Scandinavia in Detroit: Finnish conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali and Icelandic pianist Vikingur Olafsson will join DSO for program of Sibelius and Grieg, October 25 & 27

- Olafsson will also perform intimate piano recital in The Cube on October 26

- October 27 concert will be webcast for free at 

Detroit, (October 2, 2018) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) will embrace the sounds of Scandinavia with a program including Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor and two works by Sibelius: Lemminkäinen's Return and the Symphony No. 5.

Finnish conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali will lead the DSO and Icelandic guest pianst Víkingur Ólafsson, who will be featured soloist on the Grieg.

The concerts take place Thursday, October 25 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, October 27 at 8 p.m. at Orchestra Hall, within Midtown Detroit’s Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center.

Please note: these concert dates have changed since the 2018-2019 Classical Series was announced in January. Some printed materials may be out of date.

One hour prior to each performance, guests are invited to enjoy an informative onstage Concert Talk about the program. These lectures and discussions will be made available for later viewing on the DSO’s YouTube channel.

Watch Live around the world: the Saturday, October 27 concert will be webcast for free at 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.

On Friday, October 26, Ólafsson will perform a solo piano recital in the Peter D. and Julie F. Cummings Cube, also within The Max. The recital will feature works by Bach and Phillip Glass, plus a special tribute to the late Icelandic musician and Oscar-nominated (for The Theory of Everything and Sicario) composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. See below for additional details and ticket information. Please note that the DSO does not appear on this performance.

The DSO Classical Series is generously sponsored by PVS Chemicals, Inc. The October 26 solo piano recital is sponsored by Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, with additional support by Quicken Loans and The Boston Consulting Group.

About Santtu-Matias Rouvali

Finnish conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali currently serves as Chief Conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony, Principal Guest Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra, and Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Tampere Philharmonic in Finland. He maintains a busy schedule conducting throughout Europe, and has recently made his debuts with several prominent American orchestras—including the Minnesota Orchestra and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. He has ambitious plans to lead his own orchestras on tours of Europe, Japan, and North America.

Rouvali was trained as a percussionist, studying at the renowned Sibelius Academy (part of the University of the Arts Helsinki). At age 22, he took up conducting at the Academy, studying primarily with Jorma Panula, Leif Segerstam, and Hannu Lintu. Rouvali was also a Dudamel Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In 2009, he earned great praise after stepping in on short notice to conduct the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and he first conducted the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra in 2014.

Rouvali’s discography includes a 2015 Orfeo recording of Sibelius and Nielsen with the Tampere Philharmonic and Baiba Skride and a 2017 Orchid Classics recording of John Adams’ Violin Concerto with the Copenhagen Phil and Ilya Gringolts.

In addition to regular engagements as a symphony conductor, Rouvali points to several career highlights: a Nordic tour with the Gothenburg Symphony and Hélène Grimaud, an El Sistema project titled Side by Side with Gustavo Dudamel, a Sibelius symphony cycle during his second season as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Tampere Philharmonic, and two engagements conducting the Tampere Opera (including the world premiere of Olli Kortekangas’s My Brother’s Keeper).

About Víkingur Ólafsson

Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson is celebrated for his fresh interpretations of the piano repertoire and an unerring commitment to new music. Earning a name for himself in his homeland and throughout Europe, Víkingur has received several major prizes, including the Icelandic Order of the Falcon, four Musician of the Year prizes at the Icelandic Music Awards, and the Icelandic Optimism Prize. Víkingur studied at The Juilliard School, where his primary teachers were Jerome Lowenthal, Robert McDonald, and Ann Schein.

Víkingur signed an exclusive recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon in 2016, and in 2017 he released his first album on the label, a recording of Philp Glass’s Etudes. Prior to signing with Deutsche Grammophon, Víkingur released three albums on his own label, Dirrindí. He is also Artistic Director of three festivals: Vinterfest in Sweden, Reykjavík Midsummer Music, and the Icelandic Weekend at Liepaja Great Amber Hall in Latvia

Víkingur has proudly premiered several new works, including piano concertos by Snorri Sigfús Birgisson, Daníel Bjarnason, Haukur Tómasson, and Þórður Magnússon. He has also collaborated on new music with Philip Glass, Mark Simpson, Atli Ingólfsson, Mark Simpson, Mark-Anthony Turnage, and Björk. Víkingur.

Away from the concert stage, Víkingur is the driving force behind numerous innovative musical projects. He worked with the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service to commission the classical music television series Útúrdúr (Out-of-tune), which he presents, and has also written and hosted radio programs for Rás 1.

Ticket Information

Tickets for Grieg Piano Concerto begin at $15 and can be purchased at, by calling (313) 576-5111, or in-person at the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center Box Office (3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit).

Tickets are also available for Víkingur Ólaffson’s solo piano recital on Wednesday, October 26. General admission tickets are $12, and ticketholders to either Grieg Piano Concerto Classical Series performance in Orchestra Hall can purchase $8 tickets using the code SOLORECITAL. VIP tickets (including premium reserved seating and a free drink) are available for $39.

Groups of 10 or more can save up to 30% on the price of a single ticket for most DSO concerts. For more information, contact Group Sales Manager Jim Sabatella at (313) 576-5130 or

Performance Details

Classical Series: Grieg Piano Concerto

Thursday, October 25 at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, October 27 at 8 p.m.

Orchestra Hall at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center

Santtu-Matias Rouvali, conductor
Víkingur Ólafsson, piano

SIBELIUS: “Lemminkäinen's Return,” No. 4 from Legends, Op. 22

GRIEG: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in A minor, Op. 16 (Víkingur Ólafsson, piano)

SIBELIUS: Symphony No. 5 in E-Flat major, Op. 82


Víkingur Ólaffson: Solo Piano Recital

Wednesday, October 26 at 7 p.m.
Peter D. and Julie F. Cummings Cube, at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center

The DSO does not appear on this performance.

About the DSO

Hailed by the New York Times as “cutting edge,” the internationally acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra is known for trailblazing performances, visionary maestros, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists, and an ardent commitment to Detroit. As a community-supported orchestra, generous giving by individuals and institutions at all levels drives the continued success and growth of the institution. Esteemed conductor Leonard Slatkin, called “America’s Music Director” by the Los Angeles Times, became the DSO’s 12th Music Director, endowed by the Kresge Foundation, in 2008. The 2017-2018 Season marked Slatkin’s tenth and final year in the role, and in 2018-2019 he returns as Music Director Laureate. Acclaimed conductor, arranger, and trumpeter Jeff Tyzik serves as Principal Pops Conductor, while celebrated trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard holds the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair. With growing attendance and unwavering philanthropic support from the Detroit community, the DSO’s performance schedule includes Classical, Pops, Jazz, Young People’s, and Neighborhood concerts, and collaborations with high profile artists from Steven Spielberg to Ben Folds and Lang Lang. In July 2017, the DSO embarked on its first international tour in 16 years, making its debut in China and first visit to Japan in 19 years. A commitment 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. Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, one of America’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, the DSO actively pursues a mission to embrace and inspire individuals, families, and communities through unsurpassed musical experiences.