Released today: DSO and Leonard Slatkin recording on Naxos of Aaron Copland's ballet music for "Billy the Kid" and "Grohg"

- “These are vivid and idiomatic performances of two of Copland’s more fascinating scores.” – Classic FM

Detroit, (March 8, 2019) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) has released a new recording on the Naxos label conducted by Music Director Laureate Leonard Slatkin.

The recording, out today on Naxos’s American Classics series, includes Aaron Copland’s one-act ballet Grohg and his complete ballet Billy the Kid. It is the latest in a series of DSO and Leonard Slatkin recordings of Copland’s music for Naxos; the most recent is a Grammy-nominated 2017 disc including the Symphony No. 3 and Three Latin American Sketches.

The recording’s notes explain the significance of Grohg and Billy the Kid:

Aaron Copland did as much as anyone in establishing American concert music on the world stage, and his ballet scores proved to be among his most important and influential works. Grohg is the most ambitious example of his Parisian years, a precociously brilliant one-act ballet scored for full orchestra, inspired by the silent film expressionist film Nosferatu. The first example of Copland’s new “Americanized” music of the 1930s was Billy the Kid, based on the life of the 19th century outlaw. This was the first fully fledged American ballet in style and content: brassy, syncopated, filmic, and richly folk-flavored.

The recording is available now on CD from music retailers, and for download and streaming on all major digital platforms, including Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, YouTube Music, and others.

The new Copland recording is the second DSO release on Naxos in the past month. In February, the label released a digital-exclusive recording of John Williams’s Concerto for Tuba and Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin and featuring DSO Principal Tuba Dennis Nulty. In addition to releasing music on Naxos and other labels, the DSO operates its own recording imprint, Live from Orchestra Hall.

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 institution. Conductor Leonard Slatkin, who recently concluded an acclaimed decade-long tenure at the helm, 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 America’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, Orchestra Hall will celebrate 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 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.