<September 2018>


DSO Principal Viola Eric Nowlin and Principal Cello Wei Yu will be featured soloists for concerts conducted by Music Director Leonard Slatkin, October 20-21

Program includes music by Elgar and Berlioz, plus a DSO-commissioned world premiere by Loren Loiacono

Detroit, (October 10, 2017) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) continues the 2017-18 Classical Series with concerts conducted by Music Director Leonard Slatkin and spotlighting DSO musicians as featured soloists.

The program includes the world premiere of a DSO-commissioned new work by Loren Loiacono titled Smothered by Sky, Elgar’s Cello Concerto featuring Principal Cello Wei Yu (James C. Gordon Chair), and Berlioz’s Harold in Italy featuring Principal Viola Eric Nowlin (Julie and Ed Levy, Jr. Chair). 

The concerts take place Friday, October 20 at 10:45 a.m. and Saturday, October 21 at 8 p.m.  at Orchestra Hall, within Midtown Detroit’s Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center.

The Friday morning concert will be broadcast live by WRCJ 90.9 FM in Detroit and WKAR 90.5 FM in East Lansing. Listeners can also tune in at each station’s website: wrcjfm.org and wkar.org respectively.

The Saturday night concert will be webcast for free at dso.org/live and via Facebook Live, as part of the DSO’s groundbreaking Live from Orchestra Hall series. The series is presented by Ford Motor Company Fund and made possible by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

One hour prior to the Saturday night performance, patrons are invited to enjoy a pre-concert interview with Loren Loiacono on the Orchestra Hall stage.

Guests will also be able to purchase Slatkin’s new book, Leading Tones, and get their copies signed by the author after each concert.

The DSO Classical Series is generously sponsored by PVS Chemicals, Inc.


L-R: Music Director Leonard Slatkin, Principal Cello Wei Yu, Principal Viola Eric Nowlin. Click here to view hi-res versions of these images.

Leonard Slatkin’s 10th Anniversary with the DSO

The 2017-18 Season marks Leonard Slatkin’s tenth and final year as Music Director of the DSO before transitioning to the new role of Music Director Laureate. Maestro Slatkin’s commitment to new music, reaching audiences in new ways, and the American orchestral tradition has had a transformational effect on the DSO.

During Slatkin’s tenure, the DSO has released acclaimed recordings, embarked on an historic tour of Japan and China, played Carnegie Hall, expanded its educational offerings, and strengthened community engagement. United under the banner of being the most accessible orchestra in the world, Slatkin and the DSO have taken on new and groundbreaking initiatives, including the free webcast series Live from Orchestra Hall, the annual Winter Music Festival, the Soundcard student ticket program, and the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series, which brings orchestra concerts to Detroit’s surrounding communities.

Throughout 2017-18, the DSO performs some of Slatkin’s favorite works, from Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony in week one to Puccini’s magnificent opera Turandot in concert to conclude the season. The orchestra is also proud to present six world premiere DSO commissions by young composers, conducted by Slatkin. All six are former students of some of Slatkin’s closest musical colleagues and collaborators. “I wanted to continue to champion American composers, but in a different way,” says Slatkin. “Introducing these fresh, new voices to the orchestra and audience will give us a glimpse into what America’s concert music scene will look and sound like years from now.”

About Leonard Slatkin

In 2017-18, internationally acclaimed conductor Leonard Slatkin celebrates his tenth and final season as Music Director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) before transitioning to the new role of Music Director Laureate, and his first season in the new role of Directeur Musical Honoraire with the Orchestre National de Lyon (ONL). He also welcomes the publication of his second book, Leading Tones: Reflections on Music, Musicians, and the Music Industry, and serves as jury chairman of the Besançon International Competition for Young Conductors. His guest-con­ducting schedule includes engagements with the St. Louis Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Polish National Radio Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, and Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Recent career highlights include a three-week tour of Asia with the DSO; tours of the U.S. and Europe with the ONL; a winter Mozart Festival in Detroit; and engagements with the St. Louis Symphony, WDR Symphony Orchestra in Cologne, Verdi Orchestra in Milan, and San Carlo Theatre Orchestra in Naples. Moreover, he served as chairman of the jury and conductor of the 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano 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 debut book, Conducting Business.

