DSO’s “Symphony in D” premiere: Detroit city portrait

Posted on: November 16, 2015

“Detroit’s difficulties—it emerged from the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history less than a year ago—are by this point well known,” writes Zachary Woolfe in Wednesday’s (11/11) New York Times. “So are those of the venerable Detroit Symphony … a recovering organization in a recovering metropolis.” Tod Machover’s Symphony in D, which the DSO and Music Director Leonard Slatkin will premiere on November 20, “holds out the promise of healing, not just for its city, but also for the orchestra performing it…. [Machover] has lately been at work on what he calls ‘city symphonies’ [created in and about] places like Edinburgh; Toronto; Perth, Australia; and Lucerne, Switzerland. … Detroit … demanded a different, more complex approach…. The work needed to function as something like a collective ritual, with live performers in the mix, playing alongside the orchestra, as well as prerecorded excerpts.” Those involved with the project include students from the Detroit Achievement Academy; residents of American House, an assisted-living development; and students at YouthVille, an after-school center. “ ‘Symphony in D’ is a formidable undertaking, but it fits in naturally with the Detroit Symphony’s orientation toward the new…. It’s an approach to new music with an ambition and density.”

Posted November 16, 2015