At Detroit Symphony, forging connections between music director and executive director

Posted on: February 24, 2022

“Visiting New York last December to pick out two Steinway pianos for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Mark Davidoff, chair of the DSO’s board, watched as future president and CEO Erik Rönmark and music director Jader Bignamini communicated about which ones were best for the orchestra,” writes Maureen Feighan in Monday’s (2/21) Detroit News. “As the DSO charts its future with two new leaders at its helm for the first time in more than a decade, that kind of connection will be important as Rönmark and Bignamini write the orchestra’s next chapter. Rönmark and Bignamini—both classically trained musicians in their 40s who were born and raised in Europe—are the youngest leaders to guide the DSO in more than 20 years…. Both are committed to diversifying the orchestra’s programming and deepening its engagement in Detroit…. Kenneth Thompkins, principal trombone of the DSO, has been with orchestra since 1997 and has worked under … music directors Neeme Järvi, [Leonard] Slatkin and now Bignamini. He said every [music] director … has … ‘a vision for the orchestra.’… That requires ‘an agreement,’ he said, with the CEO and president…. [Thompkins] said it’s ‘critically important’ that the music director and CEO have a common understanding.”