DSO returns to seven Metro Detroit venues as the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series continues this May

- Kensho Watanabe will conduct a program of Ravel, Korngold, and Beethoven with violinist William Hagen, May 9-11

- Daniel Blendulf will conduct Mozart’s Symphony No. 40, music by Schoenberg, and more, May 16-19

Detroit, (April 17, 2019) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s (DSO) William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series continues this May, with the DSO performing at seven venues across Metro Detroit over two weekends.

During the first weekend, conductor Kensho Watanabe will lead a program that includes Ravel’s orchestral version of Le Tombeau de Couperin, Korngold’s Violin Concerto, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8. Violinist William Hagen will be featured soloist on the Korngold.

The concerts will take place:

  • Thursday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m. at Congregation Shaarey Zedek in Southfield
  • Friday, May 10 at 8 p.m. at Macomb Center for the Performing Arts in Clinton Township
  • Sunday, May 11 at 3 p.m. at Seligman Performing Arts Center (on the campus of Detroit Country Day School) in Beverly Hills

During the second weekend, conductor Daniel Blendulf returns to the Series for a program including Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony No. 2 and Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 (sometimes referred to as the “Great” G minor symphony). In Plymouth, Bloomfield Hills, and Grosse Pointe, Blendulf will also conduct Richard Strauss’s Duet Concertino for Clarinet and Bassoon with two DSO musicians as featured soloists: Principal Clarinet Ralph Skiano (Robert B. Semple Chair) and Principal Bassoon Robert Williams. In West Bloomfield, the Strauss work will be replaced by Aulis Sallinen’s Some Aspects of Peltoniemi Hintrik's Funeral March.

The concerts will take place:

  • Thursday, May 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the Berman Center for the Performing Arts in West Bloomfield
  • Friday, May 17 at 8 p.m. at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church in Plymouth
  • Saturday, May 18 at 8 p.m. at Kirk in the Hills Presbyterian Church in Bloomfield Hills
  • Sunday, May 19 at 3 p.m. at Our Lady Star of the Sea in Grosse Pointe

Thanks to a generous grant from the FCA Foundation, the charitable arm of North American automaker FCA US, the DSO welcomes military veterans, active military, and their families to access discounted tickets for the May 9 performance in Southfield and the May 10 performance in Clinton Township. See below for more information about the ticket discount. Discounts are also available for concerts throughout the 2018-2019 Season in Orchestra Hall, including several Friday evening PNC Pops Series concerts and every Friday morning Classical Series Coffee Concert. The FCA Foundation and the DSO thank our veterans and active military members for their service.

The William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series is made possible by a generous grant from the William Davidson Foundation. Renamed in 2014 in honor of philanthropist William Davidson, the Series brings even more opportunities for Metro Detroiters to experience the DSO close to home. In October 2017 the William Davidson Foundation made a $15 million gift of support to the DSO—one of the orchestra’s largest ever—including continued sponsorship of the Series. WRCJ 90.9 FM also supports the Series. The Friday, May 17 concert in Plymouth is additionally supported by Butzel Long.

About Kensho Watanabe

Kensho Watanabe has served as assistant conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra since the 2016-17 season and was the inaugural conducting fellow of the Curtis Institute of Music from 2013 to 2015, under the mentorship of Yannick Nézet-Séguin. In April 2017 he made his critically-acclaimed subscription debut with The Philadelphia Orchestra and pianist Daniil Trifonov, and recently he conducted the Orchestra for his debut at the Bravo! Vail Music Festival and concerts at the Mann Center and the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

Equally at home in both symphonic and operatic repertoire, Mr. Watanabe has led numerous operas with the Curtis Opera Theatre, including Puccini’s La rondine in 2017 and La bohème in 2015. Additionally, he served as assistant conductor to Mr. Nézet-Séguin on a new production of Strauss’s Elektra at Montreal Opera.

An accomplished violinist, Mr. Watanabe received his Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music and served as a substitute violinist in The Philadelphia Orchestra from 2012 to 2016. Cognizant of the importance of the training and development of young musicians, he has served on the staff of the Greenwood Music Camp since 2007, currently serving as the orchestra conductor.

Mr. Watanabe is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with distinguished conducting pedagogue Otto-Werner Mueller. He also holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Yale College, where he studied molecular, cellular, and developmental biology.

About William Hagen

26-year-old violinist William Hagen has performed as soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician across the United States, Europe, and Asia. He has collaborated with several top orchestras around the world, including the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Orchestra, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, and Utah Symphony. He has also appeared at festivals including Grant Park Music Festival, Ravinia, Aspen, and Deer Valley.

As a chamber musician and soloist, he has performed with Ludovic Morlot, the Sofia Philharmonic in Bulgaria, and the Shreveport Symphony, among others. He also played chamber music with Gidon Kremer, Steven Isserlis, and Christian Tetzlaff at the “Chamber Music Connects the World” festival in Kronberg, Germany.

A native of Salt Lake City, Hagen debuted with the Utah Symphony at age nine. He studied at the Colburn School (and later Colburn Conservatory), Juilliard, and Switzerland’s Verbier Academy. He is currently enrolled at the Kronberg Academy in Germany, where he is a student of Christian Tetzlaff. His other teachers have included Natalie Reed, Deborah Moench, Robert Lipsett, and Itzhak Perlman.

