Detroit is a city of much culture, and when it comes to classical music, there is always a place in the city and surrounding areas to get your fix. Read the list below for the best venues to hear music in the city.
Orchestra Hall (Detroit Symphony Orchestra)
3711 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48201
Orchestra Hall is where the Detroit Symphony Orchestra plays and is a fantastic venue at which to hear the orchestra. The venue was built in 1919 and has an interesting past; it was vacant from 1939-41 and hosted jazz players from 1941-51. After that, it was vacant for 20 years, and then took another 20 years to be remodeled. The DSO moved back into its home in 1989. On July 11, the DSO will host vocalist Natalie Merchant, and it has many events, both classical and non-classical (like pops music), throughout the year at Orchestra Hall.
Related: Best Community Orchestra in Detroit
Meadow Brook Music Festival
3554 Walton Blvd.
Rochester Hills, MI 48309
You may not think of Meadow Brook as the typical place to get your classical music fix, but this summer it will have at least two events featuring classical instruments. OneRepublic will take the stage on July 27 with its cellist Brent Kutzle. This group is known for its rock/pop music with a heavy cello presence. Then on August 21, the renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma will perform with The Goat Rodeo Sessions, which also features Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile with Aoife O’Donovan. So if you’re in the mood for some non-traