This month on DSO Digital Concerts: Classical and PNC Pops performances

- Month kicks off with DSO in world premieres of works by Tyshawn Sorey and Nokuthula Ngwenyama, plus a free stream of New Music Detroit’s annual Strange Beautiful Music marathon

- November’s guest conductors and soloists include Xian Zhang, Jennifer Koh, Marc-André Hamelin, and Enrico Lopez-Yañez

Detroit, (October 29, 2020) – This November, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) continues its new series of DSO Digital Concerts with Classical, PNC Pops, and chamber music performances streamed live from the Orchestra Hall stage.

First up: on Thursday, November 5, Xian Zhang conducts the world premiere of the orchestral version of violist-composer Nokuthula Ngwenyama’s Primal Message. On Friday, November 6, violinist Jennifer Koh joins Zhang for another world premiere: Tyshawn Sorey’s For Marcos Balter for Violin and Orchestra. Dvořák’s Serenade for Strings and Florence Price’s Five Folksongs in Counterpoint complete these two programs.

As a bonus webcast this week, make sure to catch New Music Detroit’s annual contemporary music marathon on Saturday, November 7. Virtual Strange Beautiful Music features new works by Jorge Sosa, Evan Williams, Jessie Montgomery, Caroline Shaw, and Lukas Ligeti, and a special guest video from composer and saxophonist Marcus Elliot. The program, previously recorded in the DSO’s Peter D. and Julie F. Cummings Cube (The Cube), will be available to stream for free at or Facebook Live, with VIP Experience tickets available for purchase here.

On Thursday, November 12, DSO musicians take the stage to perform a variety of intimate chamber works including Barber’s Summer Musicand Jeff Scott’s Startin’ Sumthin’. The following night, Friday, November 13, pianist Marc-André Hamelin returns to Orchestra Hall to perform Schubert’s melodic “Trout” Quintet with DSO musicians.

The PNC Pops Series continues on Thursday and Friday, November 19 and 20 with two programs conducted by Enrico Lopez-Yañez. Thursday takes viewers from ballet to ballroom with a musical tour featuring dancers from the renowned Dance New York studio. On Friday, the DSO’s strings are featured in a program highlighting themes from favorite TV shows, blockbuster films, and more.

All DSO Digital Concert performances are live streamed from Orchestra Hall and are innovatively programmed with health and safety considerations of performers in mind. Subscribers and donors above $125 receive access to all DSO Digital Concerts, with single tickets available to purchase for $12. Concerts can be viewed exclusively on via computer, mobile device, or smart TV both live and on-demand for two weeks following the original concert performance.

Click here to view a full list of digital events.

The DSO Classical Series is generously sponsored by PVS Chemicals, Inc.The title sponsor of the DSO’s PNC Pops Series is PNC Bank.


Xian Zhang, conductor
Jennifer Koh, violin [Friday only]

Note: Previously scheduled conductor Christian Reif is unable to appear due to travel restrictions. The DSO thanks Xian Zhang for stepping in to conduct these programs.

Program A (Thursday, November 5 at 7:30 p.m.)
NOKUTHULA NGWENYAMA: Primal Message (world premiere of orchestral version)
DVOŘÁK: Serenade for Strings in E major, Op. 22
Violist-composer Nokuthula Ngwenyama writes “music of bold, mesmerizing character,” including her captivating viola quintet Primal Message, heard here in the world premiere of its orchestral version. Dvořák’s lively and enchanting Serenade for Strings remains one of his most popular orchestral works. 

Program B (Friday, November 6 at 7:30 p.m.)
TYSHAWN SOREY: For Marcos Balter for Violin and Orchestra (world premiere) (Jennifer Koh, violin)

PRICE: Five Folksongs in Counterpoint
Jennifer Koh’s world premiere of Chris Cerrone’s Violin Concerto was a highlight of the DSO’s 17-18 season. She returns for a new work by Tyshawn Sorey, praised for creating immersive sound worlds that defy categorization. Florence Price’s arrangement of Spirituals for string quartet are equal parts hymn-like and lyrical. The DSO thanks the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra for co-commissioning Tyshawn Sorey’s For Marcos Balter and agreeing to its premiere in Detroit.



Saturday, November 7 at 7 p.m.

New Music Detroit (NMD)’s annual contemporary music marathon is back! Strange Beautiful Music goes virtual with new video performances by NMD members featuring new works by Jorge Sosa, Evan Williams, Jessie Montgomery, Caroline Shaw, and Lukas Ligeti, and a special guest video from composer and saxophonist Marcus Elliot. 

• Live stream on or Facebook Live – FREE
• VIP Experience - $25 - (Includes exclusive Zoom virtual meet and greet with NMD members & special guests and an NMD face mask. You will be emailed Zoom meeting information no later than Thursday, November 5.)

Buy tickets here.


Marc-André Hamelin, piano [Friday only]

Program A (Thursday, November 12 at 7:30 p.m.)

RAVEL (ARR. JONES):Le Tombeau de Couperin

BARBER: Summer Music, Op. 31

JEFF SCOTT: Startin’ Sumthin’

MEDAGLIA: Suite popular brasileria
Hear musicians of the DSO perform a variety of intimate chamber works.

Program B (Friday, November 13 at 7:30 p.m.)
SCHUBERT: Piano Quintet in A major, D. 667, “The Trout”
Pianist Marc-André Hamelin makes his return to Orchestra Hall for Schubert’s “Trout” Quintet. This unusual instrumentation of piano, violin, viola, cello, and bass leaves room for the piano to shine with stunning melodies, some taken directly from Schubert’s deep catalogue of vocal music.


Enrico Lopez-Yañez, conductor
Clive and Suzanne Phillips, dancers [Thursday only]

Program A (Thursday, November 19 at 7:30 p.m.)
Dance through the decades and waltz around the world as the DSO treats you to a night on the town! With a special appearance by a dazzling duo of champion dancers from the renowned Dance New York studio, you'll enjoy a musical tour with stops at the ballet, the hottest night clubs, bustling ballrooms, and beyond.

Program B (Friday, November 20 at 7:30 p.m.)
The DSO’s sparkling strings are featured in this exciting program highlighting themes from favorite TV shows, blockbuster films, and more!


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 celebrated 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.