DSO musicians offer online "DSO Summer Institute" for over 100 college-level and pre-professional musicians

Full-scholarship private lessons and masterclasses begin today

Detroit, (July 20, 2020) – Today, members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) begin a weeklong online training intensive featuring private lessons and masterclasses for college-level and pre-professional musicians. Conceived and developed entirely by DSO musicians with administrative support from DSO staff, the DSO Summer Institute will run July 20-25, 2020.

Seventy DSO musicians will work with 113 students from across the country, selected by audition for this full-scholarship learning opportunity. The DSO is committed to diversifying classical music and actively recruited candidates from a diverse student body.    

With an array of virtual course offerings delivered over Zoom, participants will learn about the career of an orchestral musician: auditioning, receiving tenure, mental and physical wellness, and much more. Online private lessons and masterclasses with DSO musicians will be at the heart of each participant’s schedule. Discussions—including one with incoming DSO music director Jader Bignamini—and Watch Parties of archived DSO performances will also take place. The week will conclude with a mock audition.

“What excites me the most about the Summer Institute is that it complements our already existing education programs,” said Johanna Yarbrough, DSO horn. “The Institute is a high-caliber training opportunity for the future talent of the DSO Fellowship program and the orchestra itself. I look forward to working alongside some of the brightest young musicians in the hopes that one day they might sit beside us or become members of other orchestras.” 

“Summer music festivals were really important to my development as a musician, and the DSO Summer Institute is an amazing opportunity in a time when a lot of festivals have been cancelled,” said Hannah Hammel, DSO Principal Flute. “I’m particularly excited about how holistic the offerings are. The participants are incredibly talented, and I look forward to welcoming them this week.” 

“The outstanding work DSO musicians have put into the Summer Institute program, as well as the really strong applicant pool, shows the innovation and excellence of our orchestra,” said DSO Vice President and General Manager Erik Rönmark. “That our musicians’ own Summer Institute immediately follows our three-week partnership with Interlochen Center for the Arts’ summer online program also demonstrates our commitment to education. Special thanks to Johanna Yarbrough, Hannah Hammel, Kevin Brown, and Ralph Skiano for spearheading this new initiative.”

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 organization. In January 2020, Italian conductor Jader Bignamini was named the DSO’s next music director to commence with the 2020-2021 season. Conductor Leonard Slatkin, who concluded a decade-long tenure at the helm in 2018, 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 the world’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 eight 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.