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Jader Conducts Stravinsky's Firebird

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Jader Conducts Stravinsky's Firebird

Thursday, March 30—Saturday, April 1, 2023

Thursday, March 30—Saturday, April 1, 2023
Orchestra Hall
2 hours

Stravinsky’s Firebird, awash in orchestral colors, crackles with wild rhythms and an iridescent finale. Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers commissioned Arturo Márquez—one of today’s leading Mexican composers—to write Fandango, a mariachi-inspired concerto, for which he drew on his childhood immersion in that style (his father was a mariachi musician). Inspired by a visit to a ballroom in Veracruz, Márquez’s Danzón No. 2 sways with animated dance rhythms. The program opens with a dramatic selection from Khachaturian’s ballet about the gladiator who led a slave uprising in ancient Rome.


Adagio from Spartacus
Danzón No. 2
Suite from The Firebird


Jader Bignamini


Jader Bignamini was introduced as the 18th music director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in January 2020, commencing with the 2020–2021 season. His infectious passion and artistic excellence set the tone for the seasons ahead, creating extraordinary music and establishing a close relationship with the orchestra. A jazz aficionado, he has immersed himself in Detroit’s rich jazz culture and the influences of American music.

In December, Bignamini returned to Detroit to lead a triumphant performance of Jessie Montgomery’s Starburst, Strauss’s Concerto for Oboe and Small Orchestra, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, “Eroica.” He returned again in May 2021 to conduct four programs including performances with violinist Midori and pianist Orli Shaham.

A native of Crema, Italy, Bignamini studied at the Piacenza Music Conservatory and began his career as a musician (clarinet) with Orchestra Sinfonica La Verdi in Milan, later serving as the group’s resident conductor. Captivated by the operatic arias of legends like Mahler and Tchaikovsky, Jader explored their complexity and power, puzzling out the role that each instrument played in creating a larger-than-life sound. When he conducted his first professional concert at the age of 28, it didn’t feel like a departure, but an arrival.

In the years since, Bignamini has conducted some of the world’s most acclaimed orchestras and opera companies in venues across the globe including working with Riccardo Chailly on concerts of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony in 2013 and his concert debut at La Scala in 2015 for the opening season of La Verdi Orchestra. Recent highlights include debuts with the Houston, Dallas, and Minnesota symphonies; Osaka Philharmonic and Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo; with the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna State Opera, and Dutch National Opera (Madama Butterfly); Bayerische Staatsoper (La Traviata); I Puritani in Montpellier for the Festival of Radio France; Traviata in Tokyo directed by Sofia Coppola; return engagements with Oper Frankfurt (La forza del destino) and Santa Fe Opera (La Bohème); Manon Lescaut at the Bolshoi; Traviata, Madama Butterfly, and Turandot at Arena of Verona; Il Trovatoreand Aida at Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera; Madama Butterfly, I Puritani, and Manon Lescaut at Teatro Massimo in Palermo; Simon Boccanegra and La Forza del Destino at the Verdi Festival in Parma; Ciro in Babilonia at Rossini Opera Festival and La Bohème, Madama Butterfly, and Elisir d’amore at La Fenice in Venice.

When Bignamini leads an orchestra in symphonic repertoire, he conducts without a score, preferring to make direct eye contact with the musicians. He conducts from the heart, forging a profound connection with his musicians that shines through both onstage and off. He both embodies and exudes the excellence and enthusiasm that has long distinguished the DSO’s artistry.

Anne Akiko Meyers

Anne Akiko Meyers has enraptured audiences around the world for decades.  Regularly performing on the leading stages, Anne has collaborated with many of today’s most important composers, resulting in significant works for the violin. She has made close to 40 recordings, many of them debuting at #1 on the Billboard charts, which are staples of classical music radio stations and streaming platforms. 

A champion of living composers, Meyers has inspired and regularly collaborates with composers including Mason Bates, Jakub Ciupiński, John Corigliano, Michael Daugherty, Jennifer Higdon, Samuel Jones, Morten Lauridsen, Arturo Márquez, Wynton Marsalis, Akira Miyoshi, Arvo Pärt, Gene Pritsker, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Somei Satoh, Adam Schoenberg, and Joseph Schwantner. 

Anne’s recent and upcoming premieres include Fandango by Arturo Márquez with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic; cadenzas by John Corigliano for the Beethoven Violin Concerto with Keith Lockhart at the Brevard Music Festival; and Michael Daugherty’s Blue Electra about Amelia Earhart with Gianandrea Noseda and the National Symphony, at the Kennedy Center.

Anne is highly acclaimed as a television and recording artist who was the top-selling traditional classical instrumental soloist of the year in 2014 and the only classical artist for NPR’s 100 best song list in 2017. John Williams personally chose Anne to perform Schindler’s List for a Great Performances PBS telecast and Arvo Pärt invited her to perform at the opening ceremony concerts of his new centre and concert hall in Estonia.

Outside of traditional classical, Anne has collaborated with a diverse array of artists including jazz icons Chris Botti and Wynton Marsalis; pop-era act, Il Divo; and singer, Michael Bolton. She has been featured in profiles or performances on The Tonight Show, CBS Sunday Morning, CBS’s “The Good Wife,” MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann, NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and has curated “Living American” on Sirius XM Radio’s Symphony Hall.

Anne performs on the Ex-Vieuxtemps Guarneri del Gesù, dated 1741, considered by many to be the finest sounding violin in existence. Please visit for more.

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Stravinsky Suite from "The Firebird" – Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Fabien Gabel (excerpt)

There is an old-world glamour to Ms. Akiko Meyers’s playing, with her high-gloss, singing sound and her liberal use of sighing slides from one note to another. ”

-The New York Times

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