community will gather with members of the Fisher family to officially unveil the new signage on Woodward Ave. during a ceremony at 6 p.m.

“Max Fisher famously challenged us as we envisioned our Woodward Avenue redevelopment and expansion of Orchestra Hall; he said ‘you aren’t thinking big enough,’” said Anne Parsons, President and CEO. “These words gave birth to our most significant project since the building of Orchestra Hall nearly 100 years ago. Today, Mrs. Fisher has dedicated her generosity to nurturing the DSO’s soul: our wide-ranging programs, tours, concerts, and education initiatives. Her support of the talented men and women of the DSO has enabled our musicians to make a difference in our community.”

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

“The DSO is a beacon of hope and renewal for our entire community,” said Mrs. Fisher. “I feel privileged to continue our family's tradition of supporting the exceptionally talented musicians and dedicated staff alongside so many wonderful donors throughout our region to ensure the legacy of this outstanding organization continues for generations to come.”

Since its opening in 2003, The Max has welcomed an estimated 3.2 million visitors to be transformed through symphonic performances in Orchestra Hall, to be inspired by new ideas and modern art forms shared in The Music Box, and to ignite a love of music making within metro Detroit’s youth at the Pincus Music Education Center. Above and beyond artistic pursuits, the campus was imagined as a vessel adaptable to the industries that sustain the region and the individuals who build their lives here. The premiere destination for events that define Detroit’s cultural landscape, The Max proudly hosts the annual Sphinx Competition, offers incubation office and rehearsal space to young organizations, and partners with Wayne State University and other area institutions for higher education to provide a world-class facility in which student musicians can hone their craft. As The Max’s 15thanniversary approaches in 2018 and Orchestra Hall’s centennial in 2019 draws near, the DSO envisions a future for the music center in which the lights are always glowing on the Woodward corridor, and all of its three performance spaces are continually bursting with life.

“The Max was an early catalyst for the surge in growth we are now witnessing in Midtown,” said Mark Davidoff, DSO Vice Chairman. “Thanks to the vision and commitment of the Fishers, a new generation of Detroiters knows The Max as a community gathering place and one of the cultural jewels of our great City that will serve as a beacon on Woodard Avenue for generations to come.”

The Orchestra Place campus, which includes The Max, the Orchestra Place Office Building, the Detroit School of Arts and the parking deck on Parsons Street was conceived as a cultural center with many goals:

  • Preserve and expand the purpose of historic Orchestra Hall as well as the orchestra who calls it home
  • Awaken the Woodward Corridor and the Midtown neighborhood through education and inspiration
  • Gather friends, families and world-class artists from all cultures, all faiths, all walks of life to celebrate the arts
  • Educate area youth through both music education and exposure to cultural enrichment
  • Create world-class artistic experiences
  • Collaborate with artists and smaller arts organizations to increase their visibility and reach new audiences
  • Inspire millions of music lovers in Detroit, Michigan and now the world

“Whenever we walk into our performing facility, all of us are reminded of how fortunate we are to be able to make music in such a miraculous space,” said Music Director Leonard Slatkin. “By adding Marjorie’s name, we now have a number of musicians who, like myself, have spent time with this remarkable woman. All of us are honored to perform in the building which now bears her name.”

The Fisher family has also dedicated efforts to the DSO through serving as volunteer leaders. Mr. and Mrs. Fisher’s son Phillip Wm. Fisher joined the board of directors in 2009 and was named chairman in 2012; his ongoing tenure is marked by two consecutive years of balanced budgets. Their son-in-law Peter D. Cummings joined the board of directors in 1992 and served as Chairman from 1998-2003, during which time The Max was built. Their daughter Jane Sherman, Vice Chair of the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation, joined the board of directors in 2005 and was elected to the board of trustees in 2013.

In its 12 years as a cultural anchor in Midtown, the following partners have in varying capacities called The Max home:

Assemble, Automotive News Awards, Cass Community Methodist Church, Chaldean Chamber of Commerce, Chamber Music Society of Detroit, Cody/ Graduation, CultureSource, Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings,  Detrioit Medical Center, Detroit Children's Choir, Detroit School of Arts, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, DLECTRICITY, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford Freedom Awards, Ford Motor Company, Forward Cities/Friends of New Orleans, General Motors, Gilda's Club, Henry Ford Academy, Henry Ford Health System, Invest Detroit Foundation,  James Tatum Concert, JARC, Kadima, Karmanos, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Lawrence Tech, March of Dimes, Maxim Magazine, Midtown Detroit, Inc., MMSDC Annual Celebration, Neighborhood Legal Services, New City Presbyterian Church, Noel Night, Oakland Symphony, Palace Entertainment, Raymond James, Ronald McDonald House, SAY Detroit, Schaeffler Group, Sphinx Organization, St. John Armenian Church, Suzuki Royal Oak, Teach for America, Teen Hype, The Future Project, The Youth Connection, Cooking for Kids , TIFF Advisory Services, Tilman Concert, Tuesday Musicale of Detroit, University of Michigan, U of M Black Alumni, WJR, Wayne State University, Yoga Shelter Midtown Detroit and countless others.

About Marjorie S. Fisher

From their first date at the London Chop House in Detroit, Marjorie and Max were partners in life, love, family and philanthropy. Married for 52 years, Marjorie was a quiet partner in the family's giving. She would often encourage Max in critical moments of decision saying “We have to give more.”

Born November 5, 1923 in Louisville, Kentucky, Marjorie Switow Fisher has spent her life nurturing her family and teaching the growing generations, in her words, "You are here for a reason: to help other people. Everything in life is based on love and what you can do to help others. The rest is just cream - sometimes sour cream - but it's all cream.”

After Max's death in 2005 and the creation of the permanent endowment to fuel the Foundation, Marjorie assumed the role of Founding Chair. For nearly six years she led quietly while her five children crafted the organization's values, vision, mission and initial grant partnerships. During her tenure as Chair, the Foundation committed more than $70 million in grants with nearly 50 partners on three continents and became recognized within the philanthropic sector as an effective family foundation with heart.

Her belief in the next generation of the family led her to host the first ever Fisher family philanthropy retreat in 2010. Since then, all four generations of the family work together with grant partners to advance their shared mission.

Throughout her leadership of the Foundation, Marjorie infused the organization with her core belief in the importance of working together steadfastly committed to the mission while remaining flexible to allow for new insights and ideas to rise.

In 2011 Marjorie transitioned from the Founding Chair role to allow leadership to transfer to the next generation. Today Marjorie continues to be an active member of the Board while advancing her own philanthropic giving efforts, enjoying the company of close friends and loving her newest great grandchildren.

"All giving starts with your heart." Marjorie S. Fisher

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 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, 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 the newly updated dso.org or download the free DSO to Go mobile app.

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For Press Inquiries, please contact:

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