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U-M Hosts American Orchestra Summit II


The cultural, social and professional future of the symphony orchestra in the United States will be examined and addressed during theAmerican Orchestras Summit II, which takes place on the University of Michigan campus March 21-23. The Summit is presented with support from the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, the Office for the University of Michigan's Vice President for Research, and the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.

Co-hosted by the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, Arts Enterprise @ UM, and the University Musical Society, the American Orchestras Summit II welcomes representatives from orchestras around the country, including arts administrators, musicians and music union officials, who will join together with educators and academics to continue the landmark conversation that began with the first American Orchestra Summit in January 2010.

The aim is to identify what's working in the industry today and to share ideas, old and new, that are working. Among the issues to be addressed are productive collaboration, serving our audiences and communities, and training the professional musician in the 21st century.

“The U-M Summit provides a rare opportunity for musicians, listeners, educators, and arts administrators to collaborate—outside of a crisis environment—to work on the challenges of bringing great music to our communities,” says Mark Clague, who helped organize the events.

The public will have the opportunity to participate in the Summit on Thursday, March 22 when the president and CEO of the League of American Orchestras Jesse Rosen joins International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM) chairman Bruce Ridge for a keynote conversation on the state of the American orchestra field, moderated by SMTD professor of musicology Mark Clague. This rare “behind the scenes” view, offering a reasoned exchange of perspectives on the issues and challenges facing orchestras today, takes place at 4:30 p.m. at Rackham Building, 4th floor. No tickets are required.

The Summit is built around the San Francisco Symphony's American Mavericks residency at the University of Michigan in which Michael Tilson Thomas will lead the SFS in four performances (March 22-25) presented by the University Musical Society at Hill Auditorium. The concerts showcase the creative pioneering spirit and the composers who created a new American musical voice for the 20th century and beyond. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit

In addition, the University Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of U-M Director of Orchestras Kenneth Kiesler will open the Summit on Wednesday, March 21 at 8 p.m. at Hill Auditorium performing Mahler's Seventh Symphony, a world premiere by U-M composition faculty member Kristin Kuster, and a work by Frank Zappa. The concert is free and open to the public. No tickets are required.

For more information on the Summit, including a complete schedule of events, visit

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November 2012
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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower