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March 2014
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Live Broadcast, Good News in Detroit

Detroit Symphony Orchestra music director Leonard Slatkin, c.Donald Dietz

Detroit Symphony Orchestra music director Leonard Slatkin, c.Donald Dietz

Friday at 7:00 PM

The population of Detroit, Michigan peaked in 1950 at around 1,850,000. In the 1960s the motor city spawned the cultural phenomenon of Motown Records. Now, with more than 60% of its population gone, the city has filed the largest municipal bankruptcy case in United States history. So many headlines have characterized Detroit as a city in free-fall, one does not expect success stories about Detroit’s Symphony Orchestra. Well. In fact the orchestra is alive and kicking. A recent New York Times article featured the Detroit Symphony for having “the most ambitious free web-streaming program of any major American orchestra.” Currently the DSO offers 20 concerts per year via live web stream.

Music director Leonard Slatkin quips that having the additional equipment onstage feels a little like having “traffic cameras,” but he and the musicians embrace and are actively involved in improving the visual experience.

Since its founding in 1887, the Detroit Symphony has been one of the top American orchestras. The orchestra’s Mercury Records releases with Paul Paray continue to be favored by collectors. Their web stream has featured live performances with the likes of Joshua Bell, Leila Josefowicz, Emanuel Ax, and Branford Marsalis.

On Friday at 7:00 PM, WFMT celebrates this great American institution with a live broadcast from Detroit’s Orchestra Hall. Leonard Slatkin conducts a number of DSO musicians as soloists in works by John Williams, Elliott Carter, Allan Gilliland, and Vivaldi, as well as the world premiere of Wang Jie’s Second Symphony; and to finish, Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra.

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