Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) will honor Detroit luminaries Dan Gilbert and Matt Cullen at the fourth annual Heroes Gala Dinner, aiming to raise more than $1 million for the DSO, Saturday, June 14, 2014

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Gabrielle Poshadlo
Patron Communications and Public Relations Manager
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
[email protected]



DETROIT, (March 17, 2014) – On Saturday, June 14, 2014, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) will honor Detroit luminaries Dan Gilbert and Matt Cullen at the fourth annual Heroes Gala Dinner, aiming to raise more than $1 million for the DSO. The dinner and dancing will take place immediately following a special one-night-only fundraising concert by Oscar-winning composer John Williams and legendary director Steven Spielberg in Orchestra Hall benefitting the DSO.  Gala Dinner packages, which also include tickets to this special concert, are available for purchase now.

Beyond their well-documented dedication to the transformation of the city of Detroit, Gilbert, Founder and Chairman of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans, and Cullen, President and CEO of Rock Ventures, mediated the negotiations between the DSO and its musicians that facilitated a new contract between the parties in 2011 and arranged the DSO’s wildly successful Kid Rock concert in 2012, which raised $1 million for the organization. The two Detroit visionaries have contributed generously to the DSO by helping to raise funds necessary to support its extensive community work in schools, places of worship, senior living centers and beyond. The DSO’s newly ratified three-year contract with its musicians makes it particularly fitting to recognize Gilbert and Cullen’s significant contributions to this process.

“The Detroit Symphony Orchestra has been a cultural institution and an important part of the fabric of the city for well over a century,” said Dan Gilbert. “It is an honor to have played a small role in ensuring this tradition continues in an environment where all stakeholders feel encouraged and optimistic about the future.”

The celebration will include a gourmet dinner, dessert reception, late-night dancing, and other special activities, all taking place at the Max M. Fisher Music Center.

The DSO founded the Heroes Gala in 2010 in honor of the remarkable men and women who impact the vision, values, and success of the organization. Previous honorees are Jim Nicholson, President and CEO of PVS Chemicals Inc.; Lloyd Reuss, former President of the General Motors Corp; and Barbara Van Dusen, beloved supporter of the arts in Detroit.

“Our thriving arts community is instrumental in attracting and cultivating creativity that is vital to the city’s overall economic health, said Matt Cullen. “The DSO has contributed to Detroit’s rich musical history and to our community for more than 125 years. I am proud to be associated with this extraordinary orchestra and the previous honorees.”


Packages for the fourth annual DSO Heroes Gala are available now from $500-$10,000 and can be purchased by calling 313-576-5088 or contacting [email protected]. Concert-only tickets will be released on April 14 for $30-$250 and will be available at, or by calling the box office at 313-576-5111.

Dan Gilbert is Founder and Chairman of Rock Ventures, the umbrella entity for his investments and real estate, and Quicken Loans, the nation’s third largest mortgage lender, and the majority owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers. In 2010, Gilbert began moving his family of companies from suburban Detroit to the city’s central business district to lead the revitalization of a great American city. Since then, he has created thousands of jobs and invested $1.3 billion to purchase and renovate more than 40 properties in downtown Detroit. Today, more than 12,000 Rock Ventures team members work in downtown Detroit. In September 2013, Dan was named co-chair of the Blight Removal Task Force, a group created by the Obama Administration to create a detailed plan to remove all blighted structures in Detroit. In addition, Dan is a Principle of Detroit Venture Partners, a venture capital firm that funds start-up and early-stage technology companies in Detroit; Founder and President of Bizdom, a non-profit startup business accelerator with operations in Detroit and Cleveland; and Vice Chairman of Detroit’s M-1 Rail initiative.


Matthew Cullen is President and Chief Executive Officer of Rock Ventures LLC, the umbrella entity formed to provide operational coordination, guidance, and integration to Dan Gilbert’s portfolio of companies and investments. In addition, Cullen is the Chief Executive Officer of Rock Gaming LLC, which acquired a majority interest in Detroit’s Greektown Casino-Hotel. A 29-year veteran of General Motors (GM), Cullen was chief architect of GM’s $500 million acquisition and development of the Renaissance Center as the automaker’s global headquarters. Since 2003, he has helped oversee the billion dollar redevelopment of the city’s international riverfront as the founding chairman of the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy. Cullen serves as volunteer President and CEO of the M-1 Rail initiative and is a member of the Detroit Blight Removal Task Force. He is also a long-time DSO supporter and involved in a variety of educational, non-profit philanthropic endeavors in Detroit.


The internationally acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra, which celebrated its 125th anniversary in December 2012, is known for trailblazing performances, visionary maestros, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists, and an unwavering commitment to Detroit. Esteemed conductor Leonard Slatkin, called “America’s Music Director” by the Los Angeles Times, became the 12th Music Director of the DSO during the 2008-09 season and acclaimed conductor, arranger, and trumpeter, Jeff Tyzik was appointed Principal Pops Conductor in November 2012. The DSO’s performance schedule includes Classical, Pops, Jazz, Young People’s, Neighborhood concerts, and collaborations with chart-topping musicians from Smokey Robinson 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. Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall and the Max M. Fisher Music Center, one of America’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, the DSO actively pursues a mission to impact and serve the community through music. For more information visit or download the free DSO to Go mobile app.



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