Press Room

Detroit Symphony Announces 2015-16 Season Lineup, with World Premieres by Six American Composers, including Tod Machover’s Crowd-Sourced “Symphony in D”

Highlights Under Music Director Leonard Slatkin Include a Winter Brahms Festival Featuring the Composer’s Complete Orchestral Repertoire (#Brahmsfest), Nigel Kennedy’s Return to the U.S., “Salome” in Concert, and More 

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) announced programming today for its 2015-16 Classical, Pops, and Young People’s Family Subscription Series at Detroit’s Max M. Fisher Music Center. The Classical Season features world premieres by six American composers, including Tod Machover’s collaborative work for the city of Detroit, Symphony in D, and the U.S. Premiere of Nico Muhly’s first Viola Concerto. The DSO’s third annual winter festival focuses on Brahms with performances of the composer’s complete orchestral works under the baton of Music Director Leonard Slatkin. The season opens with Jean-Yves Thibaudet playing Gershwin, and closes with a concert performance of Richard Strauss’s Salome, with Lise Lindstrom in the title role. The DSO’s “Live From Orchestra Hall” webcast series will return for its fifth full season, offering a free broadcast of each classical program at Also for the fifth season in a row, the DSO is not increasing Classical Season ticket prices.

2015-16 marks the eighth season of a partnership between the DSO and Music Director Leonard Slatkin − who has extended his commitment to the orchestra through 2017 − that has fostered the DSO’s triumphant return to Carnegie Hall, the launch of the “Live From Orchestra Hall” webcast series which now reaches 500,000 viewers worldwide, and the advent of digital recordings on the DSO’s in-house label. The orchestra also recently announced its second consecutive budget surplus, the expansion of its pioneering Neighborhood Concert Series and Neighborhood Residency Initiative through a $3.75 million multi-year commitment from the William Davidson Foundation, the extension of its educational initiatives with a multi-million dollar grant to create the Wu Family Academy, and the commissioning of Machover’s crowd-sourced Symphony in D, in partnership with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Continuing the tradition begun in February 2014 with the incredibly successful Beethoven Festival, next season’s Brahms Festival (#Brahmsfest) will be the third DSO Winter Music Festival. (The current season’s festival takes place next month and spotlights Tchaikovsky.) Unlike the outpouring of orchestral repertoire by many of his peers, Brahms composed only 13 works for orchestra, and the DSO will perform them all during the festival.


Reflecting the DSO’s commitment to American music, amplified by the advocacy of its Music Director, the DSO’s 2015-16 season features six world premieres by American composers, with works by Mohammed Fairouz, Music Alive Composer in Residence Gabriela Lena Frank, Aaron Jay Kernis, Tod Machover, Sarah Kirkland Snider, and Leonard Slatkin himself. Additionally, violist Nadia Sirota will give the United States premiere of Nico Muhly’s Viola Concerto (Oct 23-25).

Tod Machover’s Symphony in D featuring sound submissions from the people of Detroit, will receive its World Premiere on November 20-21, making the DSO the first U.S. orchestra to work with Machover on his “city symphony” series of works based on what the citizens of a city believe their home sounds like.

On December 5-6, the DSO will give the World Premiere of Leonard Slatkin’s Kinah, an elegy written in honor of his parents, longtime members of the Hollywood String Quartet. Slatkin’s father would have turned 100 this coming December.

Mohammed Fairouz’s Cello Concerto will receive its World Premiere on January 16, infused with the young composer’s signature Middle Eastern influences.

The DSO will give the World Premiere of American composer Aaron Jay Kernis’s Flute Concerto on January 21-23 with Marina Piccinini as soloist.

The seventh winner of the Elaine Lebenbom Memorial Competition for Female Composers, Sarah Kirkland Snider, will come to Detroit April 14-16 for the World Premiere of a work yet unnamed.

On May 26-27, the DSO will give the World Premiere of a work by DSO Music Alive Composer in Residence Gabriela Lena Frank. The work is not yet titled.

