Enrico Lopez-Yañez named Principal Pops Conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Initial three-year contract to begin in 2024–2025 season

Enrico conducts the DSO this weekend in four performances at Orchestra Hall, including Latin Fire with José Sibaja and Mónica Ábrego, and Halloween concert on the Young People’s Family Concert Series

Detroit, (October 26, 2023) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) announced today that conductor, producer, composer, and arranger Enrico Lopez-Yañez has been appointed Principal Pops Conductor beginning with the 2024–2025 season. Enrico will succeed Jeff Tyzik, who has served in the role since 2013, and will join an artistic leadership team at the DSO that includes Music Director Jader Bignamini, Fred A. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair Terence Blanchard, and Assistant Conductor Na’Zir McFadden.

“Enrico’s vibrancy, charisma, and creativity will invigorate our orchestra and be a tremendous asset,” said DSO President and CEO Erik Rönmark. “Together with Jader, Terence, and Na’Zir, Enrico will be a dynamic artistic leader and conductor that brings unforgettable musical moments to our audiences in Orchestra Hall and throughout Detroit. I also want to thank Jeff Tyzik for his decade of exceptional leadership. Jeff has created a strong pops program at the DSO and built a deep rapport with our audiences here in Detroit. We are eager to build on his legacy with the next generation of pops artistry under Enrico.”

“I am honored to be named Principal Pops Conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, which has a long tradition of outstanding pops programming, presented today under its extraordinary PNC Pops Series,” said Enrico Lopez-Yañez. “Pops means endless possibilities. We can take any genre or artist and use the orchestra to transform and elevate the music, bringing it to audiences in a way that is unique and innovative. I look forward to working with the DSO to create unsurpassed musical experiences that our audiences will love and that will bring together diverse communities.”

The news of Enrico’s appointment is being celebrated ahead of his four concerts with the DSO at Orchestra Hall this weekend, including three performances of Latin Fire on the PNC Pops Series and the annual Halloween-themed Young People’s Family Concert, Dr. FREAKuency’s Major Monster Bash, both programs developed by Enrico’s Symphonica Productions and featuring his arrangements.

The Latin Fire concerts take place Friday, October 27 at 10:45 a.m., Saturday, October 28 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, October 29 at 3 p.m. at Orchestra Hall, within Midtown Detroit’s Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center. Dr. FREAKuency's Major Monster Bash takes place on Saturday, October 28 at 11 a.m., also at Orchestra Hall. Enrico will return later this season to conduct Vanessa Williams (November 18–19) with the superstar vocalist and Disco Fever (May 17–19), where audiences will boogie with the best with an onstage dance off and non-stop hits, featuring all-new arrangements by Enrico. Enrico’s first season as Principal Pops Conductor will begin in fall 2024. Learn more about Enrico in the DSO’s blog post by clicking here.

Enrico was first introduced to Detroit audiences in 2019, conducting a program in May on the Educational Concert Series (ECS). He returned later that year to lead another ECS performance and has since conducted the DSO in more than twenty performances, including 2021’s Summer Soirée with Renée Elise Goldsberry and numerous educational, family, pops, and special programs. In February 2022, he conducted a musical experience at St. Hedwig Catholic Church in partnership with the Southwest Detroit community as part of the DSO’s Detroit Neighborhood Initiative, a commitment to the growth and well-being of the City of Detroit. In response to the enormous success of the initial performance, Enrico returned to St. Hedwig in May 2023 for another program featuring works by Latin American composers, sacred and popular favorites, and a performance by Ballet Folklorico Moyocoyani Izel.

“I’m blown away by the kind of engagement that the DSO has with its community and how mission driven they are to really be an orchestra for the City of Detroit,” said Enrico. “The DSO really puts their time, effort, and money where their mouth is and serves as an inclusive and culturally relevant leader in our industry.”

Enrico’s musical upbringing was infused with Latin genres. Rooted in a desire to perform and be around music, he grew up playing the trumpet and traveling with his father, Jorge Lopez-Yañez—renowned operatic tenor and part of the Three Mexican Tenors—on tour around the world. The artistry Enrico experienced through his father and the musicians he encountered shaped his musical stylings, and he proudly brings forth Latin culture and history into the symphonic world, including through collaborations with leading Mexican artists like Aida Cuevas and Lila Downs. In September 2023, he was awarded the “Mexicanos Distinguidos” (“Distinguished Mexicans”) Award, which recognizes citizens abroad for their extraordinary professional trajectory, social responsibility, peer recognition, and commitment to promote the image of Mexico.

Enrico also holds conducting roles with the Dallas Symphony, the Pacific Symphony, and the Nashville Symphony and has conducted concerts with a broad spectrum of artists including Nas, Gladys Knight, Ledisi, Itzhak Perlman, Stewart Copeland (including with the DSO in early October 2023), Kenny Loggins, Toby Keith, Mickey Guyton, Kelsea Ballerini, Leslie Odom Jr., Hanson, The Beach Boys, and Kenny G. An active producer, composer, and arranger, Enrico has been commissioned to write pieces for leading orchestras including the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra and Houston Symphony. He is also Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Symphonica Productions, LLC, where he curates and leads programs designed to cultivate new audiences, including a wide breadth of pops, family, and educational programming.

