Live Broadcasts

  • Beethoven's Fifth Symphony with Michael Francis

    100 years ago, attendees to the first DSO concert in Orchestra Hall experienced this same powerhouse program featuring Beethoven’s immortal Fifth Symphony. With its iconic opening measures and its climb from darkness to light, Beethoven’s Fifth is perhaps, as novelist E.M. Forster described it, “...

  • Mahler's Fourth Symphony with Jader Bignamini

    Mahler built his Fourth Symphony around his own song “The Heavenly Life,” which borrows text from a Bavarian folk poem. “The angelic voices gladden our senses,” the poem proclaims, “so that everything awakens for joy.” Mahler’s sunniest symphony features bells, harp and woodwinds; in keeping with...

  • A Century of Pops

    In celebration of the first concert in Orchestra Hall in 1919, the DSO will perform a century of Pops music, including selections from the orchestra’s early years and contemporary favorites. Conductor Leslie Dunner and the DSO will commemorate “Orchestra Hall Day” with music by Leonard Bernstein,...

  • Valčuha conducts Strauss and Prokofiev

    n his orchestral tone poem Death and Transfiguration, Strauss tells the tale of a dying man reflecting back on his life, his struggles and his ambitions. Ultimately, as the composer tells us, “the soul leaves the body in order to find gloriously achieved in everlasting space those things that cou...

  • Dalia Stasevska's DSO Debut

    What good fortune that we can experience Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto at all — his mentor initially deemed it “absolutely unplayable” and vulgar! Luckily Tchaikovsky ignored this critic, published his concerto, and unveiled what has become one of the most treasured pieces in piano repertoir...

  • Leonard Slatkin leads Mussorgsky and a Premiere

    Mussorgsky, blindsided by the sudden passing of his close friend Victor Hartmann, turned his pain into art: he composed a suite of musical paintings for piano, inspired by Hartmann’s sketches. Maurice Ravel later brightened this imagined gallery with the colorful orchestral arrangement most recog...

  • Classroom Edition: New World Symphony

    Composer Antonín Dvořák was inspired by a trip across America in the late 1800s, which led to his “New World” Symphony. Discover the stories and melodies of Dvořák’s new world.

  • Violinist James Ehnes & Schubert's Final Symphony - Starts at 10:45AM

    The DSO welcomes one of today’s most skillful violinists, James Ehnes, to Orchestra Hall. Ehnes performs Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, a showpiece which only the most accomplished musicians tackle. The concerto’s memorable opening melody would not let Mendelssohn rest until he had committed it t...

  • Ruth Reinhardt conducts Handel's beloved Messiah

    Full of dramatic tension and beauty, Handel’s Messiah is among the most revered oratorios of all time, and a long-standing musical tradition at Christmas. Messiah was an immediate hit, due especially to Handel’s rising fame, and its premiere drew such a remarkable crowd that attendees were advise...

  • Bignamini leads Berlioz, plus a Violin Favorite

    Augustin Hadelich, “one of the outstanding violinists of his generation” (New York Times), returns to Orchestra Hall to perform Paganini’s First Violin Concerto. Paganini, himself a wizard of the violin, began composing when he could not find material challenging enough to play; his First Violin ...

  • Isabel Leonard sings Ravel and Alex Temple

    “Je voudrais voir…”, repeats Shéhérazade. “I would like to see…” This refrain sets the tone for Ravel’s Shéhérazade, named for the protagonist of 101 Arabian Nights — a woman who employs her imagination as a means of escape. With text based on three poems by his friend Tristan Klingsor, this song...

  • A French Afternoon with Søndergård and Chamayou

    It’s a pairing as natural as wine and cheese: contemporaries Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel. In this program Debussy’s La Mer demonstrates that the Impressionism movement was not limited to paintings; his soft musical brushstrokes create sketches of the sea. Ravel’s jazz-infused Piano Concerto ...

  • Alisa Weilerstein plays Barber, with Beethoven

    “No one can love the country as much as I do,” insisted Beethoven. “For surely woods, trees, and rocks produce the echo which man desires to hear.” The composer, who loved a walk outdoors to escape city life, provided us a clear path through his Pastoral symphony; his scenes recall a visit to the...

  • Classroom Edition: Happy Birthday, Beethoven!

    Celebrate Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra! Learn more about this iconic composer and listen to some of his most famous orchestral works.

  • Classical Roots: André Watts and a Premiere

    Megawatt pianist André Watts takes the stage for the DSO’s annual celebration of African-American contributions to classical music, conducted by former DSO Resident Conductor Thomas Wilkins. Watts, a recipient of the National Medal of Arts, performs Beethoven’s “Emperor” Piano Concerto, so nickna...

  • Leonard Slatkin with "Carmina burana" and Paganini

    “Everything I have written to date, and which you have, unfortunately, printed, can be destroyed,” declared composer Carl Orff to his publisher following the successful premiere of Carmina Burana. Orff based Carmina on 24 poems — but a far cry from love sonnets, these verses deal in lust, gamblin...

  • Two New Works by American Composers, plus Dvorák

    Dvořák’s Ninth Symphony, “From the New World,” blends the traditional folk sounds of the composer’s Czech homeland with melodies discovered in African-American and Native American music — the heartbeat of Dvořák’s “new world,” the United States. A world premiere commission by James Lee III direct...

  • Stenz and Gavrylyuk present a Russian Night

    Wise pianists fear Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto, one of the most fiendishly difficult pieces ever composed for piano. Alexander Gavrylyuk, “as vivid and characterful as he is dextrous” (Gramophone), is suited to summon Rachmaninoff’s fireworks. “The Poem of Ecstasy” by Scriabin is a metaph...

  • Viennese Night with Strauss, Mozart, and Korngold

    Written in a fever of productivity at the height of his career, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 exudes the richness and majesty of Mozart at his best. The dreamy second movement, andante (“slow”), is most familiar, having been borrowed by the film Elvira Madigan, songwriter Neil Diamond and more. ...

  • Bringuier presents rare Prokofiev and Salonen

    Four of Mozart’s five violin concertos, including the fourth, were written when the composer was a mere 19 years old, and closely resemble Baroque pieces, as they preceded Mozart’s mature style heard in his later concertos for the piano. Karen Gomyo, a violinist “of rare musical command, vitality...

  • Joshua Bell plays Dvorák with Leonard Slatkin

    It requires a dynamic concerto to showcase the rare talent of violin legend Joshua Bell. Enter Dvořák’s Violin Concerto: from its dramatic opening to the explosive finale, this showpiece smolders under Bell’s bow. Music Director Laureate Leonard Slatkin also conducts two of Dvořák’s spirited Slav...

  • Slatkin and Ohlsson share Brahms

    Music Director Laureate Leonard Slatkin leads the DSO through a program of three favorites, beginning with Stravinsky’s Symphonies of Wind Instruments, which the composer penned as part of a tribute to the late Claude Debussy. (“The musicians of my generation and I myself owe the most to Debussy,...

  • Hannu Lintu and Vadim Gluzman close with Beethoven

    Five quiet drum beats. In 1806, a concerto simply did not begin this way — but as with so many elements of music, Beethoven would challenge the status quo. Beethoven’s only violin concerto wraps rhythm in melody, shows off the potential of the instrument and delights in the technique of the perfo...