Kevin John Edusei conducts DSO in works by Zemlinsky and Korngold with violinist Clara-Jumi Kang, plus Arlene Sierra world premiere, October 19-21

October 19-21: Edusei conducts Korngold's Violin Concerto featuring soloist Clara-Jumi Kang, plus Zemlinsky’s The Mermaid and the world premiere of Kiskadee by Arlene Sierra

October 21 performance webcast for free on, YouTube, and via Facebook Live as part of DSO’s Live from Orchestra Hall series

Tickets on sale now at

Detroit, (September 27, 2023) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) will welcome conductor Kevin John Edusei to Orchestra Hall on October 19-21 for a program on the PVS Classical Series, which also features violinist Clara-Jumi Kang. Both artists will make their DSO debut with this program.

The program will open with the world premiere of a new work by composer and University of Michigan alum Arlene Sierra. Her Kiskadee is inspired by the song of the titular bird—a colorful and boisterous creature found in locations from Texas to Argentina. The work was commissioned by the League of American Orchestras with generous support from the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. Next, Kang is featured soloist in Korngold’s gorgeously cinematic Violin Concerto in D Major. The program concludes with Zemlinsky's The Mermaid, a programmatic adventure through the fairytale dramas of Hans Christian Andersen's original Little Mermaid.

Korngold’s Violin Concerto will take place Thursday, October 19 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, October 20 at 10:45 a.m., and Saturday, October 21 at 8 p.m. in Orchestra Hall.

The October 21 performance will be webcast for free on, YouTube, and via Facebook Live as part of the DSO’s Live from Orchestra Hall series.

Tickets for these performances start at $19 and can be purchased at or by calling the Box Office at 313.576.5111, open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The title sponsor of the DSO’s Classical Series is PVS Chemicals, Inc. DSO Live is presented by Ford Motor Company Fund and made possible by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Digital programming is produced from the Al Glancy Control Room.


PVS Classical Series
Thursday, October 19 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, October 20 at 10:45 a.m.
Saturday, October 21 at 8 p.m.
Orchestra Hall
Kevin John Edusei, conductor
Clara-Jumi Kang, violin
Violinist Clara-Jumi Kang is an artist "as ready to caress as to attack" (The Strad). In her DSO debut, she takes command in Korngold's gorgeously cinematic concerto. We hear new "feisty, energy-packed" music (The Guardian) by composer Arlene Sierra, and Zemlinsky's programmatic adventure takes us through the fairytale dramas of Hans Christian Andersen's original Little Mermaid.
*World premiere commissioned by the League of American Orchestras, with generous support from the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.
ARLENE SIERRA Kiskadee (World Premiere)
ERICH WOLFGANG KORNGOLD Violin Concerto in D Major


About Kevin John Edusei
German conductor Kevin John Edusei is a globally sought-after conductor praised for the drama and tension that he brings to his music-making, his attention to detail and sense of architecture, and the fluidity, warmth, and insight he brings to his performances. He is deeply committed to the creative elements of performance, presenting classical music in new formats, cultivating audiences and introducing music by underrepresented composers.

In the 2023–2024 season, Edusei makes his debut with the Seattle Symphony, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and Antwerp Symphony orchestras conducting an eclectic range of repertoire including Beethoven, Mazzoli, Zemlinsky, Moussa, Ravel, and a world premiere by Arlene Sierra. He will also return to the Fort Worth Symphony, where he holds the position of Principal Guest Conductor; the City of Birmingham Symphony; and the National Symphony Orchestra; among others.

In recent seasons Edusei has conducted major orchestras across Europe and the US, including the Munich Philharmonic, London Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, and Minnesota orchestras, among others. He has a long-standing relationship with the Chineke! Orchestra and is the former Chief Conductor of the Munich Symphony Orchestra and the Bern Opera House, where he led many highly acclaimed new productions. In the fall of 2022, Edusei made his Royal Opera House debut conducting Puccini’s La bohème, which was streamed across cinemas world-wide. He will return in 2023–2024 for a production of Madama Butterfly. 

About Clara-Jumi Kang
Violinist Clara-Jumi Kang is an artist of supreme musicality, impeccable refinement and poise as borne out by the many awards and accolades she has received since she first burst on the scene as winner of the Indianapolis International Violin Competition in 2010, hot on the heels of her successes at the Seoul Violin Competition (2009) and the Sendai Violin Competition (2010). Her cycle of Beethoven Violin Sonatas with pianist Sunwook Kim, which was released on Accentus last season, has received outstanding reviews and nominations.

Recent and current highlights include her debut at the Proms with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales under Ryan Bancroft performing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, performances with the Gurzenich Orchester under François-Xavier Paul Roth, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen under Paavo Järvi, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic under Stéphane Denève, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Rudolf Schwarz, Munich Philharmonic Orchestra under Myung-Whun Chung, and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra under Juanjo Mena. She will also tour Australasia for performances with the Melbourne Symphony, Auckland Philharmonia, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, and KBS Symphony Orchestra.