Leonard Slatkin will conduct the orchestra in 15 of 26 classical concert programs during the 2015-16 season, including the entirety of the February Brahms Festival, and the World Premiere of his own composition, Kinah.  During the other weeks, the DSO will welcome back guest conductors Hans Graf, Andrew Grams, Thomas Dausgaard, Giancarlo Guerrero, Peter Oundjian, Sir Andrew Davis, and Bobby McFerrin. Making their DSO subscription debuts are conductors Fabien Gabel, Case Scaglione, Nathalie Stutzmann, Nikolaj Znaider, and DSO Assistant Conductor Michelle Merrill.

Audience favorites returning as soloists include Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Hélène Grimaud, Joshua Bell and, in a long-anticipated return to the United States, Nigel Kennedy. Members of the orchestra featured in solo turns are Concertmaster Yoonshin Song, Principal Bassist Kevin Brown, Principal Trumpeter Hunter Eberly, Principal Clarinetist Ralph Skiano and the DSO’s new Principal Cellist Wei Yu, who recently left the New York Philharmonic for Detroit.

Soloists making their DSO debuts are violinists Simone Porter and Baiba Skride, the young American violist Nadia Sirota, Israeli cellist Maya Beiser, German-Japanese cellist Danjulo Ishizaka, Macedonian pianist Simon Trpceski, rising French pianist Lise de la Salle, sopranos Lise Lindstrom and Melissa Citro, mezzo-soprano Jane Henschel, tenor Chris Merritt, and baritone Daniel Sutin.

The DSO continues its project with the NAXOS label to release direct-to-digital releases of every John Williams concerto, starring DSO principal musicians. DSO Principal Trumpet Hunter Eberly will record Williams’ Trumpet Concerto, a DSO premiere. The DSO will also record Copland’s Symphony No. 3 (Oct 23-25) for future release, featuring Copland’s original ending, which Leonard Bernstein talked the composer out of using in the final published version. This will be the first recording of that passage.

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 unwavering commitment to Detroit. Esteemed conductor Leonard Slatkin, called “America’s Music Director” by the Los Angeles Times, became the 12th Music Director of the DSO during the 2008-09 Season.  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. The DSO’s performance schedule includes Classical, Pops, Jazz, Young People’s, and Neighborhood Concerts, and collaborations with chart-topping musicians from Smokey Robinson to Kid Rock. 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. Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. Fisher Music Center, one of America’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, the DSO actively pursues a mission to impact and serve the community through music. For more information visit the newly updated or download the free DSO to Go mobile app.

Subscriptions can be purchased by visiting or calling the DSO’s Box Office at 313-576-5111. Students of any age can attend any Classical, Jazz or Pops Orchestra Hall concert free all season long by purchasing a Soundcard for $25. More information is available at

A chronological listing of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s 2015-16 Classical concerts follows. To read the DSO’s full 2015-16 Season news release, including programming for Pops, Young People’s Family Concerts, “DSO Presents” special series, and subscription pricing, click here.

Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s 2015-16 Classical Concerts

All concerts take place at Orchestra Hall at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit, MI.
The DSO Classical Series is sponsored by PVS Chemicals Inc.
Programs and artists are subject to change.

Friday, Oct 2, 2015 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Oct 3, 2015 at 8 p.m. webcast
Opening Weekend – Thibaudet plays Gershwin!
Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano
BERLIOZ Roman Carnival Overture
GERSHWIN Piano Concerto in F
STRAUSS Der Rosenkavalier Suite

Thursday, Oct 15, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.|Friday, Oct 16, 2015 at 8 p.m. webcast
Saturday, Oct 17, 2015 at 8 p.m.
Beethoven’s Seventh
Hans Graf, conductor
Ingrid Fliter, piano
PROKOFIEV Classical Symphony
MENDELSSOHN Piano Concerto No. 1
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 7

