The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) returns for its 45th season with a lineup of A-list composers and performers set to take the Orchestra Hall stage later this year.
The DSO’s 2022-2023 season will feature a series of newly commissioned works from Brian Nabors, Michael Abels, Jessie Montgomery, Tania Leon, and Carlos Simon, as well as solo piano performances by Emanuel Ax, Isata Kanneh-Mason, Daniil Trifonov and Garrick Ohlsson. The string performances will feature notable violinists María Dueñas, Anne Akiko Meyers, Baiba Skride and Augustin Hadelich.
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WRCJ Producer and Host Peter Whorf talks with DSO President and CEO Erik Ronmark about what’s ahead for the DSO’s 2022-2023 season and the relationships the symphony has built with artists over the years. Plus, Ronmark shares more about a special performance featuring the work of the DSO’s former artist-in-residence Anthony Davis.
Peter Whorf, Producer/Host WRCJ 90.9 FM: Hello. Good morning, Erik.
Erik Ronmark, President & CEO, Detroit Symphony Orchestra: How are you, Peter?
Peter Whorf: I’m fine. How are you?
Erik Ronmark: I’m doing good.
Peter Whorf: Can you highlight, Erik, some of the new commissioned works that are being showcased in the coming season?
Erik Ronmark: Yeah.
Erik Ronmark: We joined a few different commissions. Some are consortium commissions where we signed on because we like to be part of the creation of new works and then some that we spearheaded and really are giving the world premieres of.
Erik Ronmark: And so everything from the Brian Nabors, for example, or Michael Abels. The very first piece in the first concert is by Michael Abels and probably best known as a great movie composer, but he’s best known for his work on movies like “Get Out” and “Us.” And then there are these other commissions by Jessie Montgomery, by neighbors, I mentioned.
Erik Ronmark: Tania Leon, who just won a Pulitzer that we got onto early. And are proud to be part of bringing new works to the world. But then the Carlos Simon piece is one of the highlights for me as far as the new works.
Erik Ronmark: And the theme really is about the Underground Railroad and so other orchestras that were stops on this incredibly important historic journey are going to join in in future seasons. But Detroit, of course, being a very important place in that.
Peter Whorf: Your piano soloist lineup is pretty epic as usual. Emanuel Ax, Isata Kanneh-Mason, Daniil Trifonov and Garrick Ohlsson return with music director Laureate Leonard Slatkin.
Erik Ronmark: Yeah, we’re really, really fortunate to have built all these relationships with great artists over many, many years. And Manny is just an amazing way to open the new season. And with the Chopin and Daniil Trifonov, who I try to never say that I have favorites because everyone brings such a unique quality.
Erik Ronmark: But I remember with Daniil, who we saw here early in his career, really right at the beginning of where when he started to take off and then built that relationship. And he loves coming back to Detroit.
Peter Whorf: It’s cool to know that Detroit connection, too, with composer Florence Price. I wanted to mention the spring lineup, which really excites me. Maria Duenas. Anne Akiko Meyers, Baiba Skride and Augustin Hadelich. Of course, it’s another season of classical roots. I think it’s season number 45 next year.
Erik Ronmark: That’s right. Yeah, we’re it started back in ’78.
Peter Whorf: Anthony Davis’s music will be featured.
Erik Ronmark: Yes. Anthony Davis was a composer in residence with the Detroit Symphony many, many years ago. And we commissioned a few shorter orchestral works of his and his opera Ax, which I’m seeing in just a couple of days. On Sunday, I’m catching the final performance.
Erik Ronmark: It’s just a milestone work. And I’m so glad that our friends at Detroit Opera are bringing that back to life. And it’s a work that deserves to be heard. And to Valentines, I think is just one of the most interesting and fascinating singers to me. I think his voice is so special, but he’s also so convincing in the way that he interprets music.
Peter Whorf: Erik Ronmark is president and CEO of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Erik, thanks for sharing your lineup for the 22-23 season with us.
Erik Ronmark: Thanks, Peter. Always great talking with you.
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