The Hershey Theatre, conceived in 1933 by noted philanthropist and chocolatier Milton S. Hershey, stands as an opulent tribute to the performing arts. Taking architectural cues from Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, the foyer’s towering arches gleam with golden paint and crystal chandeliers. The blue-and-gold mosaic that leads to the main seating area is the masterwork of two German artists who spent two years on its construction. Once inside the theater, audiences might think they’ve stepped onto the streets of Venice thanks to the atmospheric ceiling, stonework facades, and gondoliers paddling them to their seats. ####Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Music has permeated the 800 manicured acres where the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has stood since 1969, when farmer Max Yasgur agreed to let love, peace, and harmony grow wild at the very first Woodstock festival. These days, the renowned outdoor venue and cultural center continues to attract the biggest acts in music to its pavilion stage. The open-air design ensures ample ventilation on the natural sloping lawn, and a roof protects up to 15,000 fans from inclement weather and the prying eyes of Cessna pilots.
The nation's fourth-oldest orchestra, the DSO has been filling Detroit's music halls with top-notch euphony since 1887. By the 1920s, the orchestra came into its own, entering a golden age that saw them hosting such legends as Igor Stravinsky, Richard Strauss, and Sergei Rachmaninoff. After financial difficulties put the outfit's hall in jeopardy, a multi-decade fund-raising effort led to their triumphant return home in 1989. Today, the orchestra remains one of the most recorded symphonies in the country, bringing the classical canon to millions of listeners and giving orchestra members something to blast at family gatherings when their siblings start talking about their jobs.
Music director Dr. Gregory Cunningham brings his agile baton-wielding skills to the podium of the Warren Symphony Orchestra for a second year. Teaming up with the Oakland Chorale—Oakland University's elite, competitive touring choral ensemble—the orchestra will usher in the holiday season with a program that awakens cheer in Yuletide lovers and Grinch collaborators alike. Selections from Handel's Messiah send the spirit soaring on famous choruses, and a slew of popular wintery tunes keeps the auditorium cozy as hot cocoa drunk from a hand-knit mitten.
Lauded by the Winnipeg News for their "combination of superb musicality and impressive technique," the members of the Borealis String Quartet have wowed sold-out audiences with their passionate, refined performances of classical compositions. Playing Italian instruments from the 17th and 18th centuries, the young ensemble stirringly interprets works by Raminsh, Mendelssohn, and Beethoven during performances ranging 60–90 minutes before encoring with a rousing rendition of the Macarena. The two violins, viola, and cello weave melodiously within the acoustic haven of Christ Church Cranbrook, an intimate Oakland County venue that has hosted chamber music for more than 50 years. A complimentary candlelight afterglow following the concert allows attendees to personally meet performers and procure autographs on their programs or pocket harpsichords.
The distinctive, hemispherical stage of Hill Auditorium saturates more than 3,500 listeners in what the New York Times labels as “superb acoustics.” Designed by renowned Detroit architect Albert Kahn and built in 1913, the auditorium underwent an 18-month renovation in 2004 to install such modern amenities as air conditioning and automated applause robots.
The Toledo Symphony is entering its 67th season of brilliant brain tickling (via the ear), with expectations to reach nearly 300,000 listeners over the course of 400 diverse performances. The permanent orchestra consists of approximately 80 professional musicians, though extra musicians are regularly enlisted to garnish the sound and retrieve coffee during extremely long rests with bolded fermatas.