January 26, 2018
The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) announced the 2018-2019 Season of its Classical and PNC Pops Series. Leonard Slatkin, currently in his 10th and final year as DSO music director, will return as music director laureate to open the classical season on Friday, October 5, 2018, with a weekend of concerts in Orchestra Hall featuring acclaimed violinist Gil Shaham. Maestro Slatkin will return in February to lead the DSO’s three-week American Festival, and he will close the season in June with a program featuring pianist Makoto Ozone.
“Many story lines and common threads come together over the course of the DSO’s 2018-2019 season,” said Erik Rönmark, DSO vice president and general manager. “The orchestra and Leonard Slatkin both have reputations going back many decades for outstanding performances of American music and music by living composers. The new season brings both to the foreground, centered around our American Festival but also branching out over the entire year to feature twenty-six American works and music by twelve living composers, including five women.”
The DSO’s American Festival, the orchestra’s sixth annual winter music festival, will take place February 8-24, 2019, and will feature six programs conducted by Slatkin. Highlights include two programs with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet (in Bernstein’s Symphony No. 2, “The Age of Anxiety” and Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F), Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess: Concert Version with two singers and chorus, an all-John Williams program including selections of his film music, a world premiere by composer Kristin Kuster, and a festival-closing program titled Maximum Minimal with music by Steve Reich, Philip Glass, and John Luther Adams (the Pulitzer Prize-winning Become Ocean).
The American Festival will highlight DSO musicians as soloists, including Principal Cello Wei Yu (Bernstein’s Three Meditations from MASS), Principal Oboe Alexander Kinmonth (John Williams’s Oboe Concerto), Associate Concertmaster Kimberly Kaloyanides Kennedy (Barber’s Violin Concerto), percussionists Joseph Becker (Principal) and Andrés Pichardo-Rosenthal (Assistant Principal) (Steve Reich’s Clapping Music), and timpanists Jeremy Epp (Principal) and James Ritchie (Assistant Principal) (Philip Glass’s Concerto Fantasy for Two Timpanists and Orchestra).