Detroit, (July 6, 2020) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO), in partnership with the Detroit Historical Society and Museum, announces “Detroit’s Orchestra Hall: A Virtual Exhibition,” celebrating the centennial season of the historic venue.
Prior to Covid-19 closures, a joint exhibit about Orchestra Hall’s history titled “100 Years of Music, Magic, and Community” was on display at both the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center and the Detroit Historical Museum’s Robert and Mary Ann Bury Community Gallery. Engineered as a virtual reconstruction, the new exhibit aims to capture the magic and feel of walking through the original, in-person exhibit by retaining the artifacts and narrative, while also offering a present-day perspective that reflects the current environment in which it was conceived and presented. It will conclude with a conversation between DSO President and CEO Anne Parsons and Detroit Historical Society President and CEO Elana Rugh. The project marks the first virtual exhibit presented by the Detroit Historical Society.
“Detroit’s Orchestra Hall: A Virtual Exhibition” will premiere on the DSO’s Facebook page via Facebook Live and on dso.org/watchparties on Sunday, July 12 at 7 p.m. EDT.
The premiere concludes a capstone week of digital presentations honoring the centennial of Orchestra Hall, which kicked off last fall with DSO concerts and special programming. On Monday, July 6 at 7 p.m. EDT, DSO stage crew members will appear on Between 2 Stands, the DSO’s new web series, to share memories of the hall. On Thursday, July 9 at 7 p.m. EDT, the DSO will also present a “Summer Sessions: Centennial Edition” Watch Party on Facebook Live and dso.org/watchparties that features meaningful works from the past 100 years of Orchestra Hall.
About Orchestra Hall
Built for the DSO at the request of then-music director Ossip Gabrilowitsch during the summer of 1919, Orchestra Hall was designed by noted theater architect C. Howard Crane (who also designed Detroit’s Fox Theatre and the current Detroit Opera House) and is renowned for its historic beauty and perfect acoustics. After the hall’s opening on October 23, 1919, the DSO entered a twenty-year golden age, which included its Carnegie Hall debut, its first records for RCA Victor, and making history as the first orchestra to perform a live radio broadcast concert, on February 10, 1922, from Orchestra Hall.
When the DSO left for the larger Masonic Auditorium in 1939, Orchestra Hall took on a new life as the Paradise Theatre from 1941–1951, serving as Detroit’s premier venue for jazz, blues, and R&B. The hall was then long-dormant and nearly demolished in 1970 to make way for a fast-food burger chain, before a group of musicians and civic leaders rallied to save it from the wrecking ball and raise money to restore it over the course of 20 years. The DSO returned to a refurbished Orchestra Hall in 1989 and expanded its footprint in 2003 with the opening of the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center.
About the Detroit Historical Society and Museum
The Detroit Historical Society is a private, nonprofit organization located in Midtown, the heart of Detroit’s cultural center. Founded in 1921, its mission is to tell Detroit’s stories and why they matter. Today, the Society operates the Detroit Historical Museum and the Dossin Great Lakes Museum. In addition, the Society is responsible for the conservation and preservation of more than 250,000 artifacts that represent three centuries of our region’s rich history. Through its museum exhibits, school tour programs, community-based programs and history-themed outreach efforts, the Society serves more than 150,000 people annually. For more information on the Detroit Historical Society, visit detroithistorical.org.
The Detroit Historical Museum is located at 5401 Woodward Ave. (NW corner of Kirby) in Midtown Detroit. The Museum is currently closed due to Covid-19 but parking in the Museum’s lot is available via automated parking kiosk. Historical content and virtual tours and exhibits are available on the Museum’s website at detroithistorical.org. Permanent exhibits include the famous Streets of Old Detroit, the Allesee Gallery of Culture, Kid Rock Music Lab, Doorway to Freedom: Detroit and the Underground Railroad, Detroit: The “Arsenal of Democracy,” the Gallery of Innovation, Frontiers to Factories, America’s Motor City and The Glancy Trains.
About the DSO
The most accessible orchestra on the planet, the acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra is known for trailblazing performances, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists, and a deep connection to its city. As a community-supported orchestra, generous giving by individuals and institutions at all levels drives the continued success and growth of the organization. In January 2020, Italian conductor Jader Bignamini was named the DSO’s next music director to commence with the 2020-2021 season. Conductor Leonard Slatkin, who concluded a decade-long tenure at the helm in 2018, now serves as the DSO’s Music Director Laureate, endowed by the Kresge Foundation. Celebrated conductor, arranger, and trumpeter Jeff Tyzik is the orchestra’s Principal Pops Conductor, while the outstanding trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard holds the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair. Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, the DSO offers a performance schedule that features Classical, PNC Pops, Paradise Jazz, and Young People’s Family Concert series. One of the world’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, Orchestra Hall celebrates its centennial in 2019-2020. In addition, the DSO presents the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series in eight metro area venues, as well as a robust schedule of eclectic multi-genre performances in its mid-size venue The Cube, constructed and curated with support from Peter D. & Julie F. Cummings. A dedication 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 also reaches tens of thousands of children with the Classroom Edition expansion. With growing attendance and unwavering philanthropic support from the people of Detroit, the DSO actively pursues a mission to embrace and inspire individuals, families, and communities through unsurpassed musical experiences.