Passionate about engaging audiences of all ages and backgrounds, Enrico brings high energy, creativity, and innovation, and is known for his unique and oftentimes theatrical style of audience engagement, which he looks forward to continuing in his new role as he succeeds Tyzik.

“Jeff has been a huge influence on my life and career,” said Enrico. “He is not only an incredible, legendary conductor, but also a composer, arranger, and trumpet player: all things that I try and emulate and that he has mastered and done throughout his career at the highest level. He is truly one of the kindest people in our industry and I’m very honored to be following in his footsteps.”

Tyzik has enjoyed a more than 20-year relationship with the DSO, first leading the orchestra as a guest conductor in the 1990s. He was named Principal Pops Conductor in 2013 and has since served as a valuable leader at the organization. Tyzik’s versatile artistry and engaging podium style made him a favorite among Detroit audiences, and he has grown the orchestra’s pops program into some of the DSO’s most beloved concerts.

The title sponsor of the DSO’s PNC Pops Series is PNC Bank. The Young People’s Family Concert Series is supported by Sun Communities.

About Enrico Lopez-Yañez
Enrico Lopez-Yañez is the Principal Pops Conductor of the Nashville Symphony and Pacific Symphony, as well as the Principal Conductor of the Dallas Symphony Presents. This season, Lopez-Yañez has been named Principal Pops Conductor Designate of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, a position he will begin in the 2024–2025 season. Lopez-Yañez is quickly establishing himself as one of the nation’s leading conductors of popular music and becoming known for his unique style of audience engagement. Also an active composer and arranger, he has been commissioned to write for the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Houston Symphony, San Diego Symphony and Omaha Symphony, and has had his works performed by orchestras including the Atlanta Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony, National Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Seattle Symphony, and Utah Symphony, among others.

Lopez-Yañez has conducted concerts with a broad spectrum of artists including Nas, Patti LaBelle, Ledisi, Itzhak Perlman, Stewart Copeland, Kenny Loggins, Trisha Yearwood, Kelsea Ballerini, Leslie Odom Jr., Renee Elise Goldsberry, Portugal. The Man, Cody Fry, Hanson, The Beach Boys, Kenny G, and more. Lopez-Yañez also conducts the annual Let Freedom Sing! Music City July 4th fireworks show, which is televised annually on CMT, reaching millions of viewers across the nation.

This season Lopez-Yañez will collaborate with artists including Ben Rector, Cypress Hill, Tituss Burgess, Vanessa Williams, Lyle Lovett, Jefferson Starship, Guster, Ben Folds, and Arturo Sandoval. He will appear with the Minnesota Orchestra and Milwaukee Symphony, as well as make return appearances with the Indianapolis Symphony, National Symphony, The Philadelphia Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, and more. Previously, Lopez-Yañez has appeared with orchestras throughout North America including the Baltimore Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Houston Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, and the Seattle Symphony, among others.

Lopez-Yañez is the recipient of the 2023 “Mexicanos Distiguidos” Award by the Mexican government, an award granted to Mexican citizens living abroad for outstanding career accomplishments in their field. As an advocate for Latin music, he has arranged and produced shows for Latin Fire, Mariachi Los Camperos, and The Three Mexican Tenors, and collaborated with artists including Aida Cuevas and Lila Downs.

As Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Symphonica Productions, LLC, Lopez-Yañez curates and leads programs designed to cultivate new audiences. Symphonica manages a wide breadth of pops, family, and educational productions that “breathe new, exuberant life into classical programming for kids and families” (Nashville Parent Magazine). Symphonica’s productions have been described as “incredibly special—and something that needs to become the new norm” (Lima Symphony). As a sheet music publishing house, Symphonica Productions represents a diverse offering of genres and composers, including Grammy Award nominee Clarice Assad, Sverre Indris Joner, Andres Soto, Charles Cozens, Vinicio Meza, and more.

As a producer, composer, and arranger, Lopez-Yañez’s work can be heard on numerous albums including the UNESCO benefit album Action Moves People United and children’s music albums including The Spaceship that Fell in My Backyard, winner of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, Hollywood Music and Media Awards, and Family Choice Awards; and Kokowanda Bay, winner of a Global Media Award as well as a Parents’ Choice Award, where Lopez-Yañez was lauded for his “catchy arrangements” (Parents’ Choice Foundation).

Connect on social media @enricolopezyanez or visit enricolopezyanez.com for more information.

About the DSO
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. Led by Music Director Jader Bignamini since 2020, the DSO makes its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, offering a performance schedule that features the PVS Classical, PNC Pops, Paradise Jazz, and Young People’s Family Concert series. In addition, the DSO presents the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series in metro area venues, as well as 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 Hall series of free webcasts.

Since its first school concerts a century ago, and particularly since the founding of the Civic Youth Ensembles in 1970, the DSO has been a national leader in bringing the benefits of music education to students, teachers, and families in Detroit and surrounding communities. The DSO remains committed to expanding its participation in the growth and well-being of Detroit through programs like its Detroit Neighborhood Initiative—cultural events co-created with community partners and residents—and Detroit Harmony, a promise to provide an instrument and instruction to any student in the city who wants to learn. With unwavering support from the people of Detroit, the DSO actively pursues a mission to impact lives through the power of unforgettable musical experiences.