<May 2019>

Brahms Fest logo

February 11 - 28, 2016

Experience 4 symphonies, 2 piano concertos, 2 serenades & much more in our 3-week Brahms Festival celebration!

Click here for the full series package, or shop for individual concerts below!

Schedule & Tickets

Week 1: Classical Series

Baiba SkrideViolin Concerto

Thursday, Feb. 11 at 7:30 PM
Friday, Feb. 12 at 8 PM

Leonard Slatkinconductor
Baiba Skrideviolin

Brahms  3 Hungarian Dances
Brahms  Violin Concerto
Brahms  Symphony No. 4
» Tickets/ Pre-concert lecture info 

Live webcast Friday, Feb. 12 at
8 PM EST on dso.org/live

Danjulo IshizakaThird Symphony

Saturday, Feb. 13 at 8 PM
Sunday, Feb. 14 at 3 PM

Leonard Slatkinconductor
Baiba Skrideviolin
Danjulo Ishizakacello

Brahms  Tragic Overture
Brahms  Double Concerto
Brahms  Symphony No. 3
» Tickets/ Pre-concert lecture info 
» Pre-concert Valentine's bonus event! 

Live webcast Sunday, Feb. 14 at
3 PM EST on dso.org/live

Week 2: Mix @ The Max, Classical Series
& Om @ The Max

Jan SwaffordLecture: Brahms Contemporaries

Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 6 PM
at the Detroit Historical Museum

Official Brahms Festival Scholar Jan Swafford will give a lecture on Brahms and those friends on whom he lent great influence and vice versa, including Georg Henschel, who was a friend and protégé and the first conductor of the Boston Symphony. A rarely discussed topic, Henschel consulted with Brahms a good deal when he took the job in Boston.

Guests may browse the museum collection following the talk.
» This event is free and open to the public!

BrahmsBrahms, Beards & Burlesque

Thursday, Feb. 18...
6 PM - Mix. Mingle. Eat. Drink.
7 PM - Music. Dancing. Whiskers.

Mix @ The Max pays homage to Brahms’ humble beginnings as a bordello pianist with an evening featuring artists from the Michigan Burlesque Festival, old-timey jazz stylings by the Detroit Pleasure Society and a beard contest inspired by Johannes Brahms’ righteous whiskers.

$15 general admission; $50 VIP SOLD OUT; $50 beard contest entry
» Tickets Info/ Contest registration

Leonard SlatkinFirst Symphony

Friday, Feb. 19 at 10:45 AM
Friday, Feb. 19 at 8 PM

Leonard Slatkinconductor

Brahms  Academic Festival Overture
Brahms  Serenade No. 2
Brahms  Symphony No. 1
» Tickets/ Pre-concert lecture info 

Live webcast Friday, Feb. 19 at
8 PM EST on dso.org/live

Leonard SlatkinSecond Symphony

Saturday, Feb. 20 at 8 PM
Sunday, Feb. 21 at 3 PM

Leonard Slatkinconductor

Brahms  Serenade No. 1
Brahms  Symphony No. 2
» Tickets/ Pre-concert lecture info  

Live webcast Sunday, Feb. 21 at
3 PM EST on dso.org/live

Om @ The MaxOm @ The Max

Sunday, Feb. 21 at 11 AM

Certified yoga instructor and DSO Librarian Ethan Allen leads a group yoga session open to all skill levels while accompanied by Brahms' chamber music (including his famous lullaby) performed live by members of the DSO.
» Tickets


Week 3: Classical Series

Johanna YarbroughChamber Recital

Monday, Feb. 22 at 7 PM
Steinway Gallery of Detroit

Rachel Klaus, violin
Una O'Riordan, cello
Rebecca Mayer, piano
Johanna Yarbrough, horn
Adrienne Ronmark, violin
Pauline Martin, piano
Yoonshin Song, violin
Zhihua Tang, piano

Brahms Piano Trio No. 2 in C Major
Brahms Horn Trio in E-Flat Major
Brahms Violin Sonata No. 2 in A Major
» Tickets

