Detroit Symphony names Jader Bignamini, 43, as next music director

Posted on: January 22, 2020

“The Detroit Symphony Orchestra has hired charismatic young Italian conductor Jader Bignamini as its 13th music director—the 43-year-old’s first time in that role anywhere,” writes Brian McCollum in Wednesday’s (1/22) Detroit Free Press. “Bignamini’s six-year contract will begin with the 2020-2021 DSO season that commences later this year…. Bignamini’s appointment comes more than four years after the announced departure of Leonard Slatkin … who stayed aboard through 2018 as director laureate…. In June 2018, Bignamini stepped in as a last-minute sub … wowing DSO musicians and audiences as he conducted performances of Puccini’s ‘Turandot.’ … Most important, said [DSO President and CEO Anne] Parsons, he has ‘the full support of our musicians,’ four of whom sat on the search committee that ultimately zeroed in on the Italian. The search [was] spearheaded by vice president and general manager Erik Rönmark…. Bignamini … began his professional career as a clarinetist with the Orchestra Sinfonica la Verdi in Milan [where he] eventually became resident conductor.” Bignamini has conducted the Metropolitan Opera, the Vienna State Opera, and the Dutch National Opera, among others, and this season makes his debut leading the orchestras of Dallas, Houston, and Toronto. This weekend, Bignamini conducts three DSO concerts at Orchestra Hall, with a Sunday afternoon webcast via and Facebook Live.

In photo: Jader Bignamini, the next music director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, leading the orchestra in October 2019. Credit: Sarah Smarch