Music Director Jader Bignamini returns to close DSO's 2021-2022 season with three spectacular weeks of music

- May 12-15: Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Hannah Lash’s In Hopes of Finding the Sun

- May 20-22: Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G with Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Strauss’s Don Quixote, and Carlos Simon’s Fate Now Conquers

- June 10-12: Wynton Marsalis’s Herald, Holler and Hallelujah! and Blues Symphony, plus Barber’s Violin Concerto with Gil Shaham

- Bignamini also conducts The DSO in Concert for Anne Parsons on May 17 and Heroes Gala on June 18

- May 14, May 21, and June 11 concerts will be webcast for free at dso.org and on Facebook as part of DSO’s Live from Orchestra Hall series; May 20 concert broadcast and streamed live on 90.9 WRCJ in Detroit and network of stations across Michigan

- Tickets on sale now at dso.org

Detroit, (May 3, 2022) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) will close its 2021-2022 season with three spectacular programs conducted by Music Director Jader Bignamini at Orchestra Hall. Bignamini will also conduct TheDSO in Concert for Anne Parsons, the orchestra’s late President Emeritus, on May 17, and its annual Heroes Gala on June 18.

From May 12-15, Bignamini will conduct Beethoven’s iconic Symphony No. 9, famous for its heart-swelling “Ode to Joy” in the final movement. The program also features the DSO premiere of Hannah Lash’s In Hopes of Finding the Sun, written as a companion piece to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. The choir for both works will include artists from local groups Opera MODO and Audivi. Featured soloists are soprano Ailyn Pérez, mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, tenor Saimir Pirgu, and bass Luiz-Ottavio Faria. The concerts will take place Thursday, May 12 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, May 13 at 8 p.m., Saturday, May 14 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, May 15 at 3 p.m.

From May 20-22, pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet joins Bignamini for Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G, inspired by the composer’s tour of North America, where he first became smitten with the sounds of jazz. DSO Principals Eric Nowlin(viola) and Wei Yu (cello) take the spotlight in Richard Strauss's Don Quixote, a tone poem portraying the adventures of the "ingenious" man from La Mancha. The program also includes Carlos Simon’s Fate Now Conquers, inspired by a notebook entry by Ludwig van Beethoven. The concerts will take place on Friday, May 20 at 10:45 a.m., Saturday, May 21 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, May 22 at 3 p.m.

In June, Bignamini and the DSO welcome back acclaimed violinist Gil Shaham for a performance of Barber's Violin Concerto, Op. 14, on a program that also features two works by acclaimed musician, composer, and bandleader Wynton Marsalis: his Herald, Holler and Hallelujah! (DSO co-commission) and Blues Symphony. The concerts will take place Friday, June 10 at 8 p.m., Saturday, June 11 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, June 12 at 3 p.m.

In addition to these PVS Classical Series performances, Bignamini will conduct a free concert to celebrate the life of late President Emeritus Anne Parsons on May 17 at 6 p.m. at Orchestra Hall. The program will feature orchestral and chamber music that holds a special connection to Anne and will also be webcast on dso.org. The musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra are generously donating their services for this performance. Parsons, who passed away on March 28 following a courageous battle with cancer, served as the DSO’s President and CEO for more than 17 years, leading with grace, courage, and conviction. To learn more about her legacy and explore giving a tribute gift to the DSO in her memory, please visit dso.org/rememberinganne.

Bignamini will also conduct the tenth Heroes Gala and Benefit Concert on June 18. The event will honor community philanthropists Linda Dresner and Ed Levy, with proceeds to support the DSO’s commitment to transforming the lives of young people through music education. The program will feature Grammy Award-winning violinist Hilary Hahn and will include Pablo de Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasy with Hahn, Gioachino Rossini’s Overture to Semiramide, Amilcare Ponchielli’s "Dance of the Hours" from La Gioconda, Camille Saint-Saëns’s "Bacchanale" from Samson and Delilah, and Jeronimo Gimenez’s Intermezzo from La Boda de Luis Alonso.

The May 14, May 21, and June 11 concerts will be webcast for free at dso.org and via Facebook Live as part of the DSO’s Live from Orchestra Hall series. The May 20 concert will be broadcast and streamed live on 90.9 WRCJ in Detroit and a network of stations across Michigan.

