DSO and Leonard Slatkin return to Orchestra Hall stage for Opening Weekend of the 2018-2019 Classical Season, featuring violinist Gil Shaham, October 5-7

- DSO Music Director Laureate Leonard Slatkin will conduct Donald Erb’s The Seventh Trumpet, Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 (with Shaham), and Elgar’s “Enigma” Variations

- October 7 concert will be webcast for free at dso.org/live 

Detroit, (September 11, 2018) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) will kick off the 2018-19 Classical Series with concerts welcoming back Music Director Laureate Leonard Slatkin and featuring special guest violinist Gil Shaham.

On the program is American composer Donald Erb’s The Seventh Trumpet, Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 (with Shaham as featured soloist), and Elgar’s “Enigma” Variations.

The three Opening Weekend concerts take place Friday, October 5 at 8 p.m., Saturday, October 6 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, October 7 at 3 p.m. at Orchestra Hall, within Midtown Detroit’s Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center.  

Watch Live around the world: the Sunday, October 7 concert will be webcast for free atdso.org/live and via Facebook Live, as part of the DSO’s groundbreaking Live from Orchestra Hall series. The series is presented by Ford Motor Company Fund and made possible by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

One hour prior to each performance, guests are invited to enjoy an informative onstage Concert Talk about the program hosted by conductor and composer Yaniv Segal. These lectures and discussions will be made available for later viewing on the DSO’s YouTube channel.

The 2017-2018 Season marked Slatkin’s tenth and final year as Music Director, and this past June the DSO honored him with its Heroes Award. In the upcoming 2018-2019 Season he takes on the new role of Music Director Laureate. In addition to conducting Opening Weekend, Slatkin will also lead the season finale in June, as well as six programs during the American Panorama Winter Music Festival in February. He will also continue to advise the DSO on artistic matters.

Learn more about the entire 2018-2019 Season at dso.org.

The DSO Classical Series is generously sponsored by PVS Chemicals, Inc.

About Leonard Slatkin

Internationally acclaimed conductor Leonard Slatkin is Music Director Laureate of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and Directeur Musical Honoraire of the Orchestre National de Lyon (ONL). He maintains a rigorous schedule of guest conducting throughout the world and is active as a composer, author, and educator.

Highlights of the 2018-19 Season include a tour of Germany with the ONL; a three-week American Festival with the DSO; the Kastalsky Requiem project commemorating the World War I Centennial; Penderecki’s 85th birthday celebration in Warsaw; five weeks in Asia leading orchestras in Guangzhou, Beijing, Osaka, Shanghai, and Hong Kong; and the Manhattan School of Music’s 100th anniversary gala concert at Carnegie Hall. He will also conduct the Moscow Philharmonic, Balearic Islands Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Louisville Orchestra, Berner Symphonieorchester, Pittsburgh Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, RTÉ National Symphony in Ireland, and Monte Carlo Symphony.

Slatkin has received six Grammy awards and 33 nominations. His recent Naxos recordings include works by Saint-Saëns, Ravel, and Berlioz (with the ONL) and music by Copland, Rachmaninov, Borzova, McTee, and John Williams (with the DSO). In addition, he has recorded the complete Brahms, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky symphonies with the DSO (available online as digital downloads).

A recipient of the prestigious National Medal of Arts, Slatkin also holds the rank of Chevalier in the French Legion of Honor. He has received Austria’s Decoration of Honor in Silver, the League of American Orchestras’ Gold Baton Award, and the 2013 ASCAP Deems Taylor Special Recognition Award for his debut book, Conducting Business. His second book, Leading Tones: Reflections on Music, Musicians, and the Music Industry, was published by Amadeus Press in 2017.

Slatkin has conducted virtually all the leading orchestras in the world. As Music Director, he has held posts in New Orleans; St. Louis; Washington, DC; London (with the BBCSO); Detroit; and Lyon, France. He has also served as Principal Guest Conductor in Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Cleveland. For more information, visit leonardslatkin.com.

About Gil Shaham

Gil Shaham is widely renowned as an American master of the violin. A Grammy Award winner and Musical America “Instrumentalist of the Year,” Shaham regularly performs with top orchestras and ensembles on the world’s greatest stages.

Shaham was born in Champaign-Urbana, IL, and moved to Isreal as a child, where he studied with Samuel Bernstein at the Rubin Academy of Music. In 1981 he debuted with the Jerusalem Symphony and the Israel Philharmonic, and the following year he took first prize in Israel’s Claremont Competition. He then became a scholarship student at The Juilliard School and completed additional studies at Columbia University. Shaham was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1990, and in 2008 he received the coveted Avery Fisher Prize.

Shaham has appeared with all the world’s major orchestras, including regular performances with the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, and others. He has served multi-year residencies with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Singapore Symphony Orchestra. A guiding framework of Shaham’s career is the “Violin Concertos of the 1930s” project (also a recording series), exploring the works of Barber, Bartók, Berg, Korngold, and Prokofiev, among others.

Shaham’s discography includes more than two dozen concerto and solo recordings, selections from which have won multiple Grammy Awards, a Grand Prix du Disque, Diapason d’Or, and Gramophone Editor’s Choice award. Many of these recordings appear on Canary Classics, the label he founded in 2004.

Shaham plays the 1699 “Countess Polignac” Stradivarius.

Ticket Information

Tickets for Gil Shaham and Enigma begin at $15 and can be purchased at dso.org, by calling (313) 576-5111, or in-person at the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center Box Office (3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit).

Groups of 10 or more can save up to 30% on the price of a single ticket for most DSO concerts. For more information, contact Group Sales Manager Jim Sabatella at (313) 576-5130 or jsabatella@dso.org.

Performance Details

Friday, October 5 at 8 p.m.

Saturday, October 6 at 8 p.m.

Sunday, October 7 at 3 p.m.

Orchestra Hall at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center

Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Gil Shaham, violin


  The Seventh Trumpet 


  Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major, Op. 19

  Gil Shaham, violin


  Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 36, “Enigma”

About the DSO

Hailed by the New York Times as “cutting edge,” the internationally acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra is known for trailblazing performances, visionary maestros, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists, and an ardent commitment to Detroit. As a community-supported orchestra, generous giving by individuals and institutions at all levels drives the continued success and growth of the institution. Esteemed conductor Leonard Slatkin, called “America’s Music Director” by the Los Angeles Times, became the DSO’s 12th Music Director, endowed by the Kresge Foundation, in 2008. The 2017-2018 Season marked Slatkin’s tenth and final year in the role, and in 2018-2019 he returns as Music Director Laureate. Acclaimed conductor, arranger, and trumpeter Jeff Tyzik serves as Principal Pops Conductor, while celebrated trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard holds the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair. With growing attendance and unwavering philanthropic support from the Detroit community, the DSO’s performance schedule includes Classical, Pops, Jazz, Young People’s, and Neighborhood concerts, and collaborations with high profile artists from Steven Spielberg to Ben Folds and Lang Lang. In July 2017, the DSO embarked on its first international tour in 16 years, making its debut in China and first visit to Japan in 19 years. A commitment to broadcast innovation began in 1922, when the DSO became the first orchestra in the world to present a radio broadcast, and continues today with the free Live from Orchestra Hall webcast series, which also reaches tens of thousands of children with the Classroom Edition expansion. Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, one of America’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, the DSO actively pursues a mission to embrace and inspire individuals, families, and communities through unsurpassed musical experiences.