Friday, Oct 23, 2015 at 10:45 a.m.
Saturday, Oct 24, 2015 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Oct 25, 2015 at 3 p.m. webcast
Mozart’s “A Little Night Music”
Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Nadia Sirota, viola
MOZART Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
NICO MUHLY Viola Concerto (U.S. Premiere)
COPLAND Symphony No. 3

Friday, Nov 6, 2015 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Nov 7, 2015 at 8 p.m. webcast
Romantic Schumann
Andrew Grams, conductor
Simone Porter, violin
WILLIAM BOLCOM Commedia for “Almost” 18th Century Orchestra
BRUCH Violin Concerto
SCHUMANN Symphony No. 2

Thursday, Nov 12, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Nov 13, 2015 at 10:45 a.m.
Saturday, Nov 14, 2015 at 8 p.m. webcast
Debussy’s sensuous “La Mer”
Fabien Gabel, conductor
Yoonshin Song, violin
BORODIN Prince Igor Overture
KHACHATURIAN Violin Concerto
DUKAS Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Friday, Nov 20, 2015 at 10:45 a.m.
Saturday, Nov 21, 2015 at 8 p.m. webcast
Symphony in D—For Detroit. By Detroit.
Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Wei Yu, cello
RESPIGHI Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite II
TOD MACHOVER Symphony in D (World Premiere)
DVORÁK Cello Concerto

Saturday, Dec 5, 2015 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Dec 6, 2015 at 3 p.m. webcast
Slatkin conducts Mahler’s “Resurrection”
Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Melissa Citro, soprano
Kelley O’Connor, mezzo-soprano
LEONARD SLATKIN Kinah (World Premiere)
MAHLER Symphony No. 2

Thursday, Dec 10, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Dec 11, 2015 at 10:45 a.m. webcast
Mozart & Beethoven
Case Scaglione, conductor
Augustin Hadelich, violin
MOZART Symphony No. 25
SHOSTAKOVICH Violin Sonata No. 1
BEETHOVEN Coriolan Overture
HAYDN Symphony No. 94

Saturday, Dec 12, 2015 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Dec 13, 2015 at 3 p.m.
Nathalie Stutzmann conducts Handel’s “Messiah”
Nathalie Stutzmann, conductor
HANDEL Messiah

Saturday, Jan 16, 2016 at 8 p.m. webcast
Mozart’s “Prague” Symphony
Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Maya Beiser, cello
DVORÁK Serenade for Winds
ELGAR Serenade for Strings
MOHAMMED FAIROUZ Cello Concerto (World Premiere)
MOZART Symphony No. 38

Thursday, Jan 21, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Jan 22, 2016 at 10:45 a.m. webcast
Saturday, Jan 23, 2016 at 8 p.m.
Slatkin conducts Bolero!
Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Hunter Eberly, trumpet
Marina Piccinini, flute
BIZET Suite from Carmen
JOHN WILLIAMS Trumpet Concerto
AARON JAY KERNIS Flute Concerto (World Premiere)
RAVEL Boléro

Friday, Jan 29, 2016 at 10:45 a.m. webcast
Saturday, Jan 30, 2016 at 8 p.m.
Tchaikovsky with Znaider
Nikolaj Znaider, conductor, violin
MOZART Violin Concerto No. 1
MENDELSSOHN A Midsummer Night’s Dream
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 4

Thursday, Feb 11, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Feb 12, 2016 at 8 p.m. webcast
Brahms Festival:
Symphony No. 4 / Violin Concerto
Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Baiba Skride, violin
BRAHMS 3 Hungarian Dances
BRAHMS Violin Concerto
BRAHMS Symphony No. 4

Saturday, Feb 13, 2016 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Feb 14, 2016 at 3 p.m. webcast
Brahms Festival:
Symphony No. 3 / Double Concerto
Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Baiba Skride, violin
Danjulo Ishizaka, cello
BRAHMS Tragic Overture
BRAHMS Concerto for Violin and Cello
BRAHMS Symphony No. 3

Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 10:45 a.m. webcast & 8 p.m.
Brahms Festival:
Symphony No. 1 / Second Serenade
Leonard Slatkin, conductor
BRAHMS Academic Festival Overture
BRAHMS Serenade No. 2
BRAHMS Symphony No. 1

