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Detroit Symphony Orchestra Announces DSO Digital Concerts for April 2021

Mike Lawson • News • April 7, 2021

DETROIT – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s highlights for April 2021 include conductor Asher Fisch conducting pair of concerts April 8 and 9 (with pianist Jonathan Biss stepping in for Louis Lortie on April 9), and noted trumpeter / composer Terence Blanchard performing the Paradise Jazz Series concert on April 30.

More details from Detroit Symphony Orchestra (www.dso.org):

Guest artists include La Shaun phoenix Moore, Natasha T. Miller, Alexis Lombre, James Conlon, Rodney Whitaker, Rockelle Whitaker, Hakim The Prince, Roger Jones, DeSean Jones, Shai Wosner, and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis

This April, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) continues its series of DSO Digital Concerts with Classical and Paradise Jazz Series performances streamed live from the Orchestra Hall stage, including plus Poetry + Live Music and the Rodney Whitaker Quintet on the CUBE | Digital series and an Educational Concert Series virtual program for school children featuring the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis.

First up, conductor Asher Fisch will lead the DSO in a program of Lachlan Skipworth’s Avem asperitas and Alberto Ginastera’s Variaciones concertantes on Thursday, April 8. Fisch returns on Friday, April 9 for Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto and Rossini’s Overture to La scala di seta. Pianist Jonathan Biss—acclaimed for his insightful interpretations of Schumann’s music—performs the concerto, stepping in for originally scheduled guest Louis Lortie who is unable to travel to Detroit.

On Tuesday, April 13, Poetry + Live Music returns on the CUBE | Digital series with both in-person and digital ticket options. Spoken word artist La Shaun phoenix Moore hosts an evening of music and poetry live from The Cube at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center. Special guests include Natasha T. Miller, performing poems from her newly published book Butcher, and Chicago-Detroit-based musician, bandleader, and pianist Alexis Lombre. Limited-capacity tickets to view the show in-person are $18 and can be purchased by clicking here; tickets to view the show digitally are $9 and can be purchased by clicking here.

On Thursday, April 15, the DSO’s long-running Educational Concert Series continues with a virtual performance featuring the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. The pre-recorded concert—titled What is Jazz?—can be viewed from home or the classroom and is completely free of charge. This educational concert experience includes a complimentary digital copy of the accompanying Teacher Resource Guide, with class activities and much more. To register, please click here.

The same week, DSO Music Director Laureate Leonard Slatkin will conduct two programs on the Classical series on April 15 and 16. The Thursday performance features two folk-infused works: Ginastera’s Concerto for Strings and William Grant Still’s Littler Folk Suites (arr. Leonard Slatkin). The following evening brings a program of 20th-century American and British composers including Finzi’s Prelude for String Orchestra, Jennifer Higdon’s Amazing Grace, and Bloch’s Concerto Grosso No. 1 for String Orchestra and piano obbligato.

On April 22 and 23, James Conlon comes to the DSO to conduct Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony (arr. Barshai), Mozart’s Symphony No. 34 in C major, Chevalier Saint-Georges’s / Joseph Bologne’s Symphony No. 2 in D major, and Mozart’s Symphony No. 36 in C major, “Linz”.

On April 24, bassist Rodney Whitaker returns to Orchestra Hall with his new band featuring vocalist Rockelle Whitaker, spoken word artist Hakim The Prince, pianist Roger Jones, and saxophonist DeSean Jones to perform music of Billie Holliday, Duke Ellington, and Gregg Hill. Please note: The DSO does not appear on this program.Limited-capacity tickets to view the show in-person start at $20; tickets to view the show digitally are $12.

On Thursday, April 29, Pianist Shai Wosner joins musicians of the DSO for an intimate program of chamber music by Dvořák including Legends (arranged for piano, clarinet, and viola by Wosner) and the Piano Quintet in A major. The chamber music continues on Saturday, May 1 with members of the DSO’s wind and brass sections performing Barber’s Summer Music and Jeff Scott’s Startin’ Sumthin’.

Recently Oscar-nominated for his score to Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods, trumpeter and DSO Erb Jazz Chair Terence Blanchard performs an eagerly anticipated concert on the Paradise Jazz Series on Friday, April 30, part of the global celebrations marking International Jazz Day 2021.

All DSO Digital Concert performances will be live streamed from Orchestra Hall and are innovatively programmed with health and safety considerations in mind. Subscribers and select donors receive access to all DSO Digital Concerts, with individual tickets available for purchase. Concerts can be viewed exclusively on dso.org or the DSO app via computer, mobile device, or smart TV. Click here to view a full list of digital events.

The health and safety of our patrons, musicians, and staff is our top priority. In-person event attendees will be required to follow protocols that keep us all safe, including social distancing and wearing a mask at all times. Please visit dso.org/safetyplan to learn more.

The DSO Classical Series is generously sponsored by PVS Chemicals, Inc. The title sponsor of the DSO’s PNC Pops Series is PNC Bank. The Paradise Jazz Series is made possible with support from TCF Bank and MGM Grand Detroit. The Educational Concert Series is made possible in part by the Penny and Harold Blumenstein Future Audiences Fund. CUBE | Digital is supported by Peter D. and Julie F. Cummings, Ford Motor Company FundCommunity Foundation for Southeast Michigan, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, with additional support from Quicken Loans and the Boston Consulting Group.

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CLOUDSCAPES
Classical
Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.
Asher Fisch, conductor
Picture the clouds rolling high above Woodward Avenue as you listen to Lachlan Skipworth’s Avem asperitas, a soundscape that tells of a storm that will never quite arrive. Alberto Ginastera shines a spotlight on each section of the orchestra in the Variaciones concertantes, all while evoking the sounds and rhythms of his native Argentina.

LACHLAN SKIPWORTH Avem Asperitas
GINASTERA Variaciones concertantes

JONATHAN BISS PLAYS SCHUMANN
Classical
Friday, April 9, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.
Asher Fisch, conductor
Jonathan Biss, piano
Pianist Jonathan Biss returns to Detroit to perform Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto, first performed by his wife Clara and featuring a tender melody that spells out the letters of her name. Before that, hear Rossini’s bombastic Overture to La scala di seta. Please note: Originally scheduled guest pianist Louis Lortie is unable to appear in tonight’s concert. The DSO thanks Jonathan Biss for stepping in on short notice.
SCHUMANN Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

ROSSINI Overture to La scala di seta

DIGITAL ONLY: POETRY + LIVE MUSIC
CUBE
Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 7 p.m.
La Shaun phoenix Moore, spoken word artist
Natasha T. Miller, performance poet
Alexis Lombre, piano
Enjoy poetry and live music from the comfort of home!

Spoken word artist La Shaun phoenix Moore hosts an evening of music and poetry live from The CUBE in Detroit, MI. Special guests include Natasha T. Miller, performing poems from her newly published book Butcher, and Chicago-Detroit-based musician, bandleader, pianist Alexis Lombre. Please note: The DSO does not appear on this program.
Tickets
Digital General Admission – $9

IN-PERSON: POETRY + LIVE MUSIC
CUBE
Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 7 p.m.
La Shaun phoenix Moore, spoken word artist
Natasha T. Miller, performance poet
Alexis Lombre, piano
Join us in-person for a limited capacity socially distanced evening of music and poetry in The CUBE, hosted by spoken word artist La Shaun phoenix Moore. Special guests include Natasha T. Miller, performing poems from her newly published book Butcher, and Chicago-Detroit-based musician, bandleader, pianist Alexis Lombre. Please note: The DSO does not appear on this program.
The health and safety of our patrons, musicians, and staff is our top priority. Event attendees will be required to follow protocols that keep us all safe, including social distancing and wearing a mask at all times. Please visit dso.org/safetyplan to learn more.

Tickets
In-person General Admission – $18

VIRTUAL WEBCAST: WHAT IS JAZZ?

Educational Concert Series
Thursday, April 15, 2021 at 10:30 a.m.
Join us for a FREE virtual Educational Concert Series performance: What is Jazz? featuring the DSO and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis! Learn how jazz inspired orchestral composers like Leonard Bernstein in his piece Prelude, Fugue, and Riffs, with soloist Anthony McGill. Then, dive deeper into What is Jazz?, a Jazz for Young People Program presented by special guests from the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. This educational concert experience includes a complimentary digital copy of the accompanying Teacher Resource Guide, with class activities and much more. To register, please click here.

