<March 2018>


DSO to honor Penny and Harold Blumenstein and Leonard Slatkin at eighth annual Heroes Gala

Proceeds from the gala will support DSO’s commitment to transforming the lives of young people through music education

Detroit, (March 2, 2018) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) today announced that it will honor philanthropists Penny and Harold Blumenstein and Music Director Leonard Slatkin at its eighth annual Heroes Gala on Saturday, June 23, 2018.

Penny and Harold Blumenstein have been DSO supporters for decades, and the transformational Penny and Harold Blumenstein Future Audiences Fund makes it possible for students, teachers, and chaperones at any school within Detroit city limits to attend DSO Educational Concert Series performances for just $1. Penny remembers attending DSO performances when she herself was a student in Detroit public schools, and the Blumensteins’ generosity enables classical music to continue to be a part of Detroit children’s lives. Penny Blumenstein was a member of the DSO Board of Directors beginning in 2002 and became a Board of Trustees member in 2013.

Leonard Slatkin, in his tenth and final season as DSO Music Director, has energetically helmed the orchestra as it entered a new era of artistic excellence and international prominence. 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, and the Soundcard student ticket program. During Slatkin’s tenure, the DSO has also released acclaimed and Grammy-nominated recordings, embarked on an historic tour of Japan and China, played Carnegie Hall, expanded the orchestra’s educational offerings, and strengthened its community engagement and connection with audiences.

In December 2017, Slatkin and his wife Cindy McTee established the Cindy and Leonard Slatkin Emerging Artists Fund, a $100,000 commitment to the DSO endowment that will provide support for up-and-coming artists to perform with the orchestra each season. After the 2017-2018 Season, Slatkin will continue to advise on all artistic matters in the new role of Music Director Laureate.

Proceeds from the eighth annual Heroes Gala will support the DSO’s commitment to transforming the lives of young people through music education. Guest artists and program will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Heroes Gala celebration will include red carpet arrivals and cocktails, a concert by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and a formal dinner and afterparty to follow, all to take place at the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center. Concert-only tickets will also be available.

Additional details about ticketing, sponsorships, and more will be announced at a later date.

The DSO founded the Heroes Gala in 2010 in honor of the remarkable men and women who impact the vision, values, and success of the organization. Previous honorees are:

2010: Jim Nicholson, President and CEO of PVS Chemicals Inc.

2012: Lloyd Reuss, former President of the General Motors Corp

2013: Barbara Van Dusen, beloved supporter of the arts in Detroit

2014: Dan Gilbert, Founder and Chairman of Rock Ventures together with Matt Cullen, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rock Ventures LLC

2015: The Davidson/Gerson Family, prolific Detroit philanthropists and supporters of the DSO’s William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series

2016: John and Marlene Boll, proud supporters of the DSO and countless institutions and causes across metro Detroit and beyond

2017: Mandell and Madeleine (Bill and Madge) Berman, each longtime DSO board members and steadfast supporters of the orchestra’s education programs

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