Detroit Symphony Orchestra
The Detroit Symphony Orchestra is recognized internationally for its imaginative performances, visionary maestros, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists, and its unwavering commitment to Detroit. The orchestra, which began in 1887, offers a classical, jazz and pops concert series as well as a special series for school-age children. It is a cultural cornerstone of the Southeastern Michigan community.
The orchestra reaches some 450,000 listeners each season through its live performances, digital broadcasts and educational sessions. It has been described as “the most accessible orchestra on the planet.”
Our relationship with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra began three generations ago with Mr. Davidson’s mother, Sarah Wetsman Davidson, who took her children to the DSO’s Young People’s Concerts. As an adult, Mr. Davidson supported the DSO personally and through his businesses. He believed the orchestra served three vital roles:
- Its music enriched the lives of residents in Southeast Michigan.
- Its prestige helped attract other businesses to this region.
- The universality of its art form made it an outstanding ambassador for Detroit in other parts of the world.
This perspective prompted him to support a DSO tour to Eastern Europe in 1998 and to Western Europe in 2001. A few years later, in conversation with DSO leadership, Mr. Davidson suggested the orchestra take its performances to venues across metropolitan Detroit to expand its audiences. Thus began the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series, which now performs more than 20 concerts in seven neighborhoods each year to sell-out audiences.
Neighborhood Concert Series 2017
To provide continuing support for the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series over five years as well as the Blueprint 2023 plan and the endowment, the William Davidson Foundation awarded a five-year grant in 2017 for $15 million.
Neighborhood Concert Series and Tour of China and Japan 2014
To provide continuing support for the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series and a two-week tour of China and Japan in 2017, the William Davidson Foundation awarded a three-year grant in 2014 for $3,750,000.
Neighborhood Concert Series 2013
To support the William Davidson Concert Series, including adding a seventh venue, the William Davidson Foundation awarded a one-year grant in 2013 for $1 million.
Neighborhood Concert Series and Touring Fund 2012
To provide continuing support for the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series and the orchestra’s touring fund, the William Davidson Foundation awarded a one-year grant in 2012 for $1 million.