David Afkham conducts works by Brahms and Bartók with violinist Veronika Eberle in Orchestra Hall, May 24–26

May 24 concert broadcast and streamed live on 90.9 WRCJ in Detroit and network of stations across Michigan; May 25 performance webcast for free at dso.org, YouTube, and via Facebook Live as part of DSO’s Live from Orchestra Hallseries

May 20 Chamber Recital: The Quartets of Debussy and Ravel at Cass Community United Methodist Church

Tickets on sale now at dso.org

Detroit, (May 8, 2024) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) will welcome German conductor David Afkham (in his DSO debut) and violinist Veronika Eberle to Orchestra Hall on May 24 through 26 for a program of works by Johannes Brahms and Béla Bartók on the PVS Classical Series.

This program will feature Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra, which includes one of the most exciting last movements in orchestral music. Plus, Brahms’s monumental Violin Concerto in D major, with Eberle as soloist performing on a Stradivarius violin made in 1693.

Brahms's Violin Concerto will take place Friday, May 24 at 10:45 a.m., Saturday, May 25 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, May 26 at 3 p.m. in Orchestra Hall. The May 24 concert will be broadcast and streamed live on 90.9 WRCJ in Detroit and a network of stations across Michigan. The May 25 performance will be webcast for free at dso.org, YouTube, and via Facebook Live as part of the DSO’s Live from Orchestra Hall series.

Tickets for these performances start at $19 and can be purchased at dso.org or by calling the Box Office at 313.576.5111, open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

On Monday, May 20 at 7 p.m., DSO musicians Mingzhao Zhou (violin), Hae Jeong Heidi Han (violin), Will Haapaniemi (viola), and David LeDoux (cello) will perform a chamber recital at the Cass Community United Methodist Church in Detroit. The program will feature Debussy’s String Quartet in G minor and Ravel’s String Quartet in F major. This performance is free to all William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series subscribers. Single tickets are also available and cost $15.

The title sponsor of the DSO’s Classical Series is PVS Chemicals, Inc. DSO Live is presented by Ford Philanthropy. Technology support comes from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Digital programming is produced from the Al Glancy Control Room. The William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series is made possible by a generous grant from the William Davidson Foundation; WRCJ 90.9 FM also supports the series.


PVS Classical Series
Friday, May 24 at 10:45 a.m.
Saturday, May 25 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, May 26 at 3 p.m.

Orchestra Hall
David Afkham, conductor
Veronika Eberle, violin
German conductor David Afkham makes his DSO debut with works that show virtuosity on different scales. Violinist Veronika Eberle, "a star performer" (LA Times), shines in Brahms's monumental Violin Concerto (and on a Stradivarius made in 1693). Every musician on stage shines in Bartók's concerto, right through to one of the most exciting last movements in orchestral music.
JOHANNES BRAHMS Violin Concerto in D Major
BÉLA BARTÓK Concerto for Orchestra


Chamber Recital
Monday, May 20 at 7 p.m.
Cass Community United Methodist Church (3901 Cass Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201)

Mingzhao Zhou, violin

Hae Jeong Heidi Han, violin

Will Haapaniemi, viola

David LeDoux, cello

The only string quartets written by French masters Debussy and Ravel invite comparison. Written just 10 years apart, both quartets are characteristically passionate and colorful, but each takes its own path. Debussy’s music breathes free, breaking away from musical traditions, where Ravel thrives within the rules, finding room to surprise inside the bounds of expectation.
CLAUDE DEBUSSY String Quartet in G minor, Op. 10
MAURICE RAVEL String Quartet in F major


About David Afkham
David Afkham has held the position of the Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Orquestra y Coro Nacional de España since September 2019, following a highly successful tenure as the orchestra’s Principal Conductor since 2014. His work with the OCNE so far has featured critically acclaimed performances of Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder, Mahler’s Symphony No. 6, Bruckner Symphony No. 9, Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, Brahms’s Requiem, Haydn’s Die Schöpfung, as well as several world premieres and semi-staged projects with Wagner’s Die fliegende Holländer, Strauss’s Elektra, Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion, and Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle. Born in Freiburg, Germany in 1983, Afkham is in high demand as a guest conductor with some of the world’s finest orchestras and opera houses and has established a reputation as one of the most sought-after conductors to emerge from Germany in recent years.

