June 6, 2018
The Detroit Symphony Orchestra will honor philanthropists Penny & Harold Blumenstein and Music Director Leonard Slatkin at the eighth annual Heroes Gala and Benefit Concert on Saturday, June 23. Proceeds from the gala will support the DSO’s commitment to transforming the lives of young people through music education.
Teddy Abrams, music director of the Louisville Orchestra and former DSO Assistant Conductor from 2012 to 2014, will conduct the one-night-only concert of classical and pops music in Orchestra Hall. DSO favorite Storm Large joins the orchestra for her original renditions of Cole Porter classics while Grammy Award-winning pianist and former Erb Jazz Chair Michel Camilo pays tribute with selections by George Gershwin and more. Eighteen-year-old cellist Joshua McClendon, a past Sphinx Competition Laureate, will be a featured soloist in the third movement of Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1.
The DSO founded the Heroes Gala in 2010 in honor of the remarkable men and women who impact the vision, values, and success of the organization. This year’s program celebrates the impact that Maestro Slatkin and the Blumensteins have had on the DSO. The Blumensteins are passionate about making classical music more accessible to young people; in addition to featuring McClendon, the DSO will perform with five students from the Detroit Symphony Youth Orchestra. Slatkin is widely recognized for championing the works of living composers, as well as the 20th century American repertoire; his wife Cindy McTee’s arrangement of the folk song “Shenandoah” is also on the program.
Concert-only tickets for the 2018 Heroes Gala and Benefit Concert begin at $15 and can be purchased at dso.org, by calling (313) 576-5111, or in-person at the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center Box Office (3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit).
About the Honorees:
Penny and Harold Blumenstein have been DSO supporters for decades. For the past three years, the transformational Penny and Harold Blumenstein Future Audiences Fund has made it possible for students, teachers, and chaperones at any school within Detroit city limits to attend DSO Educational Concert Series performances for just $1. Penny remembers attending DSO performances when she herself was a student in Detroit public schools, and the Blumensteins’ generosity enables classical music to continue to be a part of Detroit children’s lives. Penny Blumenstein was a member of the DSO Board of Directors beginning in 2002 and became a Board of Trustees member in 2013. Harold Blumenstein, along with other civic leaders, was an integral part of the Save Orchestra Hall campaign in the 1970s.
Leonard Slatkin, in his tenth and final season as DSO Music Director, has energetically helmed the orchestra as it entered a new era of artistic excellence and international prominence. United under the banner of being the most accessible orchestra in the world, Slatkin and the DSO have taken on new and groundbreaking initiatives, including the free webcast series Live from Orchestra Hall, the annual Winter Music Festival, and the Soundcard student ticket program. During Slatkin’s tenure, the DSO has also released acclaimed and Grammy-nominated recordings, embarked on an historic tour of Japan and China, played Carnegie Hall, expanded the orchestra’s educational offerings, and strengthened its community engagement and connection with audiences.
In December 2017, Slatkin and his wife Cindy McTee established the Cindy and Leonard Slatkin Emerging Artists Fund, a $100,000 commitment to the DSO endowment that will provide support for up-and-coming artists to perform with the orchestra each season. After the 2017-2018 Season, Slatkin will continue to advise on all artistic matters in the new role of Music Director Laureate.