Leonard Slatkin and DSO will perform "Carmina Burana" and new Paganini Variations, March 12-15

- Vocalists Lauren Snouffer, Taylor Stayton, and Will Liverman will join DSO, UMS Choral Union, and Ann Arbor Youth Chorale for Carmina Burana

- DSO co-commissioned new set of Paganini Variations in honor of Slatkin’s 75th birthday

- Friday, March 13 performance will be webcast for free at dso.org/live and via Facebook Live

Detroit, (February 25, 2020) – Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) Music Director Laureate Leonard Slatkin will return to Orchestra Hall to conduct a program of new Paganini Variations and Carl Orff’s spellbinding Carmina Burana, well known for its “O Fortuna” opening and closing.

Yet Another Set of Variations (on a Theme of Paganini) is a collection of variations based on Niccolò Paganini’s popular 24 Caprices – six from 1996 plus new variations co-commissioned by the DSO in honor of Slatkin’s 75th birthday. The piece features music written by Slatkin and some of his closest friends and musical colleagues, including William Bolcom, Joan Tower, John Corigliano, Cindy McTee, and Daniel Slatkin. (See below for a complete list.)

Soprano Lauren Snouffer, tenor Taylor Stayton, and baritone Will Liverman are featured soloists in Carmina Burana. Slatkin and the DSO will also be joined by members of UMS Choral Union and the Ann Arbor Youth Chorale.

The concerts take place Thursday, March 12 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 13 at 8 p.m., Saturday, March 14 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, March 15 at 3 p.m. at Orchestra Hall, within Midtown Detroit’s Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center.

Watch Live around the world: the Friday, March 13 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 evening 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 Thursday, March 12 performance. 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 Leonard Slatkin

Internationally acclaimed conductor Leonard Slatkin is music director laureate of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and directeur musical honoraire of the Orchestre National de Lyon (ONL). He maintains a rigorous schedule of guest conducting throughout the world and is active as a composer, author, and educator.

In the 2019-20 season, he will celebrate his 75th birthday year with several of the orchestras he has led over the course of his 50-year career, including the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Nashville Symphony Orchestra, DSO, and ONL. Other highlights include return engagements with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, RTÉ National Symphony in Dublin, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo; debuts with the KBS Symphony Orchestra in Seoul, NDR Radiophilharmonie in Hannover, and Würth Philharmonic in Künzelsau, Germany; and three weeks in Spain conducting orchestras in Castile-León, Bilbao, and the Balearic Islands.

Slatkin has received six Grammy awards and 33 nominations. His recent Naxos recordings include works by Saint-Saëns, Ravel, and Berlioz (with the ONL) and music by Copland, Rachmaninoff, Borzova, McTee, and John Williams (with the DSO). In addition, he has recorded the complete Brahms, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky symphonies with the DSO (available online as digital downloads).

A recipient of the prestigious National Medal of Arts, Slatkin also holds the rank of Chevalier in the French Legion of Honor. He has received Austria’s Decoration of Honor in Silver, the League of American Orchestras’ Gold Baton Award, and the 2013 ASCAP Deems Taylor Special Recognition Award for his debut book, Conducting Business. His second book, Leading Tones: Reflections on Music, Musicians, and the Music Industry, was published by Amadeus Press in 2017.

Slatkin has conducted virtually all the leading orchestras in the world. As Music Director, he has held posts in New Orleans; St. Louis; Washington, DC; London (with the BBCSO); Detroit; and Lyon, France. He has also served as Principal Guest Conductor in Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Cleveland.

About Lauren Snouffer

Lauren Snouffer is an American soprano with a unique artistic curiosity – one that informs her world-class performances spanning the music of Claudio Monteverdi and Johann Adolph Hasse through to Missy Mazzoli and George Benjamin.

Upcoming and recent highlights include a debut at the Opernhaus Zürich in the world premiere of Stefan Wirth’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, several Handel operas (Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare in Moscow, Romilda in Serse in Karlsruhe, and the title role of Aci, Galatea e Polifemo in San Francisco), Handel’s Messiah with the San Francisco Symphony and Kansas City Symphony, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the New Zealand Symphony.

Other career highlights include singing the title role of Berg’s Lulu in a new production at the Teatro Municipal de Santiago, Houston Grand Opera performances of Le nozze di Figaro, Lyric Opera of Chicago performances of La clemenza di Tito, Max Emanuel Cencic’s new production of Hasse’s Siroe at the Opéra Royal de Versailles, and the world premiere of Andrew Norman’s A Trip to the Moon with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Snouffer has had the pleasure of working with Franz Welser-Möst, Cristian Măcelaru, Krzysztof Urbański, Markus Stenz, Marin Alsop, and many others. She is closely associated with George Benjamin, especially his opera Written on Skin.

Snouffer’s discography includes Hasse’s Siroe and Handel’s Ottone with George Petrou for Decca, Gottschalk’s Requiem for the Living with Vladimir Lande on Novona Records, Grantham’s La cancíon desesperada conducted by Craig Hella Johnson on Harmonia Mundi, and Feldman’s The Rothko Chapel with Steven Schick for ECM.