Future highlights as a guest conductor include debuts with the Minnesota Orchestra and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as well as with the Wiener Symphoniker, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

As an opera conductor, Afkham made a noted debut at Glyndebourne Festival Opera in 2014, with Verdi’s La Traviata, later reviving the production for performances around the UK and Ireland for Glyndebourne on Tour. In 2017, he conducted Ginastera’s Bomarzo at Teatro Real in Madrid in a new production by Pierre Audi, to unanimous critical acclaim, and leading to an immediate re-invitation. In the 2018–2019 season, he made his German opera debut at Frankfurt Opera with Humperdinck’s Hänsel & Gretel, followed by Stuttgart Opera with Wagner’s Die fliegende Holländer. Productions since have included at Theater an der Wien with Dvořák’s Rusalka.

Afkham began piano and violin lessons at the age of six in his native Freiburg. At 15, he entered the city’s university of music to pursue studies in piano, music theory, and conducting, and continued his studies at the Liszt School of Music in Weimar. Afkham was the first recipient of the "Bernard Haitink Fund for Young Talent" and assisted Bernard Haitink in several major projects including symphony cycles with the Chicago Symphony, the Concertgebouworkest, and the London Symphony Orchestra. He was the winner of the 2008 Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in London and was the inaugural recipient of the Nestle and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award in 2010. He was Assistant Conductor of the Gustav Mahler Jungendorchester from 2009 to 2012.

About Veronika Eberle
Veronika Eberle’s exceptional talent and the poise and maturity of her musicianship have been recognized by many of the world’s finest orchestras, venues, and festivals, as well as by some of the most eminent conductors.

At age 16, she debuted at the Grosses Festspielhaus for the Salzburg Easter Festival, performing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto under the direction of Sir Simon Rattle, garnering international attention. Key orchestra collaborations since then include appearances with the London Symphony (Rattle), Concertgebouw (Holliger), New York Philharmonic (Gilbert), Montreal Symphony (Nagano), Munich Philharmonic and Gewandhaus Orchestras (Langree), Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin (Janowski), Hessischer Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester (P. Järvi), Bamberger Symphoniker (Ticciati, Nott), Tonhalle Orchester Zurich (M. Sanderling), NHK Symphony (Kout, Stenz, and Norrington), and Rotterdam Philharmonic (Rattle, Gaffigan, and Nézet-Seguin).

Born in Donauwörth in southern Germany, she started violin lessons at the age of six and four years later became a junior student at the Richard Strauss Konservatorium in Munich with Olga Voitova. After studying privately with Christoph Poppen for a year, she joined the Hochschule in Munich, where she studied with Ana Chumachenco from 2001 to 2012.

Eberle plays on a violin made by the Italian violin maker Antonio Giacomo Stradivari in 1693, which was made available to her on generous loan by the Reinhold Würth Musikstiftung.

About the DSO
The acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra is known for trailblazing performances, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists, and a deep connection to its city. Led by Music Director Jader Bignamini since 2020, the DSO makes its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, offering a performance schedule that features the PVS Classical, PNC Pops, Paradise Jazz, and Young People’s Family Concert series. In addition, the DSO presents the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series in metro area venues, as well as eclectic multi-genre performances in its mid-size venue The Cube, constructed and curated with support from Peter D. & Julie F. Cummings. A dedication to broadcast innovation began in 1922, when the DSO became the first orchestra in the world to present a live radio broadcast of a concert and continues today with the groundbreaking Live from Orchestra Hall series of free webcasts.

Since its first school concerts a century ago, and particularly since the founding of the Civic Youth Ensembles in 1970, the DSO has been a national leader in bringing the benefits of music education to students, teachers, and families in Detroit and surrounding communities. The DSO remains committed to expanding its participation in the growth and well-being of Detroit through programs like its Detroit Neighborhood Initiative—cultural events co-created with community partners and residents—and Detroit Harmony, a promise to provide an instrument and instruction to any student in the city who wants to learn. With unwavering support from the people of Detroit, the DSO actively pursues a mission to impact lives through the power of unforgettable musical experiences.