Partnership between DSO and The Henry Ford will bring 1703 “Rougemont” Stradivarius to Orchestra Hall
Detroit – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and The Henry Ford have collaborated on a project to bring a rare, historic Stradivarius violin to the stage of one of the world’s most acoustically perfect concert halls.
DSO Associate Concertmaster Kimberly Kaloyanides Kennedy (Schwartz Shapero Family Chair) will play the 1703 “Rougemont” Stradivarius for two performances of Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto in Orchestra Hall, home of the DSO. The concerts, conducted by DSO Music Director Laureate Leonard Slatkin, are part of the DSO’s three-week American Panorama winter music festival, which celebrates the American symphonic repertoire and features several DSO musicians—including Kennedy—as soloists.
The instrument is one of several rare violins—including another made by Antonio Stradivari—purchased by industrialist Henry Ford in the early 20th century. The violins are in the permanent collection of The Henry Ford in Dearborn, and the loan of the “Rougemont” to the DSO marks a rare occasion during which one of the instruments will be played outside of The Henry Ford’s campus. The orchestra’s history with Henry Ford’s violin collection goes back to the early 1930s when he lent one of the Strads to a soloist, Beatrice Griffin, for her concerts with the DSO at Orchestra Hall.
“We are always thrilled to partner with our friends at The Henry Ford, as we have for more than 25 years on our annual Salute to America concerts at Greenfield Village,” said DSO President and CEO Anne Parsons. “We thank the museum for allowing one of these exceptional instruments to be heard once more in Orchestra Hall during our American Panorama festival, and to reach worldwide audiences through our Live from Orchestra Hall webcasts.”
The loan of the 1703 “Rougemont” Stradivarius is made possible thanks to The Mildred J. and J. Charles Webster Violin Fund, which supports the continued stewardship, conservation and occasional performance of The Henry Ford’s prized violin collection.
“This is a wonderful opportunity, not only to partner with our friends at the DSO, but to bring one of our exquisite violins to life for the community,” said Patricia Mooradian, president & CEO, The Henry Ford. “We are grateful to the Websters for providing the generous support to make this happen and to our friends at the DSO for their ongoing partnership.”
The American Panorama concerts during which Kennedy will play the “Rougemont” violin take place Thursday, February 21 at 7:30 p.m. and Friday, February 22 at 8 p.m. at Orchestra Hall, within Midtown Detroit’s Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center. In addition to Barber’s Violin Concerto, the program includes the world premiere of Kristin Kuster’s Dune Acres, John Cage’s 4’33”, Leonard Bernstein’s Prelude, Fugue, and Riffs with DSO Principal Clarinet Ralph Skiano, and music from West Side Story featuring vocalists Emilie Kouatchou, Jamie Colburn, and Lorna Courtney.