A graduate of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, Snouffer was a winner of a 2013 Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation, a Richard F. Gold Career Grant bestowed by Houston Grand Opera, and a grand finalist in the 2012 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She studied at Rice University and The Juilliard School.

About Taylor Stayton

Taylor Stayton is an American tenor praised by Opera News for his “laser-bright timbre” and “exceptional fluidity.” The current season features his returns to Semperoper Dresden and Palm Beach Opera for performances as Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia (one of his signature roles), a return to Des Moines Metro Opera, and a debut with the University of Michigan’s University Musical Society (UMS) in Handel’s Messiah.

Stayton has performed Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Opéra de Lille, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Nashville Opera, and Opera Philadelphia; as well as on a tour throughout France at Opéra de Limoges, Théâtre de Caen, and Opéra de Dijon. Other opera highlights include the title character in Le comte Ory with Des Moines Metro Opera, Don Ramiro in La Cenerentola at the Glyndebourne Festival, Tonio in La fille du regiment with Palm Beach Opera, Lindoro in L’Italiana in Algeri with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Marzio in Mitridate re di Ponto with Bayerische Staatsoper, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni with Kentucky Opera Tybalt in Roméo et Juliette with Opera Philadelphia, Don Alvar in L’Africaine with Opera Orchestra of New York, and Fenton in Falstaff with Teatro dell-Opera di Roma. Stayton made his critically acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut in a last-minute performance as Percy in Anna Bolena and returned as Elvino in La Sonnambula opposite Diana Damrau.

A native of Sidney, OH, Stayton is a 2011 graduate of The Academy of Vocal Arts as a student of Bill Schuman. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree at Ohio State University and is an alumnus of the Martina Arroyo Foundation’s “Prelude to Performance” program. He has won several prestigious vocal competitions, including First Prize in the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation International Voice Competition, First prize in the Gerda Lissner Foundation International Voice Competition, and third place in the Loren B. Zachary Voice Competition.

About Will Liverman

Baritone Will Liverman is a recipient of a 2019 Richard Tucker Career Grant and Sphinx Medal of Excellence and was described by Bachtrack as “one of the most versatile singing artists performing today.”

Upcoming and recent highlights include Papageno in The Magic Flute and Horemhab in Akhnaten at the Metropolitan Opera, Pantalone in The Love of Three Oranges at Opera Philadelphia, Marcello in La bohème at Seattle Opera, Schaunard in La bohème at Santa Fe Opera and Dallas Opera, and Silvio in Pagliacci at Opera Colorado and Portland Opera, in addition to performing Schubert’s Die Winterreise at The Barns at Wolf Trap Opera.

Liverman has performed Figaro in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia with Seattle Opera, Virginia Opera, Kentucky Opera, Madison Opera, and Utah Opera. He originated the role of Dizzy Gillespie in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird with Opera Philadelphia, in addition to performing the role with English National Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Madison Opera, and at the Apollo Theater. Other recent highlights include the role of Tommy McIntyre in the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of Fellow Travelers for its Lyric Unlimited initiative; Papageno in The Magic Flute with Florentine Opera and Central City Opera; Tarquinius in The Rape of Lucretia and Beaumarchais in The Ghosts of Versailles with Wolf Trap Opera; Andrew Hanley in the world premiere of Kevin Puts’ The Manchurian Candidate with Minnesota Opera; Sam in The Pirates of Penzance with Atlanta Opera; and more. Liverman performed the title role in a concert version of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal and has appeared as a featured soloist in Brahms’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, and Beethoven’s Missa solemnis with ensembles across North America.

Liverman concluded his tenure at the prestigious Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2015. He was previously a Young Artist at the Glimmerglass Festival. He holds his Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School and a Bachelor of Music degree from Wheaton College in Illinois.

Ticket Information

Tickets for Carmina Burana 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, May 12. The code can be used at dso.org or by calling the Box Office at (313) 576-5111.

Performance Details

Thursday, March 12 at 7:30 p.m. EDT
Friday, March 13 at 8 p.m. EDT
Saturday, March 14 at 8 p.m. EDT
Sunday, March 15 at 3 p.m. EDT

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

Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Lauren Snouffer, soprano
Taylor Stayton, tenor
Will Liverman, baritone
UMS Choral Union
Ann Arbor Youth Chorale

Yet Another Set of Variations (on a Theme of Paganini)
Leonard Slatkin: Introduction, Theme, and Variant (with apologies to S.R.)
Joseph Schwantner: Aftertones of Niccolò*
Leonard Slatkin: Transitional Interlude
Guillaume Connesson: Variation d’Anniversaire sur un theme de Paganini
Donald Erb: Ave Atque Vale L.S.*
Truman Harris: Sarabande
William Bolcom: Presto scherzando*
Joan Tower: Paganini Trills*
Daniel Slatkin: Paganini Goes to the Movies
Claude Baker: Il regalo di Fornaio*
Cindy McTee: Paganini Stomp
John Corigliano: Apotheosis (:90)
Leonard Slatkin: Quodlibet and Finale*
(* from 1996; otherwise newly co-commissioned)

Carmina Burana
Lauren Snouffer, soprano
Taylor Stayton, tenor
Will Liverman, baritone
UMS Choral Union
Ann Arbor Youth Chorale

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.