At December 15 meeting, Board elected new Chair, David T. Provost, as DSO celebrates seven successful years of leadership from outgoing Chair Mark Davidoff
Orchestra launches public phase of DSO Impact Campaign in 2023 following $33 million in new endowment investments inspired during 2021-22 season
Detroit, (December 22, 2022) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra and President & CEO Erik Rönmark celebrated recent artistic highlights, community and educational impact, and financial successes at the Annual Meeting of its Governing Members, held on Thursday, December 15. The meeting recapped the 2021-22 DSO season and 2022 fiscal year, which ended on August 31, 2022.
DSO leadership announced positive financial results for the year, including a tenth consecutive annual operating surplus as well as growth of its endowment by more than $13 million to end FY22 at $84.4 million. The orchestra’s current DSO Impact Campaign, which seeks to raise $75 million in new endowment investments by the end of 2023, heralded outstanding momentum during the year and the start of its public phase with the premiere of a new video. The campaign, co-chaired by DSO Board Chair Emeritus Phillip Wm. Fisher and Director Danny Kaufman, inspired $33 million in new endowment investments and pledges in the 2021-22 season.
The DSO’s Board of Directors also elected a new slate of officers, including new Board Chair David T. Provost, Vice Chairman of TCF Financial Corporation, and the entire organization thanked outgoing Chair Mark Davidoff for seven exemplary years of service in the role. The orchestra also remembered those who it had lost over the past year, including the DSO’s late President Emeritus Anne Parsons who died in March following a long battle with cancer. Associate Concertmaster Kimberly Kaloyanides Kennedy provided a powerful performance of Bach to remember those lost, and the DSO elevated both Parsons and Director Emeritus Barbara Van Dusen to Lifetime Directors, the highest honor the organization can bestow upon an individual.
Below are some of the artistic, community, education, governance, and financial highlights from the DSO’s 2022 Annual Meeting. For more, click here to read the DSO’s 2022 Annual Report.
- 2021-22 marked the first full season with Music Director Jader Bignamini in the role, and the DSO’s first season open to full-capacity audiences since March 2020. Together in Orchestra Hall, Jader and the DSO ushered in a new era of artistic excellence and renewed connection with audiences. Jader conducted ten programs across the season including major symphonies by Beethoven, Brahms, Mahler, Wynton Marsalis, and Florence Price; concertos with soloists Gil Shaham, Hilary Hahn, Branford Marsalis, Randall Goosby, Ray Chen, Sergei Babayan, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and Aaron Diehl; and contemporary music by John Adams, Hannah Lash, Jessie Montgomery, Jeff Scott, and Carlos Simon.
- Additional highlights of the PVS Classical Series: the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis at Classical Roots; Eric Jacobsen conducting Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World,” paired with the premiere of Amer’ican, a new work by James Lee III; former DSO Resident Conductor Thomas Wilkins leading William Dawson’s Negro Folk Symphony and Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with Vadim Gluzman; and former Principal Guest Conductor Peter Oundjian leading music by William Grant Still, George Gershwin, and Samuel Barber, plus a new work by Joel Thompson inspired by James Baldwin’s Notes of a Native Son.
- The PNC Pops Series brought favorites from Broadway, film and TV, rock, pop, and more to the Orchestra Hall stage, including three programs with Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik: The Envelope Please, Cirque Carnaval with Troupe Vertigo, and Kings of Soul; the Paradise Jazz Series continued with seven concerts on the Orchestra Hall stage curated by Terence Blanchard (Fred A. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair), including the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Lizz Wright, Pat Metheny, Dianne Reeves, and the debut of the Paradise Theater Big Band directed by Kris Johnson, an All-Star Detroit ensemble paying homage to The Paradise Theatre.
- From January through June, the DSO brought DSO performances to seven Metro Detroit communities through the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series and related Chamber Recitals.
- In fall 2021, the DSO partnered with community groups and local businesses from around the state to hold an instrument drive in support of Detroit Harmony and its mission to put an instrument in the hands of every K-12 public, private, and charter student in the city of Detroit who wants to learn to play. The drive ran from October 1-31 and collected over 2,500 new or used instruments to be refurbished and given to Detroit students. Partner drop-off sites were located across Michigan and included Cliff Bell’s, Detroit Wayne Music Studio, Marshall Music Co., McCourt’s Music, Meridian Winds, Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association, and select PNC Bank locations. Since the drive, Detroit Harmony has distributed more than 300 of the instruments to music students with the help of 21 partner organizations including 7 Mile Music, Voyager Academy, Crescendo Detroit, MSU Community Music School-Detroit, and the DSO’s Civic Youth Ensembles.
