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Classical Roots: Beethoven's "Emperor" Concerto

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Classical Roots: Beethoven's "Emperor" Concerto

Friday, March 6 — Saturday, March 7 2020

Friday, March 6 — Saturday, March 7 2020
Orchestra Hall
2 hours

André Watts has had to withdraw from this program due to tendinitis in his right wrist and elbow. The DSO thanks pianist Terrence Wilson for stepping in on short notice to perform Beethoven’s "Emperor" Concerto.

The DSO’s annual celebration of African-American contributions to classical music will be conducted by former resident conductor Thomas Wilkins and feature the world premiere of Black Bottom, a new work by Nkeiru Okoye about the historic African-American neighborhood in Detroit.

Also featured will be pianist Terrence Wilson in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, "Emperor," and an appearance by the Brazeal Dennard Chorale, who have performed at every Classical Roots concert since 1978.

Black Bottom is commissioned by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for Classical Roots as part of the centennial of Orchestra Hall with a grant from The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.

Program to Include

Johnson
Lift Every Voice and Sing
Nkeiru Okoye
Voices Shouting Out
Nkeiru Okoye
Black Bottom (World Premiere)
Beethoven
Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73, "Emperor"

Artists

  • Artwork for Thomas Wilkins

    Thomas Wilkins

    conductor

  • Artwork for Terrence Wilson

    Terrence Wilson

    piano

  • Artwork for Brazeal Dennard Chorale

    Brazeal Dennard Chorale

  • Artwork for Nkeiru Okoye

    Nkeiru Okoye

    composer

  • Artwork for Alice McAllister Tillman

    Alice McAllister Tillman

    artistic director

  • Artwork for Sumayya Ali

    Sumayya Ali

    soprano

  • Artwork for Charlotte Small-Chestnut

    Charlotte Small-Chestnut

    mezzo-soprano

  • Artwork for Vincent Davis

    Vincent Davis

    tenor

  • Artwork for Markel Reed

    Markel Reed

    baritone

Thomas Wilkins

conductor

Thomas Wilkins is Music Director of the Omaha Symphony; a position he has held since 2005. Additionally, he is Principal Conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the Boston Symphony’s Artistic Advisor, Education and Community Engagement, and holds Indiana University’s Henry A. Upper Chair of Orchestral Conducting established by the late Barbara and David Jacobs as a part of that University’s “Matching the Promise Campaign.” Past positions have included resident conductor of the Detroit Symphony and Florida Orchestra (Tampa Bay), and associate conductor of the Richmond (VA) Symphony. He also has served on the music faculties of North Park University (Chicago), the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga, and Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

Devoted to promoting a life-long enthusiasm for music, Thomas Wilkins brings energy and commitment to audiences of all ages. He is hailed as a master at communicating and connecting with audiences. Following his highly successful first season with the Boston Symphony, the Boston Globe named him among the “Best People and Ideas of 2011.” In 2014, Wilkins received the prestigious “Outstanding Artist” award at the Nebraska Governor’s Arts Awards, for his significant contribution to music in the state while in 2018 Thomas Wilkins received the Leonard Bernstein Lifetime Achievement Award for the Elevation of Music in Society conferred by Boston’s Longy School of Music. And in 2019 the Virginia Symphony bestowed Thomas Wilkins with their annual Dreamer Award.

During his conducting career, he has led orchestras throughout the United States, including the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Cincinnati Symphony and the National Symphony. Additionally, he has guest conducted the Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras, the Symphonies of Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Baltimore, San Diego and Utah, and the Buffalo and Rochester Philharmonics, as well as at the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago.

His commitment to community has been demonstrated by his participation on several boards of directors, including the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, the Charles Drew Health Center (Omaha), the Center Against Spouse Abuse in Tampa Bay, and the Museum of Fine Arts as well as the Academy Preparatory Center both in St. Petersburg, FL. Currently he serves as chairman of the board for the Raymond James Charitable Endowment Fund and as national ambassador for the non-profit World Pediatric Project headquartered in Richmond, VA, which provides children throughout Central America and the Caribbean with critical surgical and diagnostic care.

A native of Norfolk, VA, Thomas Wilkins is a graduate of the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. He and his wife Sheri-Lee are the proud parents of twin daughters, Erica and Nicole.

Terrence Wilson

piano

Brazeal Dennard Chorale

Nkeiru Okoye

composer

Alice McAllister Tillman

artistic director

Sumayya Ali

soprano

Charlotte Small-Chestnut

mezzo-soprano

Vincent Davis

tenor

Markel Reed

baritone

Performances

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Flexing a performance style that’s equal parts maestro and master of ceremonies, Wilkins tells thoughtful stories about the music he’s conducting. ”

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

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