DSO’s next Principal Pops Conductor brings vibrancy, charisma, and creativity to the Orchestra Hall stage and Detroit community.
“ Pops means endless possibilities. We can take any genre or artist and use the orchestra to transform and elevate the music, bringing it to audiences in a way that is unique and innovative. I look forward to working with the DSO to create unsurpassed musical experiences that our audiences will love and that will bring together diverse communities. ”Enrico Lopez-Yañez
In October 2023, Enrico Lopez-Yañez was introduced as the next Principal Pops Conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, to commence with the 2024–2025 season.
Enrico always knew he wanted to perform and be around music. His musical upbringing was infused with Latin genres, and he grew up playing the trumpet and traveling with his father, Jorge Lopez-Yañez—renowned operatic tenor and part of the Three Mexican Tenors—on tour around the world. The artistry Enrico experienced through his father and the musicians he encountered shaped his musical stylings, and he proudly brings forth Latin culture and history into the symphonic world, including through collaborations with leading Mexican artists like Aida Cuevas and Lila Downs. In September 2023, he was awarded the “Mexicanos Distinguidos” (“Distinguished Mexicans”) Award, which recognizes citizens abroad for their extraordinary professional trajectory, social responsibility, peer recognition, and commitment to promote the image of Mexico.
Enrico has an extraordinary professional trajectory indeed. He holds conducting roles with the Dallas Symphony, the Pacific Symphony, and the Nashville Symphony and has conducted concerts with a broad spectrum of artists including Nas, Gladys Knight, Ledisi, Itzhak Perlman, Stewart Copeland (including with the DSO in early October 2023), Kenny Loggins, Toby Keith, Mickey Guyton, Kelsea Ballerini, Leslie Odom Jr., Hanson, The Beach Boys, and Kenny G. An active producer, composer, and arranger, Enrico has been commissioned to write pieces for leading orchestras including the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra and Houston Symphony. He is also Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Symphonica Productions, LLC, where he curates and leads programs designed to cultivate new audiences, including a wide breadth of pops, family, and educational programming.
Enrico was first introduced to Detroit audiences in 2019, conducting a program in May on the Educational Concert Series (ECS). He returned later that year to lead another ECS performance and has since conducted the DSO in more than twenty performances, including 2021’s Summer Soirée with Renée Elise Goldsberry and numerous educational, family, pops, and special programs. In February 2022, he conducted a musical experience at St. Hedwig Catholic Church in partnership with the Southwest Detroit community as part of the DSO’s Detroit Neighborhood Initiative, a commitment to the growth and well-being of the City of Detroit. In response to the enormous success of the initial performance, Enrico returned to St. Hedwig in May 2023 for another program featuring works by Latin American composers, sacred and popular favorites, and a performance by Ballet Folklorico Moyocoyani Izel.
“ I love being in untraditional spaces with an orchestra because it artistically pushes the organization and the musicians to be flexible, be adaptive, and truly partner and connect with the audience in a different way than when we're in our regular comfort zone. It affects everything from how the orchestra sets up to how we listen, not only to each other on stage, but also to the community. ”
“The DSO’s partnership with St. Hedwig is a very special opportunity to deepen connections with the Southwest Detroit community. Those programs are so fun and eclectic because they feature such a wide range of music in such a short period of time, which really highlights the musicians in a unique way and shows how talented they are at performing a diverse range of genres and repertoire.”
Passionate about engaging audiences of all ages and backgrounds, Enrico brings high energy, creativity, and innovation, and is known for his unique and oftentimes theatrical style of audience engagement, which he looks forward to continuing in his new role as he succeeds Jeff Tyzik, who has served as the DSO’s Principal Pops Conductor since 2013. Tyzik’s versatile artistry and engaging podium style made him a favorite among Detroit audiences, and he has grown the orchestra’s pops program into some of the DSO’s most beloved concerts.
“Jeff has been a huge influence on my life and career,” said Enrico. “He is not only an incredible, legendary conductor, but also a composer, arranger, and trumpet player: all things that I try and emulate and that he has mastered and done throughout his career at the highest level. He is truly one of the kindest people in our industry and I’m very honored to be following in his footsteps.”
With vibrancy, charisma, and creativity, Enrico builds on Tyzik’s legacy, drawing new and familiar audiences to the Orchestra Hall stage and community venues. The DSO proudly welcomes Enrico to Detroit and invites audiences to hear him in action in the 2023–2024 season.