“In late March, the Detroit Symphony gave three performances with the veteran conductor Jukka-Pekka Saraste and a younger but well-travelled violinist, Augustin Hadelich,” writes Alex Ross in the April 9 issue of the New Yorker. The article chronicles changes at the Detroit Symphony and Detroit, and profiles Hadelich. “The program followed a familiar template: an opener (Sibelius’s ‘Pohjola’s Daughter’), a concerto (Britten’s Violin Concerto), and a symphony (Beethoven’s Seventh)…. Yet … I wouldn’t call the proceedings routine. Detroit is no ordinary city; it is recovering from a grim past and undergoing a startling transformation. The orchestra, likewise, is rebounding…. After the [2010-11] labor crisis, musicians and management found common ground in a mission to reconnect with the city, [anointing] themselves the ‘most accessible orchestra on the planet.’ … Tickets are cheaper…. Neighborhood concerts reach into underserved communities … the Detroit Symphony offers free Webcasts of its concerts… Erik Rönmark, the orchestra’s general manager and vice-president, has … pressed for more new music and for a stronger representation of female and nonwhite composers and conductors…. The 2018-19 season includes twelve living composers, five of them women.… There is no lack of Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Mahler, but Detroit’s commitment to new music places it in the vanguard.”

Posted April 3, 2018