The Detroit Symphony Orchestra: Grace, Grit, and Glory details the history of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra as seen through the prism of the city it has called home for nearly 130 years. Now one of America’s finest orchestras, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra began in 1887 as a rather small ensemble of around thirty-five players in a city that was just emerging as an industrial powerhouse. Since then, both the city and its orchestra have known great success in musical artistry for the symphony and economic influence for the city. They have each faced crises as well—financial, social, and cultural—that have forced the DSO into closure three times, and the city to the brink of dissolution. Yet somehow, in the face of adversity, the DSO stands strong today, a beacon of perseverance and rebirth in a city of second chances.
This is the first history of the DSO to document the orchestra from its earliest incarnation in the late nineteenth century to its current status as one of the top orchestras in the country. The Detroit Symphony Orchestra tells the story of the organization—the musicians, the musical directors, the boards, and the management—as they strove for musical excellence, and the consistent funding and leadership to achieve it in the changing economic and cultural landscape of Detroit. Author Laurie Lanzen Harris, with Paul Ganson, explores the cycles of glory, collapse, and renewal of the orchestra in light of the city’s own dynamic economic, demographic, and cultural changes.
Any reader with an interest in Detroit history or the history of American symphony orchestras should have this book on his or her shelf.
Hardcover: 320 Pages