SLATKIN RETURNS
Classical
Thursday, April 15, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.
Leonard Slatkin, conductor
DSO Music Director Laureate Leonard Slatkin returns to lead the DSO in a program of folk-infused works. William Grant Still, often referred to as the “dean of African American composers” drew from throughout the western hemisphere to compose his folk suites, while Ginastera’s Concerto for Strings uses the music of Argentina in a more abstract manner.

STILL/ARR. SLATKIN Littler Folk Suites

GINASTERA Concerto for Strings

AMAZING GRACE
Classical
Friday, April 16, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.
Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Leonard Slatkin leads the DSO in a program of twentieth-century American and British composers.

FINZI Prelude for String Orchestra

JENNIFER HIGDON Amazing Grace
BLOCH Concerto Grosso No. 1 for String Orchestra and Piano obbligato

SHOSTAKOVICH’S CHAMBER SYMPHONY
Classical
Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.
James Conlon, conductor
Originally composed as a string quartet, Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony was born out of a personal crisis, as he reluctantly joined the Communist Party. While officially dedicated in memory of victims of “fascism and war,” he privately confessed he composed it in memory of himself, fearing otherwise no one else would.

SHOSTAKOVICH (ARR. BARSHAI) Chamber Symphony, Op. 110a

MOZART Symphony No. 34 in C major, K. 338

SAINT-GEORGES’ SECOND
Classical
Friday, April 23, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.
James Conlon, conductor
Saint-Georges, born Joseph Bologne, was the son of a French plantation owner and his African slave, who rose to prominence in 18th-century France as a champion fencer, violinist, composer, and conductor.

SAINT-GEORGES Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 11, No. 2

MOZART Symphony No. 36 in C major, K. 425, “Linz”

DIGITAL ONLY: RODNEY WHITAKER QUINTET 
CUBE
Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 7 p.m.
Enjoy the music of Billie Holliday, Duke Ellington, and Gregg Hill from the comfort of home!

Internationally renowned bassist Rodney Whitaker returns to the Orchestra Hall stage with his new band featuring vocalist Rockelle Whitaker, spoken word artist Hakim The Prince, pianist Roger Jones, and saxophonist DeSean Jones. Please note: The DSO does not appear on this program.
Tickets
Digital General Admission – $12

IN-PERSON: RODNEY WHITAKER QUINTET 
CUBE
Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 7 p.m.
Join us in-person for a limited capacity socially distanced evening of live jazz! Internationally renowned bassist Rodney Whitaker returns to the Orchestra Hall stage with his new band featuring vocalist Rockelle Whitaker, spoken word artist Hakim The Prince, pianist Roger Jones, and saxophonist DeSean Jones, to perform music by Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, and Gregg Hill. Please note: The DSO does not appear on this program.
Tickets
In-person General Admission starts at $20.

DVOŘÁK PIANO QUINTET NO. 2
Classical
Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.
Shai Wosner, piano
Pianist Shai Wosner joins musicians of the DSO in an intimate chamber setting for music of Antonin Dvořák. Legends, originally composed for piano duet, is a series of ten smaller works that set a reflective mood, arranged here for piano, clarinet, and viola. His second piano quintet was originally intended as a revision of his first, but became a brand-new work of its own, that would become regarded as one of the masterpieces written for such an ensemble.

DVOŘÁK (ARR. WOSNER) Legends, Op. 59, Nos. 1-3 for Piano, Clarinet and Viola

DVOŘÁK Piano Quintet in A major, Op. 81

TERENCE BLANCHARD
Paradise Jazz Series
Friday, April 30, 2021 at 8 p.m.
Terence Blanchard, trumpet
Erb Jazz Chair Terence Blanchard is no stranger to the Orchestra Hall stage. With more than 30 albums to his credit, Blanchard is a six-time Grammy Award winner and has received Oscar and Golden Globe nods. Blanchard curates an evening of music to celebrate International Jazz Day.

CHAMBER WINDS
Saturday, May 1, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.
Hannah Hammel, flute
Sarah Lewis, oboe
Ralph Skiano, clarinet
Michael Ke Ma, bassoon
Scott Strong, horn
Members of the DSO’s winds and brass perform works for woodwind quintet featuring Barber’s Summer Music and Jeff Scott’s Startin’ Sumthin’.

RAVEL (ARR. JONES) Le Tombeau de Couperin
BARBER Summer Music for Woodwind Quintet, Op. 31

JEFF SCOTT Startin’ Sumthin’
JULIO MEDAGLIA Suite popular barsileira

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