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June, 2006 - Nr. 6


The Editor
Sound of Music
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Herwig Wandschneider
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Sybille reports
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TSO & Detroit Symphony
COC's Complete Ring Cycle
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German Historical Museum
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Close - but no cigar
Magic of Soccer
German-built Space Lab
Biofuels Show Promise
Easy Border Crossing

Toronto Symphony Orchestra

Detroit Symphony Forges New Artistic Relationship
With Toronto Symphony
Music Director Peter Oundjian

Oundjian Named DSO Principal Guest Conductor and Artistic Advisor

DETROIT – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) has announced that acclaimed conductor and artist Peter Oundjian (ŬND-gin), recently appointed Music Director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO), will serve as the Principal Guest Conductor and Artistic Advisor for the DSO beginning in September, 2006. In this capacity, as the DSO continues its search for a Music Director, Maestro Oundjian will consult with the organization on artistic issues; conduct the orchestra in multiple weeks of concerts each season (two in 2006-07 and three in 2007-08).

"Peter has been a favorite artistic personality in Detroit since his days with the Tokyo String Quartet, when he would make regular visits here to perform with the Chamber Music Society, and subsequently the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival," says Anne Parsons, DSO President and Executive Director. "Recently, he has enjoyed three visits to the DSO as a guest conductor, and has become a welcome addition to our musical life. We are thrilled that he is willing and able to join our family in an official artistic advisory capacity, especially during this era when we are seeking permanent artistic leadership. His collaborative nature and his vision for the orchestra of the 21st century make him a perfect addition to our leadership team."

"I have enjoyed an increasingly exciting rapport with the musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra," said Peter Oundjian. "They are an extraordinary ensemble and I am very much looking forward to shaping our shared vision for musical excellence and pursuing exciting new directions. My affection for Orchestra Hall goes back to 1981, when I first performed there under the auspices of the Chamber Music Society of Detroit and its fearless leader Tiny Konikow. At that time there were pigeons in the balcony. In the following 14 years I witnessed the transformation of that space back to its original exquisite beauty in annual appearances with the Tokyo String Quartet, and it’s been such a joy making music here with the Detroit Symphony these last few years."

"The musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra are delighted that Peter Oundjian will be joining us as Principal Guest Conductor and Artistic Advisor," said Principal Trombone Ken Thompkins on behalf of his colleagues. "In the past few years the orchestra has achieved wonderful performances under the baton of Mr. Oundjian. His musical curiosity, attention to detail, and energetic style are qualities that the musicians of the DSO respect and appreciate. We look forward to exploring new repertoire and developing our musical relationship with Mr. Oundjian."

Peter Oundjian made his conducting debut with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra at Meadow Brook Music Festival August 3 and 4, 2001. He returned to lead highly praised performances at Orchestra Hall at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in 2003, 2005 and 2006. He opens the DSO’s 2006-07 season at the Max M. Fisher Music Center, September 7 though 10, 2006, conducting works by Beethoven, as well as Chopin and Rachmaninoff, joined by brilliant pianist Lang Lang as the soloist. He will be on the DSO podium again in May 2007 for a program of works by Rachmaninoff, Aaron Jay Kernis and Vaughan Williams, with guest pianist Yefim Bronfman.

Music Director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra since the 2004-05 season, Oundjian is a major presence in the orchestral world. His probing musicality, collaborative spirit and engaging personality have earned him accolades and continuing relationships with many international ensembles including the Tonhalle in Zurich, Radio Philharmonique in Paris, the Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, St. Louis and Houston Symphonies. Oundjian is also Artistic Director of the Caramoor International Music Festival in New York and, for three years through 2005-06, he served as Principal Guest Conductor of the Colorado Symphony.

Through his long association with the Tokyo String Quartet, Oundjian extensively explored the quartet repertoire including the complete String Quartets of Bartok, Beethoven and Schubert and received four Grammy nominations. With the Quartet, Oundjian toured all over the world, performing the complete Beethoven cycle in such major arts centers as Carnegie Hall, La Scala in Milan, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Chatelet in Paris. He will open the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s new season with the Beethoven symphony cycle, in September 2006. Last Fall’s Rhombus Media acclaimed documentary on the Toronto Symphony and Oundjian, "Five Days in September" has won numerous awards at major film festivals and is now available worldwide on DVD.

Born in Toronto, Peter Oundjian was educated in England, where he studied the violin with Manoug Parikian. During this time, he was chosen to participate in three recording sessions with Benjamin Britten, which sparked his enthusiasm for conducting. He lives in Toronto with his wife Nadine and their two children.

For an upcoming schedule of Detroit Symphony Orchestra events and information, call (313) 576-5111, or visit


Toronto Symphony Orchestra
#550 – 212 King Street West, Toronto, ON, M5H 1K5
Marketing fax: 416 593 8660

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