Detroit Symphony Orchestra names new music director

Jan 22, 2020

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra has a new music director, Jader Bignamini, who signed a six year contract that begins in the 2020-21 season. 


Throughout his career, Bignamini conducted some of the world’s most famous orchestras. He currently serves as the resident director of the La Verdi Orchestra in Milan, Italy.

The Italian maestro made a good impression on the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in 2018, when he served as a fill-in conductor.

“We could feel it in the audience and I could feel it on the stage,” says DSO President and CEO Anne Parsons. “All of the musicians came up and said, ‘Wow, this guy is really something! How soon can we see him back?’”

Bignamini says there was a “love at first site” feeling for him as well in regards to those initial performances in 2018. 

“The connection I felt that day with the extraordinary musicians of the DSO was not just a momentary spark — it is something very real and very exciting," he said in a statement. “I hope and expect that it will be the inspiration for not just good music, but special music for many years to come.”

Besides conducting, Bignamini will also oversee personnel decisions, tours and recording projects.

Parsons says the 43-year-old will bring a fresh perspective to the orchestra.

“So often, people come from the outside and see things and see potential and then become part of the inside,” she says. “That’s what’s going to happen with him.”

Bignamini will be the 18th music director of the DSO. He succeeds Leonard Slatkin, who held the title from 2008 to 2018.