Kazem Abdullah to conduct orchestra and guest cellist Christine Lamprea
Program will include world premiere of a Terence Blanchard piece as an element of the community-wide project Detroit 67: Looking Back to MOVE FORWARD
Date has changed from Saturday, Mar. 4 to Friday, March 3
Detroit, (October 20, 2016) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) will honor trumpeter, composer, and Fred A. & Barbara M. Erb Jazz Creative Chair Terence Blanchard and jazz violinist and MacArthur Fellow Regina Carter at the 39th annual Classical Roots Celebration. Classical Roots honors African-American composers, musicians, and educators for lifetime achievement and raises funds to support the DSO’s African-American music and musician development programs.
The concert will take place on Friday, March 3 at 8 p.m. at Orchestra Hall, located within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center. The celebration—presented by JPMorgan Chase and the DTE Energy Foundation—surrounds the performance, featuring a pre-concert strolling dinner and a post-concert celebration in The Cube.
Please note: the date of the Classical Roots Celebration has changed, from Saturday, March 4 to Friday, March 3, in order to accommodate the schedules of the honorees.
A separate performance featuring the same program in a concert-only setting, scheduled for Friday, March 3 at 10:45 a.m. as a Classical Series Coffee Concert, will take place as planned.
The DSO will present the world premiere of a yet-unnamed piece composed by Blanchard marking the 50th anniversary of Detroit’s tumultuous summer of 1967. (Please note: Blanchard does not perform on the piece, which is scored for orchestra and voice.) Kazem Abdullah will conduct the program, which also includes a performance by Carter and Jeffrey Mumford’s cello concerto titled of fields unfolding…echoing depths of resonant light with guest cellist Christine Lamprea, First Prize winner of the 2013 Sphinx Competition.
The premiere of Blanchard’s piece is an element of the DSO’s partnership with Detroit 67: Looking Back to MOVE FORWARD, a multi-year community engagement project of the Detroit Historical Society that brings together diverse voices and communities around the effects of an historic crisis to find their place in the present and inspire the future.
“The DSO’s Classical Roots Celebration is an annual tradition, celebrating African American musicians and composers whose contributions transcend time and place while rooting us deeply in our community,” says Marlowe Stoudamire, Director of the Detroit 67 Project. “The debut of Terence Blanchard’s piece demonstrates the role art can play in making history relevant in the present as we come together to tell our story and inspire our future.”
Co-chairing the Classical Roots Celebration are Jason Tinsley and Therese Peace, with the support of more than 30 Detroit-area volunteers and corporate leaders committed to the Classical Roots mission.
About Classical Roots
The mission of the Classical Roots Celebration is to increase awareness of the contributions of African-American composers and musicians through performance and recordings, and to support increased opportunities for African-Americans in classical music through the DSO’s African-American Composer Residency, Emerging Composer Program, and African-American Fellowship.
The DSO has for years been at the forefront of the movement to celebrate the contributions of African-American composers, nurture the talents of young African-American classical musicians, and increase access and opportunity for younger African-Americans who might never otherwise experience the magic of classical music. The African-American Fellowship Program addresses the shortage of African-Americans in professional orchestras by offering a yearlong fellowship with the DSO to one selected musician. This year’s fellow is Alexander Davis, bassoon. Past DSO fellows—including DSO Principal Trombone Kenneth Thompkins—have gone on to win positions in orchestras across the United States.
About the Honorees
Terence Blanchard has established himself as one of the most influential jazz musicians and film score masters of his generation. With more than 31 albums to his credit, Blanchard is a five-time Grammy Award-winner and a Golden Globe nominee. He has composed scores for more than 50 films, including Lucasfilm’s 2013 historical drama Red Tails, about African-American pilots in World War II. Blanchard’s Champion: An Opera in Jazz will receive its east coast premiere in 2017 at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.
In Detroit, Blanchard serves as the DSO’s Fred A. & Barbara M. Erb Jazz Creative Chair and the regular host of the Paradise Jazz Series.
Regina Carter is considered the foremost jazz violinist of her generation. A Sony Masterworks artist, Regina was a 2006 recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant. A master of improvisation, she has released numerous albums as a leader and has collaborated with artists as diverse as Wynton Marsalis, Lauryn Hill, Max Roach, Joe Jackson, and Dolly Parton.
Carter is a native Detroiter, proud Cass Technical High School alumna, and former DSO Civic Youth Ensembles student.
About the Conductor and Guest Soloist
Kazem Abdullah is a vibrant, versatile, and compelling conductor who has served as Generalmusikdirektor of the City of Aachen, Germany since 2012. A master of both orchestral and operatic conducting and a passionate advocate of new music, Abdullah entered the mainstream consciousness when he appeared in a television ad for the 2017 GMC Acadia.
Christine Lamprea is a Colombian-American cellist and First Prize winner of the 2013 Sphinx Competition. She joined the roster of the Sphinx Soloists Program and Sphinx Virtuosi, and as such is presented as soloist with major orchestras worldwide. She is also an avid chamber musician and devotee of nontraditional performance and education.
Tickets for the DSO’s Classical Roots concerts begin at $15 and can be purchased at dso.org, by calling (313) 576-5111, or in person at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center (3711 Woodward Avenue, Detroit). For group ticket information (groups of 10 or more), please contact DeRon Wilson at (313) 576-5130 or [email protected].
Classical Roots Celebration tickets—which include the preconcert reception and strolling dinner, the Classical Roots concert, and the post-concert afterglow—start at $175 ($75 for Young Friends, age 40 and under). All tickets include valet parking. Sponsorship opportunities ranging from $5,000-$25,000 are also available. For further information or to reserve tickets, please call (313) 576-5120.
About the DSO
Hailed by The New York Times as “cutting edge,” the internationally acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra is known for trailblazing performances, visionary maestros, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists, and an ardent commitment to Detroit. As a community-supported orchestra, generous giving by individuals and institutions at all levels drives the continued success and growth of the institution. Esteemed conductor Leonard Slatkin, called “America’s Music Director” by the Los Angeles Times, became the DSO’s 12th Music Director, endowed by the Kresge Foundation, in 2008. Acclaimed conductor, arranger, and trumpeter Jeff Tyzik serves as Principal Pops Conductor while celebrated trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard holds the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair. With growing attendance and unwavering philanthropic support from the Detroit community, the DSO’s performance schedule includes Classical, Pops, Jazz, Young People’s, and Neighborhood concerts, and collaborations with high profile artists from Steven Spielberg to Kid Rock. A commitment to broadcast innovation began in 1922 when the DSO became the first orchestra in the world to present a radio broadcast and continues today with the free Live from Orchestra Hall webcast series, which now reaches tens of thousands of children with the new Classroom Edition expansion. Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, one of America’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, the DSO actively pursues a mission to embrace and inspire individuals, families, and communities through unsurpassed musical experiences.