DSO celebrates "Orchestra Hall Day" - October 23 - With free concert, guided tours, and exhibition

- Historic venue opened 100 years ago: on October 23, 1919

- Free concert, A Century of Pops, features pops repertoire from through the ages, including classical, jazz, showtunes, and film music

- Concert will be webcast for free at dso.org/live and via Facebook Live

- Celebration is sponsored by Varnum LLP

Detroit, (October 10, 2019) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) celebrates the centennial year of Orchestra Hall all season long, but this month a very special occasion will be marked: “Orchestra Hall Day,” honoring the exact date that Orchestra Hall received its grand opening on October 23, 1919.

The DSO will offer a free concert titled A Century of Pops, which includes music from the first pops concert performed at Orchestra Hall as well as selections by Duke Ellington, Broadway tunes, and film favorites. The concert will be conducted by former DSO resident conductor Leslie B. Dunner and feature cellist Abraham Feder (DSO Assistant Principal Cello, Dorothy and Herbert Graebner Chair) and mezzo soprano Danielle Wright (of Detroit-based Opera MODO).

The concert takes place on Wednesday, October 23 at 7:30 p.m. at Orchestra Hall, within Midtown Detroit’s Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center (The Max). A string quartet of Civic Youth Ensembles (CYE) students will perform in the William Davidson Atrium beginning at 6 p.m.

The concert is free of charge, but a no-cost ticket is required for entry. See below for more information about the concert and reserving tickets.

As part of the DSO’s groundbreaking Live from Orchestra Hall series, the concert will also be webcast for free at dso.org/live and via Facebook Live. The series is presented by Ford Motor Company Fund and made possible by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Earlier in the day, guests are welcome to join free guided tours of Orchestra Hall and The Max, beginning at 2 p.m. and occurring every half hour through 4:30 p.m. Tours are open to the public and reservations are not required. Free parking is available in the DSO parking structure (81 Parsons Street) during tour hours.

The DSO has also partnered with the Detroit Historical Society to create an onsite exhibition of photos, artifacts, and interactive experiences tracing the history of Orchestra Hall and the time it spent as the Paradise Theatre (1941-1951), one of America’s top venues for jazz and blues talent. One special treat: automotive titan Horace Dodge’s personal 1920 Dodge Model 30 two-door coupe, which is on display in the center of the William Davidson Atrium. Dodge was an early supporter and financier of the DSO and may have driven to concerts at Orchestra Hall in this very car.

The DSO has also partnered with Detroit Bus Company to offer bus tours of three architectural gems later this fall. Stops include The Detroit Opera House, The Fillmore Detroit, and Orchestra Hall – all theaters designed by the famed C. Howard Crane. Tours are available on Sunday, October 27 and Sunday, November 3 at 10:30 a.m. Both dates have limited availability. Learn more at thedetroitbus.com.

The October 23 celebration is sponsored by Varnum LLP.

“Varnum is pleased to once again support the mission and programming of the DSO," said attorney Eric Nemeth, who leads Varnum's Detroit office. “As a lifelong Detroiter, I am very proud to be associated with the DSO and I welcome everyone to enjoy this year’s centennial celebration.”

The DSO also thanks the Honorable Avern Cohn and Lois Cohn, Bernard and Eleanor Robertson, and DTE Energy Foundation for their leadership support of Orchestra Hall’s centennial, and all Centennial Club members who generously contributed.

About Orchestra Hall

Built for the DSO at the request of then-music director Ossip Gabrilowitsch during the summer of 1919, Orchestra Hall was designed by noted theater architect C. Howard Crane (who also designed Detroit’s Fox Theatre and the current Detroit Opera House) and is renowned for its historic beauty and perfect acoustics. After the hall’s opening on October 23, 1919, the DSO entered a twenty-year golden age, which included its Carnegie Hall debut, its first records for RCA Victor, and making history as the first orchestra to perform a live radio broadcast concert, on February 10, 1922, from Orchestra Hall. 

When the DSO left for the larger Masonic Auditorium in 1939, Orchestra Hall took on a new life as the Paradise Theatre from 1941–1951, serving as Detroit’s premier venue for jazz, blues, and R&B. The hall was then long-dormant and nearly demolished in 1970 to make way for a fast-food burger chain, before a group of musicians and civic leaders rallied to save it from the wrecking ball and raise money to restore it over the course of 20 years. The DSO returned to a refurbished Orchestra Hall in 1989 and expanded its footprint in 2003 with the opening of the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center.

A Century of Pops – Ticket Information

A Century of Pops is a free event open to the public, but a no-cost ticket is required for entry. Tickets can be reserved at dso.org, by calling the Box Office at (313) 576-5111, or in-person at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center (3711 Woodward Avenue, Detroit).

All tickets are general admission and seating is first-come, first-served. Orchestra Hall is handicap accessible; please contact the Box Office for more information about handicap accommodations.

A Century of Pops – Concert Details

A Century of Pops
Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.
Orchestra Hall

Leslie B. Dunner, conductor
Abraham Feder, cello
Danielle Wright, mezzo soprano

KRISTIN KUSTER & WILLIAM LUCAS: Centennial Fanfare (world premiere)

GLAZUNOV: Polonaise from Chopiniana, Op. 46

BRUCH: Kol Nidre, Adagio on Hebrew Melodies for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 47 (Abraham Feder, cello)

GLUCK: “Che Faro Senza Euridice” from Orpheus ed Euridice (Danielle Wright, mezzo soprano)

BOËLLMANN: Symphonic Variations, Op. 23 (Abraham Feder, cello)

ELLINGTON (arr. Hermann): Duke Ellington Fantasy

PORTER: “Begin the Beguine” from Jubilee

BERNSTEIN (arr. Peress): Overture to West Side Story

Arr. HAYMAN: I Hear a Symphony

ANDERSON: Belle of the Ball

R. STRAUSS: Selections from Also Sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30

JOHN WILLIAMS: Selections from Star Wars Suite for Orchestra

About the DSO

The most accessible orchestra on the planet, 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 institution. Conductor Leonard Slatkin, who recently concluded an acclaimed decade-long tenure at the helm, now serves as the DSO’s Music Director Laureate, endowed by the Kresge Foundation. Celebrated conductor, arranger, and trumpeter Jeff Tyzik is the orchestra’s Principal Pops Conductor, while the outstanding trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard holds the Fred A. and Barbara M. 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 Classical, PNC Pops, Paradise Jazz, and Young People’s Family Concert series. One of America’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, Orchestra Hall celebrates 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 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. 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.