James Ehnes performs Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto with DSO and conductor Juanjo Mena, December 5 - 7

- Program also includes Schubert’s Symphony No. 9, “The Great” and music by Haydn

- December 6 concert will be webcast for free at dso.org/live and via Facebook Live

Detroit, (November 18, 2019) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) welcomes conductor Juano Mena and violinist James Ehnes to Detroit for a program of Haydn, Mendelssohn, and Schubert on the Classical Series.

Ehnes is featured soloist in Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto. The DSO will begin the program with Haydn’s Symphony No. 44, “Trauersinfonie,” and conclude it with Schubert’s Symphony No. 9, “The Great.”

The concerts take place Thursday, December 5 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, December 6 at 10:45 a.m., and Saturday, December 7 at 8 p.m. at Orchestra Hall, within Midtown Detroit’s Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center.

Watch Live around the world: the Friday, December 6 concert will be webcast for free at dso.org/live and via Facebook Live, as part of the DSO’s groundbreaking Live from Orchestra Hall series. The series is presented by Ford Motor Company Fund and made possible by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

One hour prior to each performance, guests are invited to enjoy an informative onstage Concert Talk about the program. These lectures and discussions will be made available for later viewing on the DSO’s YouTube channel.

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 7:30 p.m. performance on Thursday, December 5 and the 10:45 a.m. performance on Friday, December 6. See below for more information about the ticket discount. The FCA Foundation and the DSO thank our veterans and active military members for their service.

Throughout the 2019-2020 season, the DSO will celebrate Orchestra Hall’s 100th anniversary with special programming and events, a commemorative book written by former Detroit Free Press music critic Mark Stryker, a documentary series produced by Detroit Public Television, a two-site exhibition created in collaboration with the Detroit Historical Society and Museum, and more. Learn more about the centennial at dso.org/centennial.

The DSO would like to thank the Honorable Avern Cohn and Lois Cohn, Bernard and Eleanor Robertson, Aaron and Carolynn Frankel, DTE Energy Foundation, Ford Motor Company Fund, and Varnum LLP for their leadership support of Orchestra Hall’s centennial, and all Centennial Club members who generously contributed.

The DSO Classical Series is generously sponsored by PVS Chemicals, Inc.

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.

About Juanjo Mena

Juanjo Mena is one of Spain’s most distinguished international conductors. He currently serves as principal conductor of the Cincinnati May Festival and associate conductor of the Spanish National Orchestra. Mena has performed with many of North America’s top orchestras including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Toronto Symphony Orchestra. In Europe, he has conducted the Berliner Philharmoniker, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, and others. Festival appearances include Grant Park Music Festival, Tanglewood Music Festival, and White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg. His operatic work includes The Flying DutchmanSalomeElektra, and Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos.

He previously served as chief conductor of the BBC Philharmonic, with whom he made several recordings, including Manuel de Falla’s opera La Vida Breve, a Gabriel Pierné release, which was a Gramophone Editor’s Choice. Other recordings include works by Albéniz and Montsalvatge.

Born in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, Mena attended the Madrid Royal Conservatory where he studied under Carmelo Bernaola and Enrique García Asensio. He also studied conducting with Sergiu Celibidache in Munich on a Guridi-Bernaola scholarship. In 1997, the Basque Government selected Mena to form the Youth Orchestra of Euskal Herria. He subsequently became associate conductor of the Euskadi Symphony Orchestra.

About James Ehnes

James Ehnes is a Grammy Award-winning violinist lauded for his stunning virtuosity and unfaltering musicality. He has performed in over 35 countries on five continents, appearing regularly in the world’s great concert halls and with many celebrated orchestras and conductors. He currently holds an artist residency with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and made his debut with the London Philharmonic Orchestra in spring 2019. Recent highlights include performances with the San Francisco Symphony, London Symphony Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, and MET Orchestra at Carnegie Hall under the baton of Gianandrea Noseda.

Ehnes has an extensive discography and has won many awards for his recordings, including a Grammy Award (2019) for his live recording of Aaron Jay Kernis’s Violin Concerto with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and Ludovic Morlot, and a Gramophone Award for his live recording of the Elgar Concerto with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Sir Andrew Davis.

Born in Brandon, Manitoba, Ehnes became a protégé of noted Canadian violinist Francis Chaplin and continued his studies under Sally Thomas at the Meadowmount School of Music and The Juilliard School. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and in 2010 was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada. Ehnes was awarded the 2017 Royal Philharmonic Society Award in the Instrumentalist category.

Ehnes plays the “Marsick” Stradivarius of 1715.

Ticket Information

Tickets for Mendelssohn Violin Concerto begin at $15 and can be purchased at dso.org, by calling (313) 576-5111, or in-person at the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center Box Office (3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit).

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.

Veterans, active military, and their families may use the code HEROES1920 to unlock $10 tickets for the 7:30 p.m. performance on Thursday, December 5 and the 10:45 a.m. performance on Friday, December 6. The code can be used at dso.org or by calling the Box Office at (313) 576-5111.

Performance Details

Thursday, December 5 at 7:30 p.m. EST
Friday, December 6 at 10:45 a.m. EST
Saturday, December 7 at 8 p.m. EST

Orchestra Hall at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center

Juano Mena, conductor
James Ehnes, violin

HAYDN:                    Symphony No. 44 in E minor, “Trauersinfonie”

MENDELSSOHN:      Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64 (James Ehnes, violin)

SCHUBERT:               Symphony No. 9 in C major, “The Great”

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.