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DSO hoping to resume live performances in autumn

A person playing an instrument in an orchestra
A person playing an instrument in an orchestra (WDIV)

DETROIT – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra has announced its schedule of performances for the 2021-2022 season, saying it hopes live performances can resume in the autumn if the coronavirus pandemic ebbs sufficiently so that can be done safely.

The DSO will use a variety of protective measures to guard against the spread of the virus, including electronic ticketing and contactless entry points, the Detroit Free Press reported. Other measures include the installation of ultraviolet sanitizers in the ventilation system at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center.

“Now, more than ever before, we must play music for our audiences live in Orchestra Hall,” Jader Bignamini, DSO’s music director, said in a statement announcing the schedule Thursday. “We cannot wait to welcome them back as we look forward to the next era of making music in Detroit.”

In 2020, as COVID raged across the country, the symphony relied on live virtual concerts and Facebook watch parties to engage audiences.

The new season will be the first full season with Bignamini, the Italian conductor appointed music director in early 2020.

He is scheduled to conduct 10 of the season’s classical weeks. That will include season-opening concerts featuring Respighi’s “Fountains of Rome” and “Pines of Rome” in early October. Bignamini will conduct Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in February and Wynton Marsalis’ “Blues Symphony” in June 2022.

Guest conductors will include Jukka-Pekka Saraste, William Eddins, Fabien Gabel, Kazushi Ono and and Xian Zhang.

The DSO also released its schedule for the PNC Pops Season. It will feature tributes to soul music, Barbra Streisand, Billy Joel and Rodgers & Hammerstein.