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Brahms's Third Symphony

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Brahms's Third Symphony

Thursday, March 27—Saturday, March 29, 2025

Thursday, March 27—Saturday, March 29, 2025
Orchestra Hall
2 hours
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Music Director Jader Bignamini conducts Brahms’s dramatic Third Symphony. The music moves in relentless torrents of intensity that transform into joyous affirmations. Having performed at some of the most prestigious concert halls in the world, teenage pianist Alexandra Dovgan makes her Orchestra Hall debut with a concerto by Saint-Saëns, and singular voices emerge in a new work by DSO cellist Jeremy Crosmer.


Piano Concerto No. 2
Symphony No. 3 in F major


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.

Alexandra Dovgan


Alexandra Dovgan was born in 2007 into a family of musicians and began her piano studies when she was four and a half years of age. At age five, her talent emerged when she passed the highly competitive selections to join the Academic Central Music School of Moscow State Conservatory, where she studied under renowned teacher Mira Marchenko.

Dovgan is a prize winner at five international competitions, among them being the Moscow International Vladimir Krainev Piano Competition, the International Young Pianists Competition “Astana Piano Passion,” and the International Television contest for young musicians “The Nutcracker.” Dovgan was only ten when she won the Grand Prix at the II International “Grand Piano Competition.” This event's recordings have travelled the world on Medici.TV and YouTube, moving musicians and piano lovers worldwide.

Despite her young age, Dovgan has already performed in some of the most prestigious concert halls including the Berlin Philharmonie, the Theatre des Champs-Elysees in Paris, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Vienna Konzerthaus, Victoria Hall in Geneve, and the Konzerthuset in Stockholm, receiving a standing ovation and enthusiastic reviews.

Since her acclaimed recital at the Salzburg Festival in July 2019, Dovgan has impressed critics and the public alike with an impressive series of international debuts: in June 2021, she played with Gustavo Dudamel and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, in September 2022 she made her debut in Japan playing with the Kioi Sinfonietta and Trevor Pinnock, and in April 2023 he performed with the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich under the baton of Paavo Jarvi.

She has also appeared with the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg and Trevor Pinnock, the Stockholm Philharmonic and Ton Koopman, with the Barcelona Symphony and Kazushi Ono, and with the Slovenska Filharmonija and Philipp von Steinaecker.

Among Dovgan’s upcoming major engagements, there are concerts at Vienna Konzerthaus, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, Zurich Tonhalle, Berlin Konzerthaus, Munich Prinzregententheater, Victoria Hall in Geneva, Gulbenkian in Lisbon, and in Turin, Milan, Basel, Barcelona, Luxembourg, Lyon, and many others.

In summer, she made her debut at Verbier Festival and appeared in prestigious European festivals such as la Roque d’Anthéron, the Rheingau Musik Festival, and the Gstaad Menuhin Festival.

The distinguishing characteristics of Dovgan’s musicianship are spontaneous depth and consciousness, and a sound of incredible beauty and precision. You will not find any element of showing off or technical demonstration in her piano playing, but an impressive concentration combined with purity of expression and creative imagination. She possesses a charismatic presence on stage and a distinct personality.

Away from the piano, Dovgan loves skiing, playing the organ, learning ballet and mathematics, and spending time with her little brother.



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