- For its Detroit Neighborhood Initiative, the DSO built relationships with 75 community-serving organizations in Detroit, held listening sessions with Detroit residents, and co-designed and co-implemented respectful, responsive Musical Experiences in Chandler Park, Southwest Detroit, Dexter-Linwood, and Northwest Detroit, engaging nearly 4,000 people. In partnership with the City of Detroit’s Arts, Culture, & Entrepreneurship (ACE) office, the DSO cocreated two free, family-friendly performances at St. Hedwig Catholic Church in Southwest Detroit (conducted by Enrico Lopez-Yanez and featuring Ballet Folklorico Moyocoyani Izel) and Greater Grace Temple in Northwest Detroit (conducted by Jonathon Taylor Rush).
- Culminating the commemoration of fifty years of training young musicians through its Civic Youth Ensembles, the DSO held a celebratory weekend April 29-May 1, which featured world premieres performed by the Detroit Symphony Youth Orchestra (Angélica Négron’s Tornasol) and Detroit Youth Wind Ensemble (Kris Johnson’s Golden Jubilee: A Fanfare for Brass & Percussion). The works were commissioned with funding provided by Kellman & Associates LLC and Betsy and Joel Kellman. The DSO also hosted open rehearsals, a CYE50 Orchestra Reading Session, plus a Jazz Masterclass and Civic Jazz Live performance.
- In July, the DSO resumed its annual residency at Interlochen Center for the Arts with a series of performances and masterclasses. This year’s residency was the first in person since 2019, following two years of virtual instruction. The residency kicked off with a concert at Kresge Auditorium conducted by Music Director Jader Bignamini featuring Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Symphonic Variations on an African Air. DSO musicians led masterclasses in each orchestral instrument for high school students and played in side-by-side rehearsals, plus a performance with members of Interlochen’s flagship musical ensemble, the World Youth Symphony Orchestra, which was broadcast by Interlochen Public Radio.
- For the fiscal year ended August 31, 2022, the DSO reported an operating surplus for the tenth consecutive year. Total operating revenue was $31.84 million, while operating expenses totaled $31.51 million, therefore generating an operating surplus of $340,000.
- The DSO’s endowment grew by more than $13 million to end the year at $84.4 million. The DSO Impact Campaign inspired $33 million in new endowment investments and pledges during the 2021-22 season and currently stands at $45.7 million, 61 percent to its goal of $75 million in new endowment by the end of 2023.
- New Lifetime Directors – The DSO named President Emeritus Anne Parsons and Director Emeritus Barbara Van Dusen as Lifetime Directors. The distinction is the DSO’s highest honor bestowed upon individuals to recognize, in perpetuity, the historically significant, unique, and exemplary contributions of an individual or family who has played a defining role in helping to secure the future of the DSO and its mission.
- New Director Emeritus – The Board of Directors unanimously elected Arthur (Bud) Liebler to the role of Director Emeritus.
- New and re-elected Directors – The DSO Governing Members elected three new Directors—Michael Bickers, David Nicholson, and Ellen Hill Zeringue—and re-elected three Directors to new three-year terms: Xavier Mosquet, David Provost, and Bernard Robertson.
- New Officers – The DSO Board of Directors elected David T. Provost as its new Chair, along with Faye Nelson (Vice Chair), Erik Rönmark (President and CEO), Laura Trudeau (Treasurer), James G. Vella (Secretary), Ralph J. Gerson (Officer at Large), Glenda D. Price, Ph. D. (Officer at Large), and Shirley Stancato (Officer at Large).
- New Trustees – The DSO Board of Directors elected six new Trustees: Dr. Betty Chu, Sam Husczco, Laurel Kalkanis, Jay Kapadia, John Kim, and Jackie Paige.
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. As a community-supported orchestra, generous giving by individuals and institutions at all levels drives the continued success and growth of the organization. In January 2020, Italian conductor Jader Bignamini was named the DSO’s next music director to commence with the 2020-2021 season. Celebrated conductor, arranger, and trumpeter Jeff Tyzik is the orchestra’s Principal Pops Conductor, while Oscar-nominated trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard holds the Fred A. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair.
Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, the DSO offers a performance schedule that features PVS Classical, PNC Pops, Paradise Jazz, and Young People’s Family Concert series. One of the world’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, Orchestra Hall celebrated its centennial in 2019-2020. In addition, the DSO presents the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series in seven metro area venues, as well as a robust schedule of 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, which also reaches tens of thousands of children with the Classroom Edition expansion. With growing attendance and unwavering philanthropic support from the people of Detroit, the DSO actively pursues a mission to embrace and inspire individuals, families, and communities through unsurpassed musical experiences.