Kang made her concerto debut with Hamburg Symphony at the age of five and has since performed with orchestras including the Warsaw Philharmonic, Cologne Chamber Orchestra, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Kremerata Baltica, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Mariinsky Orchestra, Orchestre National de Belgique, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orquesta Sinfónica de RTVE, Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra with conductors such as Boreyko, Fedoseyev, Gergiev, Kremer, Mena, Poppen, François Xavier Roth, Varga, Lü Jia, Chung, Holliger, Märkl, and Yamada.

Further afield, her performances have taken her to the US with the Atlanta, New Jersey, Indianapolis, and Santa Fe symphony orchestras, as well as Asia with the NHK Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, New Japan Philharmonic, NCPA Beijing Orchestra, Macao Philharmonic, Taipei Symphony, and the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestras. She was selected as one of the top 100 “Most promising and influential people of Korea” in 2012 by major Korean newspaper Dong-A Times and was awarded the Daewon Music Award (2012) for her outstanding international achievements as well as Kumho Musician of the Year (2015). Kang has made two recordings for Decca: “Modern Solo” featuring works including Schubert’s “Erlkönig” and Ysaÿe Sonatas, and a Brahms/Schumann album with Yeol-Eum Son. A dedicated chamber musician, she is a member of the Spectrum Concerts series at the Berlin Philharmonie and a regular visitor to festivals across Asia and Europe.

Born in Germany to a musical family, Kang took up the violin at the age of three and a year later enrolled as the youngest ever student at the Mannheim Musikhochschule. She went on to study with Zakhar Bron at the Lübeck Musikhochschule and at the age of seven was awarded a full scholarship to The Julliard School to study with Dorothy Delay. She received her bachelor's and master's degrees at the Korean National University of Arts under Nam-Yun Kim before completing her studies at the Munich Musikhochschule with Christoph Poppen.

About Arlene Sierra
Arlene Sierra is a London-based American composer whose music is lauded for its “highly flexible and distinctive style” (The Guardian), ranging from “exquisiteness and restrained power” to “combative and utterly compelling” (Gramophone). Notable premieres include Nature Symphony, “memorable for its creation of wonderful sounds from a large orchestra” (Bachtrack), and commissioned by BBC Radio Three and the BBC Philharmonic; Butterflies Remember a Mountain for the Benedetti Elschenbroich Grynyuk Trio, described as “precisely and joyously imagined” (The Times) and performed in venues including the Concertgebouw and the BBC Proms; and a New York Philharmonic commission for chamber orchestra Game of Attrition, described by Time Out as “at turns spry, savage, sly and seductive… so enrapturing.” Sierra’s highly individual works have been nominated and awarded on several occasions, including the Takemitsu Composition Prize, a Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, PRS Composers Fund and Women Make Music awards, and a Leverhulme Research Fellowship. Her orchestral showpiece Moler was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition.

Sierra has composed works for the Albany, Seattle, and Utah symphonies, the Tanglewood, Cheltenham, and Huddersfield music festivals, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Bremen Philharmonic Society, and ensembles including Lontano, Psappha, International Contemporary Ensemble, and the Carducci Quartet. She has worked with conductors including Thierry Fischer, Andris Nelsons, Susanna Mälkki, Oliver Knussen, Jac Van Steen, Shiyeon Sung, Odaline de la Martinez, Jayce Ogren, Grant Llewellyn, Stefan Asbury, and Ludovic Morlot; and ensembles including the Tokyo Philharmonic, London Sinfonietta, Boston Symphony, Alabama Symphony, Österreichisches Ensemble für neue Musik, Chroma, New Juilliard Ensemble, the Fidelio, Peabody, and Horszowski Trios, and New York City Opera VOX.

Her music is the subject of a series of portrait recordings by the esteemed Bridge Records label. Arlene Sierra, Vol. 1, recorded by the International Contemporary Ensemble, received rave reviews internationally and was featured by NPR Classical, which described its “remarkable brilliance of color, rhythmic dexterity and playfulness.” The orchestral disc Game of Attrition: Arlene Sierra, Vol. 2 has been praised for “vividly scored, colorful works” by The New York Times and described by The Guardian as “remarkably sure-footed… quirky and individual” and “startlingly fresh and assured.” Gramophone Magazine has described Sierra’s latest release Butterflies Remember a Mountain - Arlene Sierra, Vol. 3 as “a wonderful chamber music issue that enthralls from first bar to last.” Other labels representing Sierra’s work include NMC, New Focus Recordings, and Coviello Classics.

Born in Miami to a family of New Yorkers, she holds degrees from Oberlin College-Conservatory, Yale School of Music, and the University of Michigan. Sierra currently serves as Professor of Music Composition at Cardiff University School of Music.

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.