To protect the health and well-being of our patrons, musicians, and staff, our safety policies include vaccine or test requirements for all guests and contactless e-ticketing. Visit dso.org/safetyplan for more information.

Tickets for the PVS Classical Series performances start at $15 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. Tickets for The DSO in Concert for Anne Parsons are free, but must be reserved in advance.

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.

-------- 

BIGNAMINI CONDUCTS BEETHOVEN 9

PVS Classical Series

Thursday, May 12 at 7:30 p.m.

Friday, May 13 at 8 p.m.

Saturday, May 14 at 8 p.m.

Sunday, May 15 at 3 p.m.

Jader Bignamini, conductor

Opera MODO & Audivi, choir

Ailyn Pérez, soprano

Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano

Saimir Pirgu, tenor

Luiz-Ottavio Faria, bass

Perhaps the most iconic piece of classical music ever written—especially its heart-swelling "Ode to Joy"—Beethoven’s influential Ninth Symphony celebrates brotherhood, forgiveness, and the quest for peace. Jader Bignamini conducts this bucket list symphony, a sheer joy to experience in a live orchestral setting.

HANNAH LASH In Hopes of Finding the Sun

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125

 

THE DSO IN CONCERT FOR ANNE PARSONS

Tuesday, May 17 at 6 p.m.

Jader Bignamini, conductor

The DSO celebrates the life of President Emeritus Anne Parsons with a free concert for the DSO family and the community. The program, conducted by Music Director Jader Bignamini, will feature orchestral and chamber music that holds a special connection to Anne. The musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra are generously donating their services for this performance.

Anne Parsons, who passed away on March 28 following a courageous battle with cancer, served as the DSO’s President and CEO for more than 17 years, leading with grace, courage, and conviction. To learn more about her legacy and explore giving a tribute gift to the DSO in her memory, please visit dso.org/rememberinganne.

 

THIBAUDET: RAVEL’S PIANO CONCERTO IN G

PVS Classical Series

Friday, May 20 at 10:45 a.m.

Saturday, May 21 at 8 p.m.

Sunday, May 22 at 3 p.m.

Jader Bignamini, conductor

Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano

Eric Nowlin, viola

Wei Yu, cello

Jean-Yves Thibaudet joins Jader Bignamini to perform Ravel's Piano Concerto in G, inspired by the composer's tour of North America, where he first became smitten with the sounds of jazz. DSO Principals Eric Nowlin and Wei Yu take the spotlight in Richard Strauss's Don Quixote, a tone poem portraying the adventures of the "ingenious" man from La Mancha.

CARLOS SIMON Fate Now Conquers

MAURICE RAVEL Concerto in G major for Piano and Orchestra

RICHARD STRAUSS Don Quixote, Op. 35

 

GIL SHAHAM RETURNS

PVS Classical Series

Friday, June 10 at 8 p.m.

Saturday, June 11 at 8 p.m.

Sunday, June 12 at 3 p.m.

Jader Bignamini, conductor

Gil Shaham, violin

Beloved by audiences across the globe, violinist Gil Shaham returns to Detroit to join DSO Music Director Jader Bignamini to perform Barber's Violin Concerto on a program also featuring two works by internationally acclaimed musician, composer, and bandleader Wynton Marsalis: his Herald, Holler and Hallelujah! and Blues Symphony.

WYNTON MARSALIS Herald, Holler and Hallelujah!

SAMUEL BARBER Violin Concerto, Op. 14

WYNTON MARSALIS Blues Symphony

--------

About Jean-Yves Thibaudet

For more than three decades, Jean-Yves Thibaudet has performed worldwide, recorded more than 50 albums, and built a reputation as one of today’s finest pianists. He plays a range of solo, chamber, and orchestral repertoire—from Beethoven through Liszt, Grieg, and Saint-Saëns, to Khachaturian and Gershwin, and to Olivier Messiaen, Qigang Chen, James MacMillan, Richard Dubugnon, and Aaron Zigman.

From the very start of his career, he has delighted in music beyond the standard repertoire, from jazz to opera, including works which he has transcribed himself for the piano. His profound professional friendships crisscross the globe and have led to spontaneous and fruitful collaborations in film, fashion, and visual art.

