Show artwork for Opening Night Gala with Yo-Yo Ma

Opening Night Gala with Yo-Yo Ma

{{ vm.availability_status }}
Buy Tickets

Opening Night Gala with Yo-Yo Ma

Saturday, September 30, 2023—7:00pm

Saturday, September 30, 2023—7:00pm
Orchestra Hall
2 hours
Tickets start at {{ vm.min_price_formatted }}

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma "doesn't make his music something to marvel at. He makes it a gift" (The Denver Post). The Opening Night Gala will be an unforgettable evening featuring one of the most acclaimed artists of our time performing with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Treat yourself to an evening complete with red carpet arrivals and photo op, a pre-concert cocktail reception, and a once-in-a-lifetime performance—all included in the price of the ticket.

Sponsorships and Gala tickets are available to purchase here.

Evening Schedule

5:00pm: Red carpet arrivals & Pre-concert reception (open to all concert and gala attendees)
William Davidson Atrium (All levels, 1-3)

7:00pm: Concert with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and special guest Yo-Yo Ma
Orchestra Hall

Program

Maurice Ravel
Suite No. 2 from Daphnis et Chloé
Antonín Dvořák
Concerto in B minor for Cello and Orchestra
Mikhail Glinka
Overture to Russlan and Ludmilla

Artists

Jader Bignamini

conductor

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.

Yo-Yo Ma

cello

Yo-Yo Ma’s multi-faceted career is testament to his enduring belief in culture’s power to generate trust and understanding. Whether performing new or familiar works from the cello repertoire, collaborating with communities and institutions to explore culture’s role in society, or engaging unexpected musical forms, Ma strives to foster connections that stimulate the imagination and reinforce our humanity. 

In 2018, Ma set out to perform Johann Sebastian Bach’s six suites for solo cello in one sitting in 36 locations around the world that encompass our cultural heritage, our current creativity, and the challenges of peace and understanding that will shape our future. And last year, he began a new journey to explore the many ways in which culture connects us to the natural world. Over the next several years, Ma will visit places that epitomize nature’s potential to move the human soul, creating collaborative works of art and convening conversations that seek to strengthen our relationship to our planet and to each other.

Both endeavors continue Ma’s lifelong commitment to stretching the boundaries of genre and tradition to explore how music not only expresses and creates meaning, but also helps us to imagine and build a stronger society and a better future.

It was this belief that inspired Ma to establish Silkroad, a collective of artists from around the world who create music that engages their many traditions. Through his work with Silkroad, as well as throughout his career, Ma has sought to expand the classical cello repertoire, premiering works by composers including Osvaldo Golijov, Leon Kirchner, Zhao Lin, Christopher Rouse, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Giovanni Sollima, Bright Sheng, Tan Dun, and John Williams.

In addition to his work as a performing artist, Ma has partnered with communities and institutions from Chicago to Guangzhou to develop programs that advocate for a more human-centered world. Among his many roles, Ma is a UN Messenger of Peace, the first artist ever appointed to the World Economic Forum’s board of trustees, and a member of the board of Nia Tero, the US-based nonprofit working in solidarity with Indigenous peoples and movements worldwide.

Ma’s discography of more than 100 albums (including 19 Grammy Award winners) reflects his wide-ranging interests. In addition to his many iconic renditions of the Western classical canon, he has made recordings that defy categorization, among them “Appalachia Waltz” and “Appalachian Journey” with Mark O’Connor and Edgar Meyer and two Grammy Award-winning tributes to the music of Brazil. Yo-Yo’s recent recordings include: “Sing Me Home,” with the Silkroad Ensemble, which won the 2016 Grammy for Best World Music Album; “Six Evolutions — Bach: Cello Suites;” and “Songs of Comfort and Hope,” created and recorded with pianist Kathryn Stott in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yo-Yo’s latest album is “Beethoven for Three: Symphony No. 6 ‘Pastorale’ and Op. 1, No. 3,” with pianist Emanuel Ax and violinist Leonidas Kavakos.

Ma was born in 1955 to Chinese parents living in Paris. He began to study the cello with his father at age four and three years later moved with his family to New York City, where he continued his cello studies at the Juilliard School before pursuing a liberal arts education at Harvard. He has received numerous awards, including the Avery Fisher Prize (1978), the National Medal of the Arts (2001), the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2010), Kennedy Center Honors (2011), the Polar Music Prize (2012), and the Birgit Nilsson Prize (2022). He has performed for nine American presidents, most recently on the occasion of President Biden’s inauguration. 

Ma and his wife have two children. He plays three instruments: a 2003 instrument made by Moes & Moes, a 1733 Montagnana cello from Venice, and the 1712 Davidoff Stradivarius. 

HEAR THE POSSIBILITIES

$

Your generous gift makes world-class music at the DSO possible, fueling the community connections, life-changing education and captivating programming that impacts more than 500,000 people a year!

Artwork for Orchestra Hall
Presented at
Orchestra Hall
3711 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI
Venue Information

Our Stories

View All
Artwork for Meet the Musician: Principal Cello Wei Yu

Meet the Musician: Principal Cello Wei Yu

Explore Story
Artwork for Rockin' Out with the Detroit Symphony

Rockin' Out with the Detroit Symphony

Explore Story