Saturday, Feb 20, 2016 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Feb 21, 2016 at 3 p.m. webcast
Brahms Festival:
Symphony No. 2 / First Serenade
Leonard Slatkin, conductor
BRAHMS Serenade No. 1
BRAHMS Symphony No. 2

Thursday, Feb 25, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Feb 26, 2016 at 10:45 a.m. webcast
Brahms Festival:
First Piano Concerto with Grimaud
Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Hélène Grimaud, piano
BRAHMS Piano Quartet in G minor (arr. Schoenberg)
BRAHMS Piano Concerto No. 1

Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Feb 28, 2016 at 3 p.m. webcast
Brahms Festival:
Second Piano Concerto with Grimaud
Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Hélène Grimaud, piano
Ralph Skiano, clarinet
BRAHMS Variations on a Theme by Haydn
BRAHMS Sonata in F minor for Clarinet and Orchestra (arr. Berio)
BRAHMS Piano Concerto No. 2

Saturday, March 5 at 8 p.m. webcast
Classical Roots:
Bobby McFerrin!
Bobby McFerrin, conductor, vocals
Program TBD

Friday, March 18, 2016 at 10:45 a.m. webcast
Saturday, March 19, 2016 at 8 p.m.
Trpceski plays:
Virtuoso Liszt
Thomas Dausgaard, conductor
Simon Trpceski, piano
NIELSEN Helios Overture
LISZT Piano Concerto No. 2
SIBELIUS Symphony No. 1

Saturday, April 2, 2016 at 8 p.m. webcast
Beethoven’s “Pastoral”
Michelle Merrill, conductor
Kevin Brown, double bass
DVORÁK Carnival Overture
PISTON Ballet Suite from The Incredible Flutist
VANHAL Double Bass Concerto
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 6

Thursday, April 14, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, April 15, 2016 at 10:45 a.m.
Saturday, April 16, 2016 at 8 p.m. webcast
Ravishing Rachmaninoff
Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor
Lise de la Salle, piano
SARAH KIRKLAND SNIDER Lebenbom Premiere, title TBA (World Premiere)
RACHMANINOFF Piano Concerto No. 1

Friday, April 22, 2016 at 10:45 a.m.
Saturday, April 23, 2016 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, April 24, 2016 at 3 p.m. webcast
The Planets
Peter Oundjian, conductor
Vadim Gluzman, violin
MOZART Overture to Don Giovanni
SHOSTAKOVICH Violin Concerto No. 2
HOLST The Planets

Friday, May 6, 2016 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, May 7, 2016 at 8 p.m. webcast
Nigel Kennedy
Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Nigel Kennedy, violin
SCHUMANN Manfred Overture
W.SCHUMAN Symphony No. 3
ELGAR Violin Concerto

Friday, May 20, 2016 at 10:45 a.m.
Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, May 22, 2016 at 3 p.m. webcast
Jeremy Denk plays
Beethoven’s “Emperor”
Sir Andrew Davis, conductor
Jeremy Denk, piano
DELIUS On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 5

Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, May 27, 2016 at 8 p.m. webcast
Joshua Bell
Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Joshua Bell, violin
GABRIELA LENA FRANK Premiere (World Premiere)
LALO Symphonie espagnole
PROKOFIEV Symphony No. 5

Friday, June 3, 2016 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, June 5, 2016 at 3 p.m. webcast
Opera in Concert – Strauss’ sizzling Salome
Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Lise Lindstrom, soprano
Chris Merritt, tenor
Jane Henschel, mezzo-soprano
Daniel Sutin, baritone
Scott Ramsay, tenor
# # #

© 21C Media Group, January 2015

 For further information, contact:

Glenn Petry, 21C Media Group: [email protected]; 212-625-2038

Gabrielle Poshadlo, Detroit Symphony Orchestra Director of Communications and Media Relations; [email protected]; 313-576-5194


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