DSO establishes Anne Parsons Leadership Fund with initial commitments of over $15 million

Part of the DSO Impact Campaign, the Anne Parsons Leadership Fund will build upon the legacy of the DSO’s late President and CEO 

Detroit, (June 21, 2022) – At its tenth Heroes Gala and Benefit Concert on Saturday night, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) announced the establishment of the Anne Parsons Leadership Fund in recognition of its late President and CEO. With initial commitments of over $15 million, the endowed fund is new foundational pillar of the orchestra’s DSO Impact endowment campaign. 

On making the announcement Saturday night, DSO President and CEO Erik Rönmark said, “The Anne Parsons Leadership Fund serves as a promise to honor and build upon Anne’s legacy. Through (this) support, the DSO will always remain deeply rooted in the cultural fabric of Detroit – committed to delivering the inspiration of music and human connection to all.”

Mr. Rönmark also thanked the initial supporters of the Anne Parsons Leadership Fund: the Mort and Brigitte Harris Foundation, James B. and Ann V. Nicholson, Linda Dresner and Ed Levy, Jr., Julie and Peter Cummings, Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Wm. Fisher, Drs. David and Bernadine Wu, Shari and Craig Morgan, Penny and Harold Blumenstein, Mr. and Mrs. Richard L. Alonzo, Mary Ann and Robert Gorlin, Marvin and Betty Danto Family Foundation, Margie Dunn and Mark Davidoff, Mr. David Assemany and Mr. Jeffery Zook, The Glancy Foundation, Inc., Nancy Schlichting and Pamela Theisen, Chacona and Harold Baugh, Mandell and Madeleine Berman Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Arn Tellem, and Mrs. Bonnie Larson. For more on the Anne Parsons Leadership Fund, visit dso.org/parsonsfund.

The tenth DSO Heroes Gala and Benefit Concert at Orchestra Hall on Saturday, June 18, 2022, honored Ms. Parsons alongside longtime DSO supporters and community philanthropists Linda Dresner and Ed Levy, Jr. Gala attendees enjoyed red carpet arrivals and cocktails followed by a concert and a formal dinner. Music Director Jader Bignamini conducted the program, which included Pablo de Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasy with Grammy Award-winning violinist Hilary Hahn, Gioachino Rossini’s Overture to Semiramide, Amilcare Ponchielli’s "Dance of the Hours" from La Gioconda, Camille Saint-Saëns’s "Bacchanale" from Samson and Delilah, and Jeronimo Gimenez’s Intermezzo from La Boda de Luis Alonso. The event raised over $900,000 in support of the DSO’s music education initiatives.

The Heroes Gala was presented by honorary patrons Judy and Stanley Frankel and Ann and Jim Nicholson and sponsored by the Marjorie S. Fisher Fund, Linda Dresner and Ed Levy, Jr., Penny and Harold Blumenstein, Joanne Danto and Arnold Weingarden, DTE Foundation, Nancy and James Grosfeld, Gwen and S. Evan Weiner & the Levy Family of Companies, Terese and Paul Zlotoff, Honigman, Beaumont Health Foundation, Lauren and Phillip Fisher, Myron P. Leven Foundation, William Davidson Foundation, Applebaum Family Philanthropy, Frances and Kenneth Eisenberg, Henry Ford Health System, Bobbi and Stephen Polk, Richard and Jane Manoogian Foundation, Eleanor and Bernard Robertson, Barbara Van Dusen, and Bernadine and David Wu.

 The DSO founded the Heroes Gala in 2010 in honor of the remarkable people who impact the vision, values, and success of the organization.

About the DSOThe 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 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 Hallseries 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.