March 24–26: Bignamini conducts Brahms’s Fourth Symphony and Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 featuring soloist George Li, in celebration of composer's 150th birthday
March 30–April 1: Bignamini conducts Stravinsky’s Firebird and Márquez’s Fandango featuring soloist Anne Akiko Meyers
March 25 and April 1 performances webcast for free at dso.org and via Facebook Live as part of DSO’s Live from Orchestra Hall series; March 24 concert broadcast and streamed live on 90.9 WRCJ in Detroit and network of stations across Michigan
March 29 Chamber Recital: Intimate Letters & Inner Voices with DSO String Quartet at Southfield Parks and Recreation
Tickets on sale now at dso.org
Detroit, (March 2, 2023) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) will welcome Music Director Jader Bignamini to Orchestra Hall on March 24-26 and March 30-April 1 for two weekends of concerts on the PVS Classical Series, the first with pianist George Li and the second with violinist Anne Akiko Meyers.
The first weekend features Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with pianist George Li, who is praised by Bachtrack for playing this piece “with a sense of discovery, as if the music were quite new.” The concerto is presented as part of the DSO’s celebration of Rachmaninoff’s 150th birthday year and features passionate melodies, lush harmonies, and displays of blistering speed at the keyboard. Also on the program is Brahms’s Symphony No. 4, his final symphony that showcases the height of his inventive powers, and Ballade—an exceptionally confident work by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor that combines a spirit of grand adventure with passages of lilting tenderness.
The following week, Bignamini will conduct the DSO and violinist Anne Aikiko Meyers in Arturo Márquez’s Fandango, a mariachi-inspired concerto commissioned by Meyers herself. Márquez’s father was a mariachi musician, and the piece draws on the composer’s childhood immersion in the mariachi style. The program will also incude Márquez’s Danzón No. 2—inspired by his visit to a ballroom in Veracruz—and Khachaturian’s Adagio from Spartacus, a dramatic selection from the composer’s ballet about the gladiator who led a slave uprising in ancient Rome. The program will conclude with Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite, a monumental piece awash in orchestral colors that crackles with wild rhythms and an iridescent finale.
On Wednesday, March 29 at 7 p.m., DSO musicians Alexander Volkov (violin), Sujin Lim (violin), Mike Chen (viola), and David LeDoux (cello) will perform a chamber recital at Southfield Parks & Recreation. The program will include Leoš Janáček’s String Quartet No. 2, “Intimate Letters,” which was inspired by his passionate obsession with a woman to whom he wrote over 700 letters, and Jean Sibelius’s String Quartet in D minor, “Voces intimae,” which he referred to as “Inner Voices” for its inwardness and contemplation. This performance is free to all Neighborhood Series subscribers. Single tickets are also available and start at $15.
Brahms’ Fourth & Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will take place Friday, March 24 at 10:45 a.m., Saturday, March 25 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, March 26 at 3 p.m. in Orchestra Hall.
Jader Conducts Stravinsky’s Firebird will take place Thursday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 31 at 8 p.m., and Saturday, April 1 at 8 p.m. in Orchestra Hall.
The March 25 and April 1 performances will also be webcast for free at dso.org and via Facebook Live as part of the DSO’s Live from Orchestra Hall series. The March 24 concert will be broadcast and streamed live on 90.9 WRCJ in Detroit as well as a network of stations across Michigan.
Tickets for these performances start at $19 and can be purchased at dso.org or by calling the Box Office at 313.576.5111, open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
2022-2023 SEASON DSO SAFETY POLICIES: The DSO no longer requires audiences to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to attend performances. Masks are optional although strongly recommended at DSO performances, particularly when Wayne County and surrounding communities are in the high or "red" category as defined by the CDC. The DSO asks audience members to do their part to create a safe environment for everyone and encourages those who are not feeling well to stay home.
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.
BRAHMS’ FOURTH & RACHMANINOFF’S PIANO CONCERTO NO. 2
PVS Classical Series
Friday, March 24 at 10:45 a.m.
Saturday, March 25 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, March 26 at 3 p.m.
