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Jader Conducts Paganini and Berlioz

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Jader Conducts Paganini and Berlioz

Friday, January 24 — Sunday, January 26

Friday, January 24 — Sunday, January 26
Orchestra Hall
2 hours

Newly announced DSO Music Director Jader Bignamini conducts Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique — a symphonic hallucination that evokes dark revels, unrequited love, an execution, and a visit to the underworld.

Also, Augustin Hadelich, “one of the outstanding violinists of his generation” (The New York Times), returns to Orchestra Hall to perform Paganini’s First Violin Concerto.


Violin Concerto No. 1
Symphonie fantastique


Jader Bignamini


Jader Bignamini was named the DSO's new Music Director in January 2020. His first season in the role will be 2020-2021, during which he'll conduct three Classical Series programs.

When Jader was nine years old, he became fascinated by the cover of one of his brother’s books. It was a photo of a boy playing what he thought to be a flute, and Jader became determined to play the same instrument. The only problem was that the photo featured a boy playing a clarinet. Jader may not have recognized all the instruments, but that image was the spark that ignited a lifelong love of music and a passion for performing, first as a musician with Orchestra Sinfonica La Verdi in Milan (clarinet, not flute), and later as the group’s resident conductor.

Jader studied at the Piacenza Music Conservatory. He was drawn to operatic arias, captivated by the power and complexity of symphonic music in masterpieces by legends like Mahler and Tchaikovsky. For the Crema, Italy native, it was thrilling to explore that complexity, and to puzzle out the role that each instrument played in making that larger-than-life sound. Even as a young musician, the seeds of a future conductor were present. As a teenager, he would “practice” conducting in room at night with a chopstick from a Chinese restaurant. 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, Jader has conducted some of the world’s most acclaimed orchestras in venues across the globe. His 2019-2020 season includes debuts with the Toronto, Houston, and Dallas symphonies; Minnesota Orchestra; Canadian Opera Company conducting Aida; Bayerische Staatsoper conducting La Traviata; and a return engagement with Stadttheater Klagenfurt conducting Eugene Onegin. He continues to tour with soprano Anna Netrebko and tenor Yusif Eyvasov.

Other recent engagements include debuts at the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna State Opera, and Dutch National Opera conducting Madama Butterfly; La Traviata in Tokyo directed by Sofia Coppola; return engagements with Oper Frankfurt conducting La forza del destino and Santa Fe Opera conducting La Bohème; Manon Lescaut at the Bolshoi; Turandot at Teatro Filharmonica; Il Trovatore and Aida at Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera; and La Forza del Destino at the Verdi Festival in Parma. Memorable engagements for Jader have included 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.

Jader’s passion and enthusiasm are infectious. And his warmth and joyful spirit animate an engaging personality as prodigious as his musical talent. When Jader 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.

A jazz aficionado and amateur chef, Jader is excited to immerse himself in Detroit’s rich jazz scene and to explore his new second city with his wife Lidia—also a clarinetist—and their two children, who play trumpet and trombone. But above all, he can’t wait to make more extraordinary music with the DSO musicians he has already established close relationships with. It’s an opportunity that, like the picture on the cover of a book that once caught his attention as a boy, was love at first sight.

For more, visit and

Augustin Hadelich


Augustin Hadelich is celebrated for his technique, poetic sensitivity, and gorgeous tone. He has performed with every major American orchestra as well as an ever-growing number of ensembles in the UK, Europe, and Asia. He has also appeared at most of the world’s prominent music festivals, including the BBC Proms, Tanglewood, Blossom, Aspen, Bravo! Vail, Chautauqua, and others.

An active recitalist and chamber musician, Hadelich has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the Kennedy Center, the Louvre, and elsewhere, and his collaborators include Jeremy Denk, Kim Kashkashian, Cho-Liang Lin, Joyce Yang, Midori, and members of the Guarneri and Juilliard quartets. He is a co-founder and member of the H3 Trio, alongside pianist Martin Helmchen and cellist Marie-Elisabeth Hecker. Hadelich won a Grammy Award for his recording of Dutilleux’s Violin Concerto with the Seattle Symphony. His discography also includes music by Paganini, Tchaikovsky, Lalo, Mendelssohn, and others, with orchestras and artistic partners from around the world.

Hadelich has received an Avery Fisher Career Grant, a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship, Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award, the inaugural Warner Music Prize, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Exeter. Born in Italy to German parents, Hadelich studied with Joel Smirnoff at The Juilliard School. He plays the 1723 “Ex-Kiesewetter” Stradivari violin, on loan from Clement and Karen Arrison through the Stradivari Society of Chicago.


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In Bignamini, the DSO has landed a leader who had just begun making a name in America — and a conductor who quickly won the hearts of musicians during a pair of Orchestra Hall guest stints. ”

Detroit Free Press
Glinka Overture to "Russlan and Ludmila" excerpt
Augustin Hadelich plays Paganini Caprice No. 5 LIVE
Artwork for Orchestra Hall
Presented at
Orchestra Hall
3711 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI
Venue Information

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