Osmo Vänskä conducts works by Henry Dorn and Sibelius, plus Beethoven's first piano concerto with Paul Lewis, January 18-20

January 20 performance webcast for free at dso.org, YouTube, and via Facebook Live as part of DSO’s Live from Orchestra Hall series

January 16 Chamber Recital: Bruce & Brahms with DSO musicians at Mexicantown Latino Galería-Café

Tickets on sale now at dso.org

Detroit, (December 21, 2023) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) will welcome Finnish conductor Osmo Vänskä and English pianist Paul Lewis to Orchestra Hall for a program of works by Henry Dorn, Sibelius, and Beethoven. The three concerts will take place January 1820 at Orchestra Hall as part of the PVS Classical Series.

Recognized as one of the world’s greatest Sibelius interpreters, Vänskä will conduct fellow Finn Sibelius’s Symphony No. 2, which leads a path through the soaring splendor of Nordic ice. Also featured on the program is a new work titled Transitions by Michigan-based composer Henry Dorn, which chronicles his mother’s battle with cancer, and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 featuring Lewis as soloist.

The week prior, a quintet comprised of DSO musicians Ralph Skiano (clarinet), Hae Jeong Heidi Han (violin), Will Haapaniemi (violin), James VanValkenberg (viola), and Jeremy Crosmer (cello) will perform a chamber recital on January 16 at 7 p.m. at the Mexicantown Latino Galería-Café in Detroit. This recital will include Brahms’s Clarinet Quintet in B minor and American composer David Bruce’s Gumboots.

Beethoven & Sibelius will take place Thursday, January 18 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, January 19 at 8 p.m., and Saturday, January 20 at 8 p.m. at Orchestra Hall.

The January 20 performance will also be webcast for free at dso.org, YouTube, and via Facebook Live as part of the DSO’s Live from Orchestra Hall series.

Tickets for Beethoven & Sibelius 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.

The January 16 chamber performance is free to all William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series subscribers. Single tickets are also available and start at $15, with $10 tickets available for students.

The title sponsor of the DSO’s Classical Series is PVS Chemicals, Inc. DSO Live is presented by Ford Motor Company Fund. Technology support comes from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Digital programming is produced from the Al Glancy Control Room. The William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series is made possible by a generous grant from the William Davidson Foundation. WRCJ 90.9 FM also supports the series.


PVS Classical Series
Thursday, January 18 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, January 19 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, January 20 at 8 p.m.
Orchestra Hall
Osmo Vänskä, conductor
Paul Lewis, piano
Conductor Osmo Vänskä, recognized as one of the world’s greatest Sibelius interpreters, leads a path through the Nordic ice and soaring splendor of the composer's Second Symphony. Michigan-based Henry Dorn's Transitions takes another journey through the ravenous wildness of change. Renowned English soloist Paul Lewis explores Beethoven's First Piano Concerto, with an "inwardness that is the pianist's forte" (Chicago Tribune).
HENRY DORN Transitions
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, Op. 15
JEAN SIBELIUS Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43

William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series
Tuesday, January 16 at 7 p.m.
Mexicantown Latino Galería-Café
(2835 Bagley Street, Suite 600, Detroit, MI 48216)
Ralph Skiano, clarinet
Hae Jeong Heidi Han, violin
Will Haapaniemi, violin
James VanValkenburg, viola
Jeremy Crosmer, cello
Brahms was ready to retire, but the playing of a clarinetist brought him back in. DSO violinist Will Haapaniemi calls one of results of this new muse, the Clarinet Quintet in B minor, “one of the best chamber works ever written.” DSO Principal Clarinet Ralph Skiano joins for Brahms’s late miracle plus “joyful and always vital” music by American composer David Bruce.
JOHANNES BRAHMS Clarinet Quintet in B minor, op. 115


About Osmo Vänskä
Conductor Osmo Vänskä is recognized for his compelling interpretations of repertoire of all ages and an energetic presence on the podium. He has served as Conductor Laureate of the Minnesota Orchestra, where he held the Music Directorship for 19 years, and Music Director of Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra from 2020 to 2023, His democratic and inclusive style of work has been key in forging long-standing relationships with many orchestras worldwide.

Performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with Minnesota Orchestra in June 2022 provided a fitting culmination for Vänskä’s tenure as Music Director. Together, they undertook five major European tours, as well as a historic trip to Cuba in 2015—the first visit by an American orchestra since the two countries re-established diplomatic relations. They also made a ground-breaking tour to South Africa in 2018 as part of worldwide celebrations of Nelson Mandela’s Centenary—furthermore the first visit by an American orchestra—drawing together South African and American performers in musical expressions of peace, freedom, and reconciliation on a five-city tour. Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra also made an acclaimed return to London’s BBC Proms in Summer 2018.

Vänskä conducted the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra on a major European tour in fall 2022, including concerts in Vienna, Salzburg, Amsterdam, and London. He returned to guest conduct the Seoul Philharmonic several times in spring 2023.

He returns this season to the symphony and philharmonic orchestras of Bamberg, Chicago, Los Angeles, Helsinki, Israel, Houston, Montreal, and Pittsburgh, among others.  He has guest conducted renowned international ensembles including the Cleveland, Philadelphia, and San Francisco symphony orchestras in North America; the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra; Orchestre de Paris; the Iceland Symphony; the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin; the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin; and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. He is regularly invited to guest conduct in Asia including with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, and the China, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, and Taiwan philharmonic orchestras.

Vänskä continues to develop a visiting and touring relationship with Curtis Institute of Music Symphony Orchestra, leading conducting seminars and tours in Europe, the US, and Asia. He has also been invited to guest conduct the New World Symphony in Miami, Florida, where he also coaches its conducting fellows.

A distinguished recording artist for the BIS label, Vänskä is currently recording all of Mahler’s symphonies with the Minnesota Orchestra. The Fifth Symphony received a Grammy Award nomination in 2017 for Best Orchestral Performance. Vänskä and Minnesota have also recorded the complete symphonies of Beethoven and Sibelius to critical acclaim, winning a Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance in 2014 as well as being nominated on several occasions. In 2021, they were voted Gramophone’s “Orchestra of the Year.”

Vänskä studied conducting at Finland’s Sibelius Academy and was awarded first prize in the 1982 Besançon Competition. He began his career as a clarinetist, occupying the Co-Principal Chair of Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra. He regularly performs chamber music on clarinet, having been invited to La Jolla Summerfest, Seattle Chamber Music Festival, Naantali Summer Festival, Sysmä Summer Sounds, and Music in Ruovesi, to name a few. He has recorded Bernhard Henrik Crusell’s three Clarinet Quartets and Kalevi Aho’s Clarinet Quintet for the BIS label and is in the process of recording several duos for clarinet and violin, which he has commissioned with his wife, violinist Erin Keefe.

Vänskä is the recipient of a Royal Philharmonic Society Award, the Finlandia Foundation’s Arts and Letters award, the 2010 Ditson Award from Columbia University, and the Pro Finlandia medal awarded to him by the State of Finland. He holds honorary doctorates from the universities of Glasgow and Minnesota and was named Musical America’s 2005 Conductor of the Year. In 2013, he received the annual award from the German Record Critics Award Association for his involvement in BIS’s recordings of the complete works by Sibelius. Osmo Vänskä has recorded the complete Sibelius Symphony Cycle, and Beethoven’s Piano Concertos for BIS Records. 

About Paul Lewis
Paul Lewis is internationally regarded as one of the leading musicians of his generation. His numerous awards have included the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Instrumentalist of the Year, two Edison awards, three Gramophone awards, the Diapason D'or de l'Annee, the Premio Internazionale Accademia Musicale Chigiana, and the South Bank Show Classical Music award. In 2016 he was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list and holds honorary doctorates from Southampton University and Edge Hill University.

He performs regularly as soloist with the world's great orchestras and is a frequent guest at the most prestigious international festivals including Lucerne, Mostly Mozart (New York), Tanglewood, Schubertiade, Salzburg, Edinburgh, and London’s BBC Proms, where he became the first pianist to perform a complete Beethoven piano concerto cycle in one season in 2010. His recital career takes him to renowned venues including Royal Festival Hall in London, Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall in New York, the Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna, the Theatre des Champs Elysees in Paris, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Philharmonie and Konzerthaus in Berlin, the Tonhalle in Zurich,  Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona, Symphony Hall in Chicago, Oji Hall in Tokyo, and the Melbourne Recital Centre.

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.