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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


“Her focus and poise resulted in a performance of lithe vitality, detailed and assured.”
The Marriage of Figaro, Glydnebourne
Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian, Oct 2022, 5 stars

Stephanie Childress is making her mark as a conductor of remarkable skill and has been likened to “other notable young conductors of the past such as Sir John Eliot Gardiner and Sir Simon Rattle” (Varsity). Her musicianship and command of a broad scope of repertoire has led to engagements with symphony orchestras and opera houses across the international stage.

Autumn of the 2022/23 season began with her Glyndebourne Festival debut conducting The Marriage of Figaro at home in Lewes and on tour. Alongside the opera production, Childress also conducted the Glydnebourne Festival orchestra and chorus for performances of Mozart’s Requiem.

Childress also has strong connections to the Opera de Paris and in Spring 2023 she joins Carlo Rizzi as assistant conductor for Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet. She has been an assistant conductor at the English National Opera and during the summer of 2021 she joined the music staff at Glyndebourne Festival to assist on Il Turco in Italia and conduct the Glyndebourne Chorus for Luisa Miller. Previously, she conducted Jeremy Sams’ The Enchanted Island with the British Youth Opera, Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia at St John’s College (Cambridge), Lennox Berkeley’s A Dinner Engagement for the Cambridge University Opera Society, and the world premiere of Anna Semple’s The Next Station is Green Park at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Returning to St Louis to continue her position as Assistant Conductor of the St Louis Symphony Orchestra, a role she has held since 2020, Childress will conduct New Years Eve concerts, subscription weeks and tour with the orchestra across Europe. In addition, she will continue her duties as Music Director of the St Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra.

The 2022/23 season also includes debuts with Orchestre National de’ille de France, Konzerthaus Orchester Berlin and New World Symphony Orchestra as well as returns to North Carolina Symphony and Montpellier following the success of debuts last season.

Childress was awarded the 2nd prize of the inaugural conducting competition, La Maestra in 2020 and since then has conducted some of the top orchestras in France including Orchestre de Paris, Paris Mozart Orchestra, Orchestre de Chambre de Paris and Opera et Orchestre National de Montpellier. In previous seasons she has also made several exciting appearances with UK orchestras, including conducting debuts with the London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Mozart Players.

Childress has attended masterclasses with esteemed conductors such as Sir Mark Elder, Paavo Järvi, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Sian Edwards, Nicolas Pasquet and Johannes Schlaefli and most recently took part in the Conducting Académie of the Aix-en-Provence Festival.

A passionate advocate of amplifying the role of music within today’s world, Childress has previously undertaken artistic residence at the Villa Albertine, a network for arts and ideas spanning France and the United States. As part of her residence, she assisted Esa-Pekka Salonen and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra as well as observing rehearsals with the Atlanta, LA and Chicago Symphony Orchestras. As of 2022, she is also a Young Leader 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 a number of 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. She has also appeared on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune.

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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