Slatkin has conducted virtually all the leading orchestras in the world. As Music Director, he has held posts in New Orleans; St. Louis; Washington, DC; London (with the BBCSO); and Lyon, France. He has also served as Principal Guest Conductor in Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Cleveland. For more information, visit leonardslatkin.com.

About Wei Yu

Wei Yu made his DSO subscription debut in November 2015, performing Dvorak’s Cello Concerto under the baton of Leonard Slatkin. Before joining the DSO, Yu was a member of the New York Philharmonic for seven seasons.

An avid chamber musician, Yu has been invited to the Marlboro and Ravinia music festivals, and has collaborated with a wide range of musicians: cellist David Soyer, pianists Richard Goode and Menahem Pressler, violinists Midori and Pinchas Zukerman, and members of the Guarneri and Juilliard Quartets. As a member of the New York Philharmonic Ensembles, he makes regular appearances at Merkin Concert Hall.

In the summers of 1998 through 2000, Yu participated in the Morningside Music Bridge program at Mount Royal University in Calgary. He subsequently enrolled in the University’s Gifted Youth program under the tutelage of John Kadz and is currently on the faculty of the Morningside Music Bridge program. He has given cello master classes at universities and festivals in the United States, Canada and China.

Born in Shanghai, Yu began studying the cello at age 4 and made his concerto debut at age 11, performing Elgar’s Cello Concerto with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. He received his B.M. from North Park University in Chicago and M.M. from the Juilliard School. His principal teachers include Mei-Juan Liu, John Kadz, Hans Jørgen Jensen, and David Soyer. He performs on the 1778 “Ex-Soyer” Gagliano cello, on generous loan from the Marlboro Music Festival.

About Eric Nowlin

Eric Nowlin joined the DSO as Principal Viola at the beginning of the 2016-2017 Season. He previously served as Associate Principal Viola in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and is a member of the New Orford String Quartet, often regarded as Canada’s finest.

Nowlin has also served as a guest principal with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Cleveland’s Citymusic, and New York City's Metropolis Ensemble, and he played as an extra with the New York Philharmonic from 2005 to 2008.

Nowlin’s solo engagements include performances with the Juilliard Orchestra, Springfield Symphony, Santa Cruz Symphony, Peninsula Symphony, and the Kumamoto Symphony in Japan, as well as recitals in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto, and Mexico. He has participated in a variety of festivals, including the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont and the Steans Institute for Young Artists at Ravinia.

In addition to solo, chamber music, and orchestral performances, Nowlin enjoys teaching at a variety of institutions, including the University of Toronto, the Orford Arts Centre in Quebec, and the Phil and Eli Taylor Academy at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.

Nowlin was chosen as the recipient of a Rachel Elizabeth Barton Foundation Grant in 2004—an award intended for the advancement of young artist's performance careers. He received both undergraduate and graduate degrees from The Juilliard School, as a scholarship student of Samuel Rhodes.

Nowlin plays on a Neapolitan viola from 1910 made by Giovanni Pistucci.

Ticket Information

Tickets for Harold in Italy begin at $15 and can be purchased at dso.org, by calling (313) 576-5111, or in-person at the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center Box Office (3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit).

Groups of 10 or more can save up to 30% on the price of a single ticket for most DSO concerts. For more information, contact Group Sales Manager Jim Sabatella at (313) 576-5130 or jsabatella@dso.org.

Performance Details

Friday, October 20 at 10:45 a.m.

Saturday, October 21 at 8 p.m.

Orchestra Hall at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center

Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Wei Yu, cello

Eric Nowlin, viola


  Smothered by Sky (World Premiere)              


  Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85

  Wei Yu, cello


  Harold in Italy

  Eric Nowlin, viola      

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 Ben Folds and Lang Lang. In July 2017, the DSO embarked on its first international tour in 16 years, making its debut in China and first visit to Japan in 19 years. 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 also reaches tens of thousands of children with the 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 Press Inquiries, please contact:

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