Spend Valentine’s Day weekend at the DSO with a program of Debussy and Ravel, February 14 - 16

- Thomas Søndergård conducts pianist Bertrand Chamayou in Ravel’s Piano Concerto for Left Hand; program also includes music by Stravinsky, Poulenc, and Debussy

- February 16 concert will be webcast for free at dso.org/live and via Facebook Live

Detroit, (January 28, 2020) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) welcomes conductor Thomas Søndergård and pianist Bertrand Chamayou to Detroit for a Valentine’s Day weekend program of Stravinsky, Ravel, Poulenc, and Debussy on the Classical Series.

The program features Stravinsky’s Symphony in Three Movements, Ravel’s Piano Concerto for Left Hand, Poulenc’s Les animaux modèles, and Debussy’s La mer. Acclaimed French pianist Bertrand Chamayou is featured soloist in the Ravel; a moody, jazz-inspired piece written for a World War I veteran who lost his right arm.

The concerts take place Friday, February 14 at 10:45 a.m., Saturday, February 15 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, February 16 at 3 p.m. at Orchestra Hall, within Midtown Detroit’s Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center.

Watch Live around the world: the Sunday, February 16 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.

One hour prior to each evening 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.

Thanks to a generous grant from the FCA Foundation, the charitable arm of North American automaker FCA US, the DSO welcomes military veterans, active military, and their families to access discounted tickets for the 10:45 a.m. performance on Friday, February 14. See below for more information about the ticket discount. The FCA Foundation and the DSO thank our veterans and active military members for their service.

Throughout the 2019-2020 season, the DSO will celebrate Orchestra Hall’s 100th anniversary with special programming and events, a commemorative book written by former Detroit Free Press music critic Mark Stryker, a documentary series produced by Detroit Public Television, a two-site exhibition created in collaboration with the Detroit Historical Society and Museum, and more. Learn more about the centennial at dso.org/centennial.

The DSO would like to thank the Honorable Avern Cohn and Lois Cohn, Bernard and Eleanor Robertson, Aaron and Carolynn Frankel, DTE Energy Foundation, Ford Motor Company Fund, and Varnum LLP for their leadership support of Orchestra Hall’s centennial, and all Centennial Club members who generously contributed.

The DSO Classical Series is generously sponsored by PVS Chemicals, Inc.

About Orchestra Hall

Built for the DSO at the request of then-music director Ossip Gabrilowitsch during the summer of 1919, Orchestra Hall was designed by noted theater architect C. Howard Crane (who also designed Detroit’s Fox Theatre and the current Detroit Opera House) and is renowned for its historic beauty and perfect acoustics. After the hall’s opening on October 23, 1919, the DSO entered a twenty-year golden age, which included its Carnegie Hall debut, its first records for RCA Victor, and making history as the first orchestra to perform a live radio broadcast concert, on February 10, 1922, from Orchestra Hall. 

When the DSO left for the larger Masonic Auditorium in 1939, Orchestra Hall took on a new life as the Paradise Theatre from 1941–1951, serving as Detroit’s premier venue for jazz, blues, and R&B. The hall was then long-dormant and nearly demolished in 1970 to make way for a fast-food burger chain, before a group of musicians and civic leaders rallied to save it from the wrecking ball and raise money to restore it over the course of 20 years. The DSO returned to a refurbished Orchestra Hall in 1989 and expanded its footprint in 2003 with the opening of the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center.

About Thomas Søndergård

Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård currently serves as music director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, following six seasons as principal guest conductor. From 2012-2018 he served as principal conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and formerly served as principal conductor and musical advisor of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra.

Søndergård has conducted many leading orchestras, including the Seattle Symphony, Houston Symphony, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, and the Symphony Orchestras of Chicago, Atlanta, and Toronto. Season highlights with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra include Berg’s Seven Early Songs with Karen Cargill, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde joined by Simon O’Neill and Jane Irwin, recording work, a European tour, and performances of the Verdi Requiem.

Born in Hostebro, Denmark, Søndergård studied percussion and timpani at the Royal Danish Academy of Music with Gert Mortensen.

These performances mark Thomas Søndergård’s DSO debut.

About Bertrand Chamayou

A striking and imaginative performer, pianist Bertrand Chamayou is recognized as a leading interpreter of French repertoire. He has appeared at Lincoln Center, Paris’s Théâtre des Champs Elysées, London’s Wigmore Hall, and the Lucerne Festival, and with world-class orchestras including The Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, London Philharmonic Orchestra, and others. A passionate chamber musician, he often collaborates with cellist Sol Gabetta, violinists Vilde Frang and Renaud Capuçon, pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, and clarinetist Sabine Meyer.

In 2019, Chamayou earned the Gramophone Classical Music Award for Best Concerto and overall Recording of the Year for his album of Saint-Saëns’s Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 5 with Orchestre national de France and Emmanuel Krivine. His award-winning discography also includes Ravel’s complete works for piano (ECHO Klassik award) and Liszt’s complete Années de pèlerinage, recorded for Naïve (Choc de Classica; Diapason d’Or de l’année and Album of the Year at the Victoires de la Musique Classique 2012). He is an exclusive recording artist for Erato.

Born in Toulouse, France, Chamayou studied at the Conservatoire de Toulouse under the tutelage of Claudine Willoth and CNSM de Paris with the encouragement of Jean-François Heisser. In 2015, he became a Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

Ticket Information

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

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 jsabatella@dso.org.

Veterans, active military, and their families may use the code HEROES1920 to unlock $10 tickets for the 10:45 a.m. performance on Friday, February 14. The code can be used at dso.org or by calling the Box Office at (313) 576-5111.

Performance Details

Friday, February 14 at 10:45 a.m. EST
Saturday, February 15 at 8 p.m. EST
Sunday, February 16 at 3 p.m. EST

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

Thomas Søndergård, conductor
Bertrand Chamayou, pianist

STRAVINSKY          Symphony in Three Movements

RAVEL                      Piano Concerto for Left Hand (Bertrand Chamayou, pianist)

POULENC                 Les animaux modèles

DEBUSSY                 La mer

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. Italian conductor Jader Bignamini was named the DSO’s next music director in January 2020, beginning with the 2020-2021 season. 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.