CONDUCTORS ANNOUNCED FOR LAST THREE CLASSICAL SERIES PROGRAMS OF THE SEASON
Peter Oundjian to conduct premiere of Chris Cerrone’s new concerto with violinist Jennifer Koh, plus a premiere by Roshanne Etezady and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, May 25-27
Robert Spano to conduct Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with Seong-Jin Cho, and world premiere by Jared Miller, May 31-June 2
Jader Bignamini to lead concert performance of Puccini’s opera Turandot, June 8 and 10
Programs were to be Leonard Slatkin’s final concerts as DSO Music Director; Slatkin’s May 8 heart surgery a success, with recovery expected to last three months
Detroit – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) has announced that Peter Oundjian, Robert Spano, and Jader Bignamini will step in to conduct the final three weekends of concerts in the orchestra’s 2017-2018 Classical Series. DSO Music Director Leonard Slatkin was forced to withdraw from these programs two weeks ago after tests revealed that he needed heart surgery. Maestro Slatkin underwent a successful triple bypass heart operation on May 8 and is expected to fully recover and return to conducting in about three months.
The three programs, which were to be Maestro Slatkin’s final concerts as DSO music director following his tenth anniversary season, are unchanged and feature major symphonic works, opera in concert, and world premieres by three young American composers.
In the first week, Toronto Symphony Orchestra Music Director (and former DSO Principal Guest Conductor) Peter Oundjian will conduct Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 and two DSO-commissioned world premieres: Chris Cerrone’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, “Breaks and Breaks,” written for featured soloist Jennifer Koh, and Diamond Rain by Roshanne Etezady, commissioned for Leonard Slatkin’s season-long project to feature new concert opening works by young American composers. These concerts will take place Friday, May 25 at 10:45 a.m., Saturday, May 26 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, May 27 at 3 p.m.
In week two, Robert Spano, longtime Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, will conduct a program featuring Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with guest soloist Seong-Jin Cho, and the world premiere of Jared Miller’s Luster, also commissioned by the DSO for Maestro Slatkin’s season-long project. These concerts will take place Thursday, May 31 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, June 1 at 10:45 a.m., and Saturday, June 2 at 8 p.m.
In the third week, Jader Bignamini—whose conducting engagements include the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna State Opera, and Bavarian State Opera—will close the 2017-2018 Classical Series, leading an opera-in-concert performance of Puccini’s Turandot with featured soloists Othalie Graham (soprano), Jonathan Burton (tenor), Guanqun Yu (soprano), and Hao Jiang Tian (bass). These concerts will take place Friday, June 8 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, June 10 at 3 p.m.
The May 26, June 1, and June 10 performances 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—an initiative that Slatkin was crucial in introducing. The series is presented by Ford Motor Company Fund and made possible by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Additionally, patrons are invited to enjoy pre-concert lectures and interviews on the Orchestra Hall stage to deepen their understanding of the programs. See the concert listings below for details about webcasts and pre-concert programming.
The 2017-2018 Season marks Leonard Slatkin’s tenth and final year as Music Director of the DSO before he transitions to the new role of Music Director Laureate. Maestro Slatkin’s commitment to new music, reaching audiences in new ways, and the American orchestral tradition has had a transformational effect on the DSO. On Friday, May 4, Slatkin announced that he would need to undergo heart surgery and withdraw from conducting the final Classical Series concerts of his tenth anniversary season. As Music Director Laureate, Leonard will conduct eight programs in the 2018-2019 Season, including Opening Weekend, the February American Festival, and the season finale in June.
On June 23, the DSO will honor Slatkin at its eighth annual Heroes Gala alongside philanthropists and longtime DSO supporters Penny and Harold Blumenstein. Additional details about the Heroes Gala will be announced in the near future.