Tchaikovsky pairs with new music by Daníel Bjarnason at upcoming DSO concerts conducted by John Storgårds, November 16-18

- Violinist Pekka Kuusisto will perform Daníel Bjarnason’s Violin Concerto, written specifically for him

- November 17 concert will be webcast for free at 

Detroit, (November 1, 2018) – Conductor John Storgårds and violinist Pekka Kuusisto will appear with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) for concerts featuring music close to both artists’ hearts.

Storgårds is a champion of the American composer George Antheil, whose Over the Plains will open the program. Next, Kuusisto will be the featured soloist on Daníel Bjarnason’s celebrated Violin Concerto, written for Kuusisto and premiered with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2017. Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, one of his best (and best-known) works, completes the program.

The concerts take place Friday, November 16 at 10:45 a.m., Saturday, November 17 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, November 18 at 3 p.m. at Orchestra Hall, within Midtown Detroit’s Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center.

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 Friday evening concert will be webcast for free 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.

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 Friday, November 16 performance. See below for more information about the ticket discount. Discounts are available for 19 concerts throughout the 2018-2019 Season, including six Friday evening PNC Pops Series concerts and every Friday morning Classical Series Coffee Concert. The FCA Foundation and the DSO thank our veterans and active military members for their service.

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

About John Storgårds

John Storgårds has a dual career as a conductor and violin virtuoso and is widely recognized for his creative programming. He currently serves as Chief Guest Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra Ottawa, Artistic Partner of the Münchener Kammerorchester, and Artistic Director of the Chamber Orchestra of Lapland.

Storgårds’s vast conducting repertoire includes all symphonies by Sibelius, Nielsen, Bruckner, Brahms, Beethoven, Schubert, and Schumann. He gave a historical cycle of all 54 symphonies by Mozart (including the unnumbered works), conducted Finnish premieres of Schumann’s only opera (Genoveva) and early “Zwickau” symphony, and led world premieres of Sibelius’s Suite Op. 117 for violin and strings and his “Late Fragments.” Storgårds regularly performs world premieres of contemporary works as well, including music by Kaija Saariaho, Brett Dean, Per Nørgård, and Pēteris Vasks.

Storgårds has appeared with many of the world’s major symphony orchestras and several celebrated opera companies, especially in his native Scandinavia. During the 2017-2018 Season he gave debut appearances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. His discography includes works by Schumann, Mozart, Beethoven, and Haydn, as well as rarities by Holmboe and Vasks. Storgårds has released several recordings with the BBC Philharmonic on Chandos, including cycles of symphonies by Sibelius and Nielsen. His latest BBC Philharmonic recording includes works by George Antheil, including Over the Plains. A recording of Rautavaara received a Grammy Award nomination and a Gramophoneaward in 2012, and a Chamber Orchestra of Lapland recording of concertos for theremin and horn by Kalevi Aho received the ECHO Klassik award in 2015.

Born in Finland, Storgårds studied violin with Chaim Taub and subsequently became concertmaster of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Esa-Pekka Salonen, before studying conducting with Jorma Panula and Eri Klas. He received the Finnish State Prize for Music in 2002 and the Pro Finlandia Prize in 2012.

About Pekka Kuusisto

Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto is Artistic Partner with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Artistic Director of ACO Collective—a string ensemble that connects the musicians of the Australian Chamber Orchestra with Australia’s young professional musicians to deliver innovative projects across the country. After a longstanding creative collaboration with the ensemble, in 2017 he became Artistic Best Friend of Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, and in 2018 he became Guest Artistic Leader of the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra.

Kuusisto is a champion of contemporary music, and frequently performs Daníel Bjarnason’s Violin Concerto, which was written for him. Recent premieres include Sauli Zinovjev’s violin concerto Der Leiermann, Andrea Tarrodi’s Acanthes double concerto for two violins, and Anders Hillborg’s Bach Materia. As a composer, together with Samuli Kosminen, Kuusisto is composing, performing, and recording the music for a new animated television series of Tove Jansson’s Moomin stories.

Kuusisto is also eager to engage with collaborators across genres and performance styles; during the 2017-2018 Season he took up a residency at Pierre Boulez Saal with REDDRESS, a collaborative project with South-Korean artist Aamu Song that blurs the boundaries between performance and visual art. Outside the world of classical music, his partnerships have included Dutch neurologist Erik Scherder, electronic music pioneer Brian Crabtree, jazz trumpeter Arve Henriksen, juggler Jay Gilligan, and accordionist Dermot Dunne.

Recent releases in Kuusisto’s discography include Erkki-Sven Tüür’s Noesis violin concerto (on Ondine) and Sebastian Fagerlund’s Darkness in Light violin concerto (on BIS), both recorded with Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Hannu Lintu; as well as Hillborg’s Bach Materia and Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 3 and 4 with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra and Thomas Dausgaard (also onBIS).

Kuusisto plays a fine 18th century Italian instrument generously loaned to him by the Beares International Violin Society.

Ticket Information

Tickets for Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4 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).

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

Veterans, active military, and their families may use the code HEROES1819 to unlock $10 tickets for the Friday, November 16 concert. The code can be used at or by calling the Box Office at (313) 576-5111.

Performance Details

Friday, November 16 at 10:45 a.m.

Saturday, November 17 at 8 p.m.

Sunday, November 18 at 3 p.m.

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

John Storgårds, conductor

Pekka Kuusisto, violin


  Over the Plains


  Violin Concerto

  Pekka Kuusisto, violin


  Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36

Daníel Bjarnason’s Violin Concerto was commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel, Music & Artistic Director; and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra.

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.