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Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Like the city of Detroit itself, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra has had to deal with many difficulties, from disintegrating venues to financial crises. But through all its trials and tribulations, the DSO has maintained a consistently high level of musicianship and technical skill, directly representative of the many distinguished conductors who have directed the group. The DSO was founded in 1914 by ten young society women who each contributed $100 to the enterprise and secured $10 commitments from 100 other people. The ladies hired Weston Gales to conduct, and the DSO played its first concert on February 26, 1914. Gales' name is not much remembered in Detroit; the orchestra blossomed with the appointment of the Russian pianist Ossip Gabrilowitsch as the music director in 1918. Gabrilowitsch encouraged the construction of Orchestra Hall, which was immediately hailed for its fine acoustics. He also raised the DSO's profile nationally and internationally through concertizing and (especially) radio broadcasts. With Gabrilowitsch conducting and famed pianist Artur Schnabel playing, the DSO took part in the world's first radio broadcast of a symphonic concert in 1922; later, the DSO was featured on the nationally broadcast Ford Symphony Hour. Unfortunately, two years after Gabrilowitsch died in 1937, Orchestra Hall was closed due to lack of funds to maintain it. The orchestra went through a difficult stretch, during which it was disbanded twice, until the 1951 hiring of French conductor Paul Paray. Paray's mastery of French repertoire brought international attention to the DSO; during his tenure, some claimed the world's best French orchestra was actually in Detroit. He was succeeded by distinguished musician Sixten Ehrling, but then the orchestra went through another down period in the 1970s. Antal Dorati, the fine Czech conductor, was brought in to lead in 1977, but financial problems crippled the orchestra. These problems continued through 1987, when the orchestra's cumulative deficits reached $8 million; its endowment was only $14 million. The musicians stopped work for 12 weeks, claiming that both management and current music director Gunther Herbig were inept. Finally, both sides made concessions; Herbig was dismissed and replaced with esteemed Estonian conductor Neeme Järvi, while the orchestra's musicians accepted a substantial pay cut. Meanwhile, a group called Save Orchestra Hall had staved off numerous attempts by the city to demolish the now-decrepit structure and managed to raise enough funds to restore it to its former glory. In 1989, the DSO moved back in. With Järvi's creative, stimulating direction drawing in the ticket buyers, and the glorious old-new hall proving an eminently suitable recording venue, the DSO took steps toward financial rejuvenation. The DSO recorded for Chandos with Järvi and is heard nationally on General Motors' nationally broadcast Mark of Excellence radio series.

In 2003, the DSO successfully opened the Max M. Fischer Music Center, which includes the modernized Orchestra Hall, a second performance hall, and an education center, even as Järvi announced his departure at the end of the 2004-2005 season.
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Copland: El Salón México; Appalacian Spring; Rodeo; Dance Symphony; Fanfare

Title: El Salón México, For Orchestra
Title: Dance Symphony, For Orchestra
Title: Fanfare For The Common Man, For Brass & Percussion (From Symphony No. 3)
Title: Rodeo, Selections From The Ballet (Including "Four Dance Episodes")
Title: Appalachian Spring, Concert Suite For Full Orchestra
x

Track List: Suppe: Overtures: Light Cavalry, Etc.; Auber: Overtures

Composer: Franz von Suppé
Title: The Beautiful Galatea, Operetta

1. The Beautiful Galatea, Operetta: The Beautiful Galatea Overture

Title: Pique Dame (The Queen Of Spades), Overture To The Operetta

2. Pique Dame (The Queen Of Spades), Overture To The Operetta: Pique Dame Overture

Title: Leichte Kavallerie (Light Cavalry), Operetta

3. Leichte Kavallerie (Light Cavalry), Operetta: Light Cavalry Overture

Title: Dichter Und Bauer (Poet And Peasant), Overture To The Operetta

4. Dichter Und Bauer (Poet And Peasant), Overture To The Operetta: Poet And Peasant Overture

Title: Ein Morgen, Ein Mittag, Ein Abend In Wien (Morning Noon And Night In Vienna), Overture From The Incidental Music

5. Ein Morgen, Ein Mittag, Ein Abend In Wien (Morning Noon And Night In Vienna), Overture From The Incidental Music: Morning Noon And Night In Vienna Overture

Title: Boccaccio, Operetta

6. Boccaccio, Operetta: Boccaccio Overture

Composer: Daniel-François-Esprit Auber
Title: Bronze Horse, Opera

7. Bronze Horse, Opera: Bronze Horse Overture

Title: Fra Diavolo, Opera

8. Fra Diavolo, Opera: Fra Diavolo Overture

Title: Masaniello Overture

9. Masaniello Overture: Masaniello Overture

x

Track List: Tchaikovsky: The Snow Maiden

Title: The Snow Maiden, Incidental Music, Op. 12

1. The Snow Maiden, Incidental Music, Op. 12: I. Introduction

2. The Snow Maiden, Incidental Music, Op. 12: II. Tanets I Khor Ptits

3. The Snow Maiden, Incidental Music, Op. 12: III. Monolog Moroza

4. The Snow Maiden, Incidental Music, Op. 12: IV. Provody Maslenitsy

5. The Snow Maiden, Incidental Music, Op. 12: Va. Melodrama

6. The Snow Maiden, Incidental Music, Op. 12: Vb. Entr'acte

7. The Snow Maiden, Incidental Music, Op. 12: VI. Pervaia Pesnia Lelia

8. The Snow Maiden, Incidental Music, Op. 12: VII. Vtoraia Pesnia Lelia

9. The Snow Maiden, Incidental Music, Op. 12: VIII. Entr'acte

10. The Snow Maiden, Incidental Music, Op. 12: IX. Khor Slepykh Gusliarov

11. The Snow Maiden, Incidental Music, Op. 12: X. Melodrama

12. The Snow Maiden, Incidental Music, Op. 12: XI. Khor Naroda I Tsaredvortsev

13. The Snow Maiden, Incidental Music, Op. 12: XII. Khorovod Devushek

14. The Snow Maiden, Incidental Music, Op. 12: XIII. Jester's Dance

15. The Snow Maiden, Incidental Music, Op. 12: XIVa. Tret'ia Pesnia Lelia

16. The Snow Maiden, Incidental Music, Op. 12: XIVb. Tret'ia Pesnia Lelia

17. The Snow Maiden, Incidental Music, Op. 12: XV. Pesnia Brusily

18. The Snow Maiden, Incidental Music, Op. 12: XVI. Appearance Of The Wood Bird

19. The Snow Maiden, Incidental Music, Op. 12: XVIIa. Entr'acte

20. The Snow Maiden, Incidental Music, Op. 12: XVIIb. Deklamatsia Vensy

21. The Snow Maiden, Incidental Music, Op. 12: XVIII. Marsh Tsaria Berendeia I Khor

22. The Snow Maiden, Incidental Music, Op. 12: XIX. Final

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