Hagen performs on the 1732 “Arkwright Lady Rebecca Sylvan” Antonio Stradivari, on generous loan from the Rachel Barton Pine Foundation.

About Daniel Blendulf

Daniel Blendulf has established himself as one of Scandinavia’s most highly regarded young conductors. He has led prominent orchestras worldwide, including the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, and many others. He recently toured with Salzburg Camerata and Janine Jansen.

Blendulf is chief conductor and artistic advisor of Sweden’s Dalasinfoniettan, with whom he recently toured Japan. Elsewhere in Sweden, Blendulf is a regular guest with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and, as a strong advocate of contemporary Swedish music, his most recent subscription concerts with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra featured Anders Eliasson’s Violin Concerto, Einsame Fahrt, in memory of the late composer.

As an opera conductor, Blendulf has led Don Pasquale and the world premiere of Eliasson’s chamber opera Karolinas sömn with the Royal Swedish Opera; Carmen with Dalhalla Opera; Gounod’s Faust with Folkoperan; and Berg’s Wozzeck with Norrlandsoperan in Umeå. Formerly a cellist, Blendulf won First Prize at the Swedish Conducting Competition in 2008 and in 2014 was awarded the Herbert Blomstedt Conducting Prize.

About Ralph Skiano

Ralph Skiano was appointed Principal Clarinet of the DSO in 2014, after serving in the same position at the Richmond Symphony and Des Moines Metro Opera. He has also appeared as Guest Principal Clarinet of the Seattle Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, and Cleveland Orchestra.

Skiano has been involved in numerous music festivals, including the Mainly Mozart Festival, Peninsula Music Festival, Britt Music Festival, Festival Lyrique-en-Mer, and Tanglewood Music Center. As a soloist, he has performed with ensembles in the United States, France, Germany, and Switzerland. In 2010, Skiano was a guest artist at the Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium and a featured soloist with the Baton Rouge Symphony at the 2014 International Clarinet Association Convention.

Skiano has served on the faculty of the schools of music at James Madison University and the College of William and Mary, and has presented masterclasses at UVA, Towson University, Louisiana State University, California State University Northridge, Michigan State University, Northwestern University, and the University of Maryland.

Under the guidance of Richard Hawley, Skiano completed his undergraduate studies at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in 2002.

About Robert Williams

Robert Williams was appointed Principal Bassoon of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in 1974. He previously served as Prinicpal Basson of the Winnipeg Symphony, Winnipeg CBC Orchestra, Colorado Philharmonic, and Tucson Symphony. He has also played engagements with the Minnesota Orchestra and Boston Symphony.

In addition to his duties at the DSO, Williams plays in the DSO Bassoon Quartet, the DSO Woodwind Quintet, and the Bellingham Festival of Music. He teaches at Wayne State University and has been on the music faculties of the Aspen Music School and Festival, the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, the Grand Teton Orchestra Training Institute, Claremont Music Festival, and the Utah Music Festival.

A native of Tucson, AZ, Williams graduated with honors from the University of Arizona and did postgraduate work at the University of Southern California. His major bassoon teachers included Wendal Jones, Leonard Sharrow, and Norman Herzberg.

Ticket Information

Tickets for all William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series performances are $25 for adults and $10 for children and students, and can be purchased online at dso.org/neighborhood.

Tickets can also be purchased by calling (313) 576-5111 or in-person at the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center Box Office (3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit).

Please note: tickets will not be sold online past 8 p.m. the night prior to each performance, but will still be available for purchase at each venue on the days of the concerts.

Veterans, active military, and their families may use the code HEROES1819 to unlock $10 tickets for the May 9 performance in Southfield and the May 10 performance in Clinton Township. The code can be used at dso.org or by calling the Box Office at (313) 576-5111.

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

Beethoven Symphony No. 8

Thursday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m.
at Congregation Shaarey Zedek (Southfield, MI)

Friday, May 10 at 8 p.m.
at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts (Clinton Township, MI)

Sunday, May 12 at 3 p.m.
at Seligman Performing Arts Center (on the campus of the Detroit Country Day School, Beverly Hills, MI)

Kensho Watanabe, conductor
William Hagen, violin

RAVEL: Le tombeau de Couperin (Orchestral Version)

KORNGOLD: Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35 (William Hagen, violin)

BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 8 in F major, Op. 93


Mozart’s “Great” G minor Symphony

Thursday, May 16 at 7:30 p.m.
at the Berman Center for the Performing Arts (West Bloomfield, MI) 

Friday, May 17 at 8 p.m.
at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church (Plymouth, MI)

Saturday, May 18 at 8 p.m.
at Kirk in the Hills Presbyterian Church (Bloomfield Hills, MI)

Sunday, May 19 at 3 p.m.
at Our Lady Star of the Sea (Grosse Pointe, MI)

Daniel Blendulf, conductor
Ralph Skiano, clarinet*
Robert Williams, bassoon*

SCHOENBERG: Chamber Symphony No. 2

AULIS SALLINEN: Some Aspects of Peltoniemi Hintrik's Funeral March**

R. STRAUSS: Duet Concertino for Clarinet and Bassoon with String Orchestra and Harp* (Ralph Skiano, clarinet*; Robert Williams, bassoon*)

MOZART: Symphony No. 40 in G minor, KV. 550

* Plymouth, Bloomfield Hills, and Grosse Pointe only

** West Bloomfield only

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 will celebrate 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.