David LeDouxChamber Recital

Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 7 PM
1st Christian Reformed Church 

Adrienne Ronmark, violin
Rachel Klaus, violin
Hang Su, viola
Peter McCaffrey, cello
Jing Zhang, violin
Sheryl Hwangbo,violin
James Van Valkenburg, viola
Caroline Coade, viola
David LeDoux, cello

Brahms String Quartet No. 1 in C Minor
Brahms String Quintet No. 2 in G Major
» Tickets

Helene GrimaudPiano Concerto No. 1

Thursday, Feb. 25 at 7:30 PM
Friday, Feb. 26 at 10:45 AM

Leonard Slatkinconductor
Hélène Grimaudpiano

Brahms  (ARR. SCHOENBERG) Piano Quartet in G minor
Brahms  Piano Concerto No. 1 
» Tickets/ Pre-concert lecture info

Live webcast Friday, Feb. 26 at
10:45 AM EST on dso.org/live

Ralph SkianoPiano Concerto No. 2

Saturday, Feb. 27 at 8 PM
Sunday, Feb. 28 at 3 PM

Leonard Slatkinconductor
Ralph Skianoclarinet
Hélène Grimaudpiano

Brahms  Variations on a Theme by Haydn
Brahms  (ARR. BERIO) Sonata for Clarinet and Orchestra
Brahms  Piano Concerto No. 2
» Tickets/ Pre-concert event info/ Saturday bonus 

Live webcast Sunday, Feb. 28 at
3 pm EST on dso.org/live

Our Community Partners

Brahms Fest Community Partners

Our Community Partners

Brahms Fest Community Partners

Brahms silhouette

Meet the Red Hedgehogs of Brahms Fest!

Why the red hedgehog?

Zum Rote Igel, The Red Hedgehog, was Brahms' favorite pub and eatery in Vienna. He was seen there daily, and once puckishly described himself and his pub as "the two prickles." His devotion is captured in a silhouette of the time [at right] showing Brahms ambling along, cigar in mouth, with a little red hedgehog following behind.

Brahms Hedgehogs

Batch Brewing logo

What We're Serving

The DSO’s in-house restaurant, Paradise Lounge, will take on a new identity during the festival. Named for the Viennese eatery where Brahms notoriously consumed every single meal, The Red Hedgehog will serve cuisine inspired by his German heritage and career in Vienna. Craft beer made especially for the festival by Detroit-based Batch Brewing Co. will accompany each Red Hedgehog menu, and will be available at all concessions. Keepsake mugs are available for a discounted price with each 750 mL bottle purchased! See our Brahms-inspired menus below!
February 11 - 18 (opens in new window)
February 19 - 27 (opens in new window)

Brahms Scholar Jan Swafford

Jan Swafford

About Jan Swafford

Jan Swafford's music has been played around the country and abroad by ensembles including the symphonies of St. Louis, Indianapolis, and the Dutch Radio; Boston's new-music groups Musica Viva, Collage, and Dinosaur Annex; and chamber ensembles including the Peabody Trio, the Chamber Orchestra of Tennessee, and the Scott Chamber Players of Indianapolis.

Over the years his music has evolved steadily, but in all its avatars his work is forthrightly expressive, individual in voice, and steadily concerned with lucidity of texture and form. Beneath the surface there are contributions from world music, especially Indian and Balinese, and from jazz and blues. The titles of his works—including Landscape with Traveler, From the Shadow of the Mountain, and The Silence at Yuma Point—reveal a steady inspiration from nature. Swafford views his work as a kind of classicism: a concern with clarity and directness, pieces that seem familiar though they are new, that aspire to sound like they wrote themselves.

Also a well-known writer on music, Swafford is author of biographies of Ives, Brahms, and Beethoven. His journalism appears regularly in Slate. He is a long-time program writer and preconcert lecturer for the Boston Symphony and has written notes and essays for the orchestras of Cleveland, Chicago, San Francisco, and Toronto. Visit janswafford.com to view the composer's full biography. 

Our Community Partners

Brahms Fest Community Partners