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French Fest logo

Celebrate French music & culture with 6 imaginative programs in Orchestra Hall—ft. music of Ravel, Debussy, Saint-Saëns, & Berlioz—plus other events in The Cube and throughout the community.


Week 1: Recital, Classical, Soiree

WeWorkRUSH HOUR RECITAL

Tue., Feb. 6 at 5:30 PM

French repertoire selected by DSO musicians in another unique Detroit venue—conveniently at the end of a work day, and with a free drink if you RSVP!

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George LiCLASSICAL SERIES
ORGAN SYMPHONY

Sat., Feb. 10 at 8 PM
Sun., Feb. 11 at 3 PM  Webcast

Leonard Slatkin, conductor
George Li, piano

SAINT-SAËNS  Marche Heroique
SAINT-SAËNS  Danse Macabre
SAINT-SAËNS  Piano Concerto No. 2
SAINT-SAËNS  Symphony No. 3

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Leonard SlatkinCLASSICAL SERIES
DAPHNIS AND CHLOE

Thu., Feb. 8 at 7:30 PM
Fri., Feb. 9 at 10:45 AM  Webcast

Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, piano

RAVEL  Menuet antique
RAVEL  Pavane for a Dead Princess
RAVEL  Piano Concerto in G
RAVEL  Piano Concerto for the Left Hand
RAVEL  Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 2

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THE CUBE
SATURDAY NIGHT SOIREE

Sat., Feb. 10 at 10 PM (following the Organ Symphony concert
in Orchestra Hall)

Late-night chamber music performances by the Civic Youth Ensembles and local college musicians.

This event is free and open to the public!


Week 2: Yoga, Classical, Valentine's...& More

Om @ Le MaxTHE CUBE
OM @ LE MAX

Sun., Feb. 11 at 10:30 AM

Practice yoga to live music by French composers.

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SteinwayDSO NEIGHBORHOOD CHAMBER RECITAL

Mon., Feb. 12 at 7 PM

A chamber recital ft. music of French composers.

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Valentine'sTHE CUBE
VALENTINE'S DAY WITH CYRILLE AIMÉE

Wed., Feb. 14 at 7 PM

Spend this Valentine’s Day with your special someone and French cabaret vocalist Cyrille Aimée.

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Julien LabroTHE CUBE
THE CHANSON EXPERIMENT

Thu., Feb. 15 at 7 PM

French-born Julien Labro has established himself as one of the foremost accordion and bandoneón players in both the classical and jazz genres.

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NaughtonsCLASSICAL SERIES
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS

Fri., Feb. 16 at 10:45 AM & 8 PM  Webcast

Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Michelle and Christina Naughton, piano

MILHAUD  La Creation du Monde
POULENC  Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra
MILHAUD  A Frenchman in New York
GERSHWIN  An American in Paris

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Le Ciné CubeTHE CUBE
LE CINÉ CUBE

Sat., Feb. 17 at 5:30 PM

Bertrand Tavernier’s 1986 American-French musical drama film Round Midnight. Q&A to follow.

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Le Ciné CubeTHE CUBE
LE CINÉ CUBE

Fri., Feb. 16 at 10:30 PM

Silent French films come to life with live music performed by the Andrew Alden Ensemble.

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Leonard SlatkinCLASSICAL SERIES
CARNIVAL OF THE ANIMALS

Sat., Feb. 17 at 8 PM  Webcast
Sun., Feb. 18 at 3 PM

Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Michelle and Christina Naughton, piano

DUKAS  The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
SAINT-SAËNS  Carnival of the Animals
SATIE  Gymnopédies Nos. 1 and 3
OFFENBACH  Gaîté Parisienne

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Week 3: Wine, DJ, Classical...& More

A Wine and Music 'Tour De France'THE CUBE
A WINE AND MUSIC "TOUR DE FRANCE"

Wed., Feb. 21 at 7 PM

Sommelier and music expert Ron Merlino leads an unparalleled wine tasting experience.

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Benjamin BeilmanCLASSICAL SERIES
DEBUSSY: LA MER & FAUN

Thu., Feb. 22 at 7:30 PM
Fri., Feb. 23 at 10:45 AM  Webcast

Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Benjamin Beilmanviolin

RABAUD  La Procession Nocturne
SAINT-SAËNS  Violin Concerto No. 3
DEBUSSY  Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun
DEBUSSY  La Mer

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Leonard SlatkinCLASSICAL SERIES
SYMPHONIE FANTASTIQUE

Fri., Feb. 23 at 8 PM
Sat., Feb. 24 at 8 PM  Webcast

Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Benjamin Beilman, violin

CONNESSON  Flammenschrift
SAINT-SAËNS  Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso
RAVEL  Tzigane
BERLIOZ  Symphonie fantastique

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Les Nubians + DJ CambeauxTHE CUBE
LES NUBIANS + DJ CAMBEAUX

Sat., Feb. 24 at 9:30 PM

Vocal Duo Les Nubians, comprised of sisters Hélène and Célia Faussart from Paris France, brings their distinctive Afropean, Urban, R&B sound.

