<February 2019>


Leonard Slatkin returns to Orchestra Hall stage, leading encore of Detroit Symphony Orchestra's "Heroes" Gala concert this past Saturday, June 23

Event honored Slatkin and Penny and Harold Blumenstein and raised nearly $1.2 million for the DSO’s education and community engagement programs

Detroit, (June 25, 2018) – This past Saturday, June 23, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) was thrilled to welcome back its Music Director Leonard Slatkin, who conducted the encore at its annual Heroes Gala concert. Slatkin, conducting for the first time since undergoing triple bypass heart surgery on May 8, led the orchestra in his father Felix Slatkin’s country-and-western style arrangement of music by Bizet entitled Carmen’s Hoe-Down. The DSO recently concluded Leonard Slatkin’s tenth and final season as music director before he becomes music director laureate next season.  

Earlier in the evening, Slatkin and longtime DSO supporters Penny and Harold Blumenstein received the DSO’s 2018 Heroes Award, which each year is given to those who have greatly impacted the vision and values of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. The gala, attended by 250 guests, raised nearly $1.2 million to support the DSO’s education and community engagement programs, which serve students, teachers, families, and adults across Southeast Michigan and around the world through Classroom Edition webcasts.

Prior to enjoying a post-concert dinner in the Peter D. and Julie F. Cummings Cube, guests were treated to a performance by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and conductor Teddy Abrams, music director of the Louisville Orchestra and former DSO assistant conductor. Highlights included a surprise appearance by Leonard Slatkin’s son, composer Daniel Slatkin, who guest conducted the DSO in the world premiere of his new work, In Fields, written in honor of his father; a tribute to the Blumensteins for their longtime support of the DSO, including the recent Penny and Harold Blumenstein Future Audiences Fund, which provided for $1 tickets to any student and teacher in Detroit to attend the orchestra’s Educational Concert Series; and performances by special guests vocalist Storm Large and pianist Michel Camilo.

Showcasing the DSO’s and the honorees’ commitment to supporting the next generation, five musicians from the Detroit Symphony Youth Orchestra (DSYO) performed side-by-side with the DSO, and 18-year-old cellist Joshua McClendon, a former member of the DSYO and incoming freshman at The Juilliard School, played the third movement from Haydn’s C major Cello Concerto (H.VIIb:1). 

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