February 4, 2018
The Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s fifth annual winter music festival will celebrate the music and culture of France, including six Orchestra Hall concerts conducted by Music Director Leonard Slatkin. “Le Max” (Midtown Detroit’s Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center) will buzz with additional special events, unique food and drink options, and Gallic spirit.
DSO concerts in Orchestra Hall—rich with French classical music highlights—include an all-Ravel program (featuring the Pavane for a Dead Princess, Daphnis and Chloe suite, and more), an all-Saint-Saëns program (featuring the Danse Macabre, Piano Concerto No. 2, and more), and a program pairing Gershwin’s An American in Paris with Milhaud’s A Frenchman in New York, as well as performances of Dukas’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Debussy’s La Mer, and Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique. Guest soloists throughout the three weeks will be violinist Renaud Capuçon and pianists Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, George Li, and Christina and Michelle Naughton.
Across from Orchestra Hall, the Peter D. and Julie F. Cummings Cube will offer curated, urban, boundless experiences in a French style—including Om @ Le Max (a yoga session set to live music), Le Ciné Cube (free screenings of French film shorts with live musical accompaniment, plus the 1986 American-French jazz drama Round Midnight), and more. Intimate performances by cabaret singer Cyrille Aimée (on Valentine’s Day), accordion and bandoneón wizard Julien Labro, and French Afropop phenoms Les Nubians with DJ Cambeaux bring genre-bending twists to the Festival schedule.
The festival also features a scholar-in-residence (Steven Whiting, Professor of Musicology at the University of Michigan), a wine tasting event featuring rare French wines paired with live music, a chamber music performance at the Steinway Piano Gallery in Commerce Township, and food and drink specials in the Salon du Paradis (formerly the Paradise Lounge). The festival will close with a special Wu Family Academy Showcase featuring performances of French music by the DSO’s Civic Youth Ensembles, including the Detroit Symphony Youth Orchestra.
Visit dso.org/FrenchFest for a complete schedule of events.