Thibaudet has a lifelong passion for education and fostering young musical talent. He is the first-ever Artist-in-Residence at the Colburn School in Los Angeles, where he makes his home. In 2017, the school announced the Jean-Yves Thibaudet Scholarships, funded by members of Colburn’s donor community, to provide aid for Music Academy students, whom Thibaudet will select for the merit-based awards, regardless of their instrument choice. 

Thibaudet records exclusively for Decca; his extensive catalogue has received two Grammy nominations, the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, the Diapason d’Or, the Choc du Monde de la Musique, the Edison Prize, and Gramophone awards. His most recent album, 2021’s Carte Blanche, features a collection of deeply personal solo piano pieces never before recorded by the pianist. Other highlights from Thibaudet’s catalogue include a 2017 recording of Bernstein’s Age of Anxiety with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Marin Alsop, with whom he previously recorded Gershwin, featuring big band jazz orchestrations of Rhapsody in Blue, the Concerto in F, and the original version of Variations on I Got Rhythm. In 2016, on the 150th anniversary of Erik Satie’s birth, Decca released a box set of Satie’s complete solo piano music performed by Thibaudet—one of the foremost champions of the composer’s works. On his Grammy-nominated recording of Saint-Saëns, Piano Concerti Nos. 2 & 5, released in 2007, he is joined by Charles Dutoit and Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. Thibaudet’s Aria – Opera Without Words, which was released the same year, features aria transcriptions, some of which are Thibaudet’s own. His other recordings include the jazz albums Reflections on Duke: Jean-Yves Thibaudet Plays the Music of Duke Ellington and Conversations With Bill Evans.


About Gil Shaham

Gil Shaham is one of the foremost violinists of our time; his flawless technique combined with his inimitable warmth and generosity of spirit has solidified his renown as an American master. The Grammy Award-winner, also named Musical America’s “Instrumentalist of the Year,” is sought after throughout the world for concerto appearances with leading orchestras and conductors, and regularly gives recitals and appears with ensembles on the world’s great concert stages and at the most prestigious festivals. 

Highlights of recent years include the acclaimed recording and performances of J.S. Bach’s complete sonatas and partitas for solo violin. In the coming seasons, in addition to championing these solo works, he will join his long-time duo partner, pianist Akira Eguchi, in recitals throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.

He appears regularly with orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, and San Francisco Symphony, as well as multi-year residencies with the Orchestras of Montreal, Stuttgart, and Singapore. With orchestra, Shaham continues his exploration of “Violin Concertos of the 1930s,” including the works of Barber, Bartok, Berg, Korngold, Prokofiev, and others.

Shaham has more than two dozen concerto and solo CDs to his name, earning multiple Grammy Awards, a Grand Prix du Disque, Diapason d’Or, and Gramophone Editor’s Choice. Many of these recordings appear on Canary Classics, the label he founded in 2004. His CDs include 1930s Violin Concertos, Virtuoso Violin Works, Elgar’s Violin Concerto, Hebrew Melodies, The Butterfly Lovers, and more. His most recent recording in the series 1930s Violin Concertos Vol. 2, including Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto and Bartok’s Violin Concerto No. 2, was nominated for a Grammy Award.

Shaham was born in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, in 1971. He moved with his parents to Israel, where he began violin studies with Samuel Bernstein of the Rubin Academy of Music at the age of seven, receiving annual scholarships from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. In 1981, he made debuts with the Jerusalem Symphony and the Israel Philharmonic, and the following year, took the first prize in Israel’s Claremont Competition. He then became a scholarship student at Juilliard and studied at Columbia University.

Shaham was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1990, and in 2008 he received the coveted Avery Fisher Prize. In 2012, he was named “Instrumentalist of the Year” by Musical America. He plays the 1699 “Countess Polignac” Stradivarius, and lives in New York City with his wife, violinist Adele Anthony, and their three children.

About Jader Biganmini

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 symphonies of greats 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; Andrea Chénier at New National Theatre in Tokyo; Rossini’s Stabat Mater at Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, Italy; Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle at Teatro dell’Opera in Rome; return engagements with Oper Frankfurt (La forza del destino) and Santa Fe Opera (La Bohème); Manon Lescaut at the Bolshoi; TraviataMadama Butterfly, and Turandot at Arena of Verona; Il Trovatore and Aida at Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera; Madama ButterflyI 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 BohèmeMadama 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 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. 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.