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WFA ShowcaseWU FAMILY ACADEMY
WFA: SHOWCASE

Sun., Feb. 25 at 2 PM

The Wu Family Academy’s Civic Youth Ensembles features Michigan’s best student musicians and represent the future of orchestral music. Enjoy as they showcase their extraordinary talents on stage in Orchestra Hall. Tickets start at $15 and helps support the Civic Youth Ensembles.

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French Festival

What to Expect

French Fest mascotsA three-week celebration of French music and culture, anchored by six Orchestra Hall concerts conducted by Music Director Leonard Slatkin. The orchestra goes Gallic with music by Ravel, Saint-Saëns, Debussy, Berlioz, and others; outside of the hall, catch chamber music recitals at exciting venues around Metro Detroit.

Curated, urban, boundless experiences take over The Cube as well: yoga set to live French music, a romantic Valentine’s Day cabaret, film screenings, a wine tasting, and much more.

Plus, don’t miss the Salon du Paradis, a temporary reimagining of the Paradise Lounge with sumptuous French food and drink options. Check out the menus below!
 French Fest Week 1 Menu (Feb. 8-10)
 French Fest Week 2 Menu (Feb. 15-17)
 French Fest Week 3 Menu (Feb. 22-24)
 French Fest Wine Selection

Meet the Mascots

French bulldogs Do, Re, and Mi traveled all the way from Paris to celebrate French Festival with the DSO and get Detroit in a Gallic mood. Keep an eye out for the mascots at the festival and around Midtown!

Webcast and Wine

We’ve prepared a special treat for the 8 PM Live from Orchestra Hall webcast of the Friday, February 16 American In Paris program — a guide to French food and wine to pair with the concert, curated by master sommelier and music expert Ron Merlino. Click here to check it out, and don’t miss the webcast at dso.org/live.

Scholar-in-Residence

Steven WhitingProfessor Steven Whiting taught at the University of Illinois, where he took his MM and PhD, before joining the University of Michigan faculty. Following his undergraduate education, he studied at Christian-Albrechts-Universität in Kiel, Germany, on a Fulbright study grant.

Dr. Whiting has published twenty articles and book chapters about Beethoven, Satie, French cabaret music, and E.T.A. Hoffmann, and has co-edited A. L. Ringer's Musik als Geschichte. His book Satie the Bohemian: From Cabaret to Concert Hall (Oxford University Press, 1999) was recognized as an outstanding academic book by Choice. His research

Eric

 interests remain Beethoven and Erik Satie—a combination rather like sauerbraten topped with crème Chantilly.

Our Sponsor

"As a lifelong Detroiter, I am very proud to be associated with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, both as a supporter through my law firm and as a new member of the Board of Trustees. On behalf of Varnum, I invite you to enjoy the DSO's winter festival featuring French composers, and I personally thank you for your support. I hope you will find yourself enriched and inspired by the performance of this timeless music."

-Eric M. Nemeth, Partner – Varnum Detroit and Novi

French Festival Pre-Concert Talks:

Learn more about French music and culture during these pre-concert lectures by French Festival Scholar-in-Residence Steven Whiting. Each 30-minute talk features a different topic, providing special insight into the French Festival programming.

Click on the images below to watch the lectures live before the #FrenchFest webcasts, or on-demand after the event is over.

Mozart Talk
Live: Feb. 11 at 2 PM EST

Mozart Talk
Live: Feb. 18 at 2 PM EST

Mozart Talk
Live: Feb. 16 at 7 PM EST

Mozart Talk
Live: Feb. 24 at 7 PM EST


Meet Do, Re and Mi!

French bulldogs Do, Re, and Mi traveled all the way from Paris to celebrate French Festival with the DSO and get Detroit in a Gallic mood. Keep an eye out for the mascots at the festival and around Midtown.

An American in Paris:
The George and Ira Gershwin Critical Edition

DSO French Festival will include performances of a newly published, completely restored version of An American in Paris, one component of a recent project titled The George and Ira Gershwin Critical Edition. The initiative is a partnership between Todd Gershwin (great-nephew of brothers George and Ira) and his alma mater, the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance.


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