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Britten & Mendelssohn

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Britten & Mendelssohn

Thursday, July 11—Sunday, July 14, 2024

Thursday, July 11—Sunday, July 14, 2024
West Bloomfield, Plymouth, Bloomfield Hills, Grosse Pointe
2 hours
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Caroline Shaw’s work takes us “to the other side of Alice’s looking glass.” Soprano Erika Baikoff, a recent graduate of the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, joins the DSO to “stretch gold from star to star” in Britten’s brilliant setting of French poetry. Mendelssohn’s First Symphony, written when we he was just 15, dazzles with the fire of youth.


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Les Illuminations
Symphony no. 1


Stephanie Childress


Strong ideas, lucid communication and intensely focused energy are among the qualities that define Stephanie Childress among today’s most compelling young musicians. Recently appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, Her musicianship and command of a broad scope of repertoire have already led her to establish herself on both sides of the Atlantic.

Having been inspired to start conducting due to her love of opera, the Franco-British conductor begins the 2023/24 season making her Hamburg Staatsoper debut in Die Entführung aus dem Serail and returning to Glyndebourne’s autumn season for Don Giovanni. Together they mark the latest milestone in the development of a fine Mozartian, hailed by the Guardian for the  ‘lithe vitality’ of her interpretation of Le nozze di Figaro at Glyndebourne and on tour last year. In the 2023/24 season she will also make her conducting debut with Detroit Opera in Missy Mazzoli's Breaking the Waves.

On the orchestral podium, Childress continues to be reinvited internationally and returns to the Barcelona and North Carolina Symphonies. In North America she will have debuts with the Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony and National Arts Centre Ottawa. In Europe Childress will also make her first appearances with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic and her Japanese debut with the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra.

Past 2022/23 season highlights included debuts with l’Orchestre national d’Île-de-France, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin and New World Symphony Orchestra as well as returns to the North Carolina Symphony and l’Orchestre National de Montpellier. That season also marked the conclusion of her time as Assistant Conductor of the St Louis Symphony Orchestra under Stéphane Denève and Music Director of the St Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, a post she held from September 2020 and during which she enjoyed multiple subscription concerts with the orchestra.

Childress has very strong ties to the French cultural scene following her second-prize win at the 2020 inaugural conducting competition, La Maestra. Since then, she has conducted some of the top French orchestras including l’Orchestre de Paris, the Paris Mozart Orchestra and l’Orchestre de Chambre de Paris. In September 2023, following her involvement as one of the first conducting fellows of l’Académie de l’Opéra de Paris, she makes her debut at the Palais Garnier with l’Orchestre Pasdeloup for l’Opéra’s opening gala concert. In previous seasons she has also made several exciting appearances with UK orchestras, including debuts with the London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Mozart Players. 

A passionate advocate for amplifying the role of music within today’s world, Childress previously undertook an artistic residence at the Villa Albertine, a network for arts and ideas spanning France and the United States. She is also a member of the Franco-British Young Leaders’ Program, a scheme created by the Franco-British Council to further cooperation across both sides of the Channel. Stephanie is an active supporter of the Tri-borough Music Hub, an award-winning organisation for music education. She has taken part in several programmes with the association, including leading the junior string ensemble at an ‘Artists for Inclusivity’ event and speaking at the Youth Music Conference 2020 held at the Royal College of Music.

Erika Baikoff


Russian American Soprano, Erika Baikoff, is a recent graduate of the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. This season she returns to the MET as Tebaldo in Don Carlo, Nanetta (cover) in Falstaff and Zerlina (cover) in Don Giovanni.

As a Lindemann Young Artist, she sang the roles of Xenia in Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov and Barbarina in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. At Maestro Nézet-Séguin's invitation, she joined the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra's tour of Das Rheingold and was featured as the soprano soloist in Mahler's 4th Symphony with Maestro Rustioni and the Ulster Orchestra. The 2021/2022 season also included debuts with Schubertìada and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, both of which she will return to in future seasons.

In 2018-2020, Erika was a member of the Opéra National de Lyon Studio, where her roles included Le Feu/ Princesse/ Rossignol in Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges, Juliet in Boris Blacher’s Romeo and Juliet, Anna in Verdi’s Nabucco, and the soprano solo in Mahler's 4th Symphony.

Erika is the first prize winner of the 2019 Helmut Deutsch Liedwettbewerb and the 10th Concours international de chant-piano Nadia et Lili Boulanger with her duo partner, Gary Beecher. Other awards include the 6th Prize, Oratorio-Lied Prize, and Schubert Prize at the Tenor Viñas Contest, George London Award, Sullivan Foundation Career Development Grant, 2020 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Semi-finalist, Career Bridges Grant, Mondavi Young Artist Founders’ Prize, and the Bouchaine Young Artist Scholarship.

Erika is an alumni of the Atelier Lyrique at the Verbier Festival, where she sang Musetta in Puccini’s La Bohème, and the Académie Vocal Residency of the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in French Studies from Princeton University and a Master of Music from The Guildhall School of Music.

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