Pianist Terrence Wilson steps in for André Watts at Classical Roots concerts, March 6 & 7

- Watts, a 2020 Classical Roots Honoree, is unable to appear due to tendinitis in his right wrist and elbow

- Wilson will perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, “Emperor”

- Classical Roots celebrates African-American contributions to classical music

Detroit, (February 27, 2020) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) today announced that pianist Terrence Wilson will step in for André Watts at the DSO’s annual Classical Roots concerts next week. Watts has had to withdraw from these performances on March 6 and 7 due to tendinitis in his right wrist and elbow.

Wilson will perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, “Emperor” in a program conducted by Thomas Wilkins that also includes the world premiere of Nkeiru Okoye’s Black Bottom and a performance by the Brazeal Dennard Chorale. (See below for the complete program.)

The concerts take place Friday, March 6 at 10:45 a.m. and Saturday, March 7 at 8 p.m. at Orchestra Hall, within Midtown Detroit’s Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center. The Saturday evening performance is part of the black-tie Arthur L. Johnson – Honorable Damon Jerome Keith Classical Roots Celebration.

Since 1978, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Classical Roots concerts have increased the awareness of the significant contributions that African-American composers and musicians have made to classical music. The Classical Roots Celebration, held in conjunction with the concerts since 2001, supports the Classical Roots mission. Funds raised through the Celebration provide increased opportunities for African-Americans in classical music through DSO programs like the African-American Orchestra Fellowship and African-American Composer Residency. This year’s Classical Roots Celebration will recognize Watts and community leader Chacona Baugh.

Learn more at dso.org/classicalroots.

Watch Live around the world: the Saturday, March 7 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.

About Terrence Wilson

Acclaimed by the Baltimore Sun as “one of the biggest pianistic talents to have emerged in this country in the last 25 years” pianist Terrence Wilson has appeared as soloist with the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Washington, DC (National Symphony), San Francisco, and St. Louis, and with the orchestras of Cleveland, Minnesota, and Philadelphia. Conductors with whom he has worked include Christoph Eschenbach, Alan Gilbert, Neeme Järvi, Jesús López-Cobos, Lawrence Renes, Robert Spano, Yuri Temirkanov, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski and Gunther Herbig.

Abroad, Wilson has played concerti with such ensembles as the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra in Switzerland, the Malaysian Philharmonic, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and the Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado de Minas Gerais in Brazil. He has toured with orchestras in the United States and abroad, including a tour of the U.S. with the Sofia Festival Orchestra (Bulgaria) and in Europe with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra conducted by Yuri Temirkanov.

An active recitalist, Wilson made his New York City recital debut at the 92nd Street Y, and his Washington, DC recital debut at the Kennedy Center. In Europe he has given recitals at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, the Lourvre in Paris, and countless other major venues. In the U.S. he has given recitals at Lincoln Center in New York City (both Alice Tully Hall and Avery Fisher Hall), the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, the Caramoor Festival in Katonah, NY, San Francisco’s Herbst Theatre, and at the La Jolla Chamber Music Society. An avid chamber musician, he performs regularly with the Ritz Chamber Players. Festival appearances include the Blossom Festival, Tanglewood, Wolf Trap, with the San Francisco Symphony at Stern Grove Park, and an appearance with the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra before an audience of over fifteen thousand people.

In the 2019-2020 season, Wilson made his Boston recital debut at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum to critical acclaim. He also made his Rochester recital debut at Hatch Hall at the Eastman School of Music performing the complete set of Rachmaninoff’s Études Tableaux, Op. 39, presented by the Gateways Music Festival. 

Next season (2020-2021), Wilson will return as a guest soloist with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and its music director Xian Zhang in music by George Gershwin. He will also record the complete set of the Rachmaninoff Études Tableaux for commercial release later in the year. 

Also on the horizon for the coming seasons is the commission, premiere performance, and recording of a new solo piano work by American composer Michael Daugherty.

Wilson has received numerous awards and prizes, including the SONY ES Award for Musical Excellence, an Avery Fisher Career Grant, and The Juilliard School’s Petschek Award. He has also been featured on several radio and television broadcasts, including NPR’s Performance Today, WQXR radio in New York, and programs on Bravo, A&E, public television, and late night television. Wilson was nominated for a 2011 Grammy Award for his (world premiere) recording of Michael Daugherty’s Deus ex Machina – written for Wilson in 2007 – with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra conducted by Giancarlo Guerrero.

Wilson is a graduate of The Juilliard School, where he studied with Yoheved Kaplinsky. He has also enjoyed the invaluable mentorship of the Romanian pianist and teacher Zitta Zohar. A native of the Bronx, he currently lives in Montclair, NJ.

Ticket Information

Tickets start at $15 for the two Classical Roots concerts in Orchestra Hall and can be purchased at dso.org, by calling (313) 576-5111, or in person at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center (3711 Woodward Avenue, Detroit).

For group ticket information (groups of 10 or more), please contact Group Sales Manager Jim Sabatella at (313) 576-5130 or jsabatella@dso.org.

To purchase gala tickets for the black-tie Classical Roots Celebration, please call Jenni Clark at (313) 576-5449. Learn more about Celebration packages at dso.org/classicalroots.

Performance Details

Friday, March 6 at 10:45 a.m. EST
Saturday, March 7 at 8 p.m. EST
Orchestra Hall at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center

Thomas Wilkins, conductor
Terrence Wilson, piano
The Brazeal Dennard Chorale
(Alice McAllister Tillman, Artistic Director)
Sumayya Ali, soprano
Charlotte Small-Chestnut, mezzo-soprano
Vincent Davis, tenor
Markel Reed, baritone

JOHNSON: Lift Every Voice and Sing (Brazeal Dennard Chorale)
DETT: Ave Maria (Brazeal Dennard Chorale; Theodore B. Jones, baritone)
FURMAN: Hehlehlooyuh (A Joyful Expression) (Brazeal Dennard Chorale)
NKEIRU OKOYEVoices Shouting Out
NKEIRU OKOYEBlack Bottom (world premiere) (Sumayya Ali, soprano; Charlotte Small-Chestnut, mezzo-soprano; Vincent Davis, tenor; Markel Reed, baritone)
BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, "Emperor" (Terrence Wilson, piano)

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.