Jader Bignamini, conductor
George Li, piano
Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 is full of passionate melodies, lush harmonies, and displays of blistering speed at the keyboard. Our soloist is George Li, who has been praised by Bachtrack for playing this piece “with a sense of discovery, as if the music were quite new.” Brahms’ final symphony shows the German composer at the height of his inventive powers. We open with an exceptionally confident work by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, written when the composer was only 23; it combines a spirit of grand adventure with passages of lilting tenderness.
SAMUEL COLERIDGE-TAYLOR Ballade
SERGEI RACHMANINOFF Piano Concerto No. 2
JOHANNES BRAHMS Symphony No. 4
INTIMATE LETTERS & INNER VOICES | STRING QUARTET
Wednesday, March 29 at 7 p.m.
Alexander Volkov, violin
Sujin Lim, violin
Mike Chen, viola
David Ledoux, cello
Janáček named his Second String Quartet "Intimate Letters," as it was inspired by his passionate obsession with a woman to whom he wrote over 700 letters; the work contains some of the composer's most ardent music. Paired with this piece is Sibelius's only mature string quartet, which he referred to as "Inner Voices" for its inwardness and contemplation.
LEOŠ JANÁČEK String Quartet No. 2, "Intimate Letters"
JEAN SIBELIUS String Quartet in D minor, "Voces Intimae"
JADER CONDUCTS STRAVINSKY’S FIREBIRD
PVS Classical Series
Thursday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, March 31 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, April 1 at 8 p.m.
Jader Bignamini, conductor
Anne Akiko Meyers, violin
Stravinsky’s Firebird, awash in orchestral colors, crackles with wild rhythms and an iridescent finale. Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers commissioned Arturo Márquez—one of today’s leading Mexican composers—to write Fandango, a mariachi-inspired concerto, for which he drew on his childhood immersion in that style (his father was a mariachi musician). Inspired by a visit to a ballroom in Veracruz, Márquez’s Danzón No. 2 sways with animated dance rhythms. The program opens with a dramatic selection from Khachaturian’s ballet about the gladiator who led a slave uprising in ancient Rome.
ARAM KHACHATURIAN Adagio from Spartacus
ARTURO MÁRQUEZ Fandango
ARTURO MÁRQUEZ Danzón No. 2
IGOR STRAVINSKY The Firebird
About Jader Bignamini
Jader Bignamini was introduced as the 18th music director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in January 2020, commencing with the 2020-2021 season. He kicked off his tenure as DSO Music Director with the launch of DSO Digital Concerts in September 2020, conducting works by Copland, Puccini, Tchaikovsky, and Saint-Georges. His infectious passion and artistic excellence set the tone for the season ahead, creating extraordinary music and establishing a close relationship with the orchestra. A jazz aficionado, he has immersed himself in Detroit’s rich jazz culture and the influences of American music.
A native of Crema, Italy, Jader studied at the Piacenza Music Conservatory and began his career as a musician (clarinet) with Orchestra Sinfonica La Verdi in Milan, later serving as the group’s resident conductor. Captivated by the operatic arias of legends like Mahler and Tchaikovsky, Jader explored their complexity and power, puzzling out the role that each instrument played in creating a larger-than-life sound. When he conducted his first professional concert at the age of 28, it didn’t feel like a departure, but an arrival.
In the years since, Jader has conducted some of the world’s most acclaimed orchestras and opera companies in venues across the globe including working with Riccardo Chailly on concerts of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony in 2013 and his concert debut at La Scala in 2015 for the opening season of La Verdi Orchestra. Recent highlights include debuts with the Houston, Dallas, and Minnesota symphonies; Osaka Philharmonic and Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo; with the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna State Opera, and Dutch National Opera (Madama Butterfly); Bayerische Staatsoper (La Traviata); I Puritani in Montpellier for the Festival of Radio France; Traviata in Tokyo directed by Sofia Coppola; return engagements with Oper Frankfurt (La forza del destino) and Santa Fe Opera (La Bohème); Manon Lescaut at the Bolshoi; Traviata, Madama Butterfly, and Turandot at Arena of Verona; Il Trovatore and Aida at Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera; Madama Butterfly, I Puritani, and Manon Lescaut at Teatro Massimo in Palermo; Simon Boccanegra and La Forza del Destino at the Verdi Festival in Parma; Ciro in Babilonia at Rossini Opera Festival and La Bohème, Madama Butterfly, and Elisir d’amore at La Fenice in Venice.
When Jader leads an orchestra in symphonic repertoire, he conducts without a score, preferring to make direct eye contact with the musicians. He conducts from the heart, forging a profound connection with his musicians that shines through both onstage and off. He both embodies and exudes the excellence and enthusiasm that has long distinguished the DSO’s artistry.
About George Li
Praised by The Washington Post for combining “staggering technical prowess, a sense of command and depth of expression,” pianist George Li possesses an effortless grace, poised authority, and brilliant virtuosity far beyond his years. Since winning the Silver Medal at the 2015 International Tchaikovsky Competition, Li has rapidly established a major international reputation and performs regularly with some of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors.
Recent and upcoming concerto highlights include performances with the Los Angeles, New York, London, Rotterdam, Oslo, and St. Petersburg philharmonics; the San Francisco, Tokyo, Frankfurt Radio, Sydney, and Montreal symphonies; as well as the Philharmonia, DSO Berlin, and Orchestra National de Lyon. He frequently appears with Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra.
In recital, Li performs at venues including Carnegie Hall, Davies Hall in San Francisco, the Mariinsky Theatre, Elbphilharmonie, Munich’s Gasteig, the Louvre, Seoul Arts Center, Tokyo’s Asahi Hall and Musashino Hall, NCPA Beijing, Shanghai Poly Theater, and Amici della Musica Firenze, as well as appearances at major festivals including the Edinburgh International Festival, Verbier Festival, Ravinia Festival, Festival de Pâques in Aix-en-Provence Festival, and Montreux Festival.
Li is an exclusive Warner Classics recording artist, with his debut recital album released in October 2017 (recorded live from the Mariinsky). His second recording for the label features Liszt solo works and Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, which was recorded live with Vasily Petrenko and the London Philharmonic and was released in October 2019.
About Anne Akiko Meyers
Anne Akiko Meyers has enraptured audiences around the world for decades. Regularly performing on the leading stages, Meyers has collaborated with many of today’s most important composers, resulting in significant works for the violin. She has made close to 40 recordings, many of them debuting at #1 on the Billboard charts, which are staples of classical music radio stations and streaming platforms.
A champion of living composers, Meyers has inspired and regularly collaborates with composers including Mason Bates, Jakub Ciupiński, John Corigliano, Michael Daugherty, Jennifer Higdon, Samuel Jones, Morten Lauridsen, Arturo Márquez, Wynton Marsalis, Akira Miyoshi, Arvo Pärt, Gene Pritsker, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Somei Satoh, Adam Schoenberg, and Joseph Schwantner.
Meyers’s recent and upcoming premieres include Fandango by Arturo Márquez with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic; cadenzas by John Corigliano for the Beethoven Violin Concerto with Keith Lockhart at the Brevard Music Festival; and Michael Daugherty’s Blue Electra about Amelia Earhart with Gianandrea Noseda and the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center.
Meyers is highly acclaimed as a television and recording artist who was the top-selling traditional classical instrumental soloist of the year in 2014 and the only classical artist for NPR’s 100 best song list in 2017. John Williams personally chose Meyers to perform Schindler’s List for a Great Performances PBS telecast and Arvo Pärt invited her to perform at the opening ceremony concerts of his new center and concert hall in Estonia.
Outside of traditional classical, Meyers has collaborated with a diverse array of artists including jazz icons Chris Botti and Wynton Marsalis; pop-era act Il Divo; and singer Michael Bolton. She has been featured in profiles or performances on The Tonight Show, CBS Sunday Morning, CBS’s “The Good Wife,” MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann, NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and has curated “Living American” on Sirius XM Radio’s Symphony Hall.
Meyers performs on the Ex-Vieuxtemps Guarneri del Gesù, dated 1741, considered by many to be the finest sounding violin in existence. Please visit anneakikomeyers.com for more.
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. 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. Celebrated conductor, arranger, and trumpeter Jeff Tyzik is the orchestra’s Principal Pops Conductor, while Oscar-nominated trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard holds the Fred A. 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 PVS Classical, PNC Pops, Paradise Jazz, and Young People’s Family Concert series. One of the world’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, Orchestra Hall celebrated 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 live radio broadcast of a concert and continues today with the groundbreaking Live from Orchestra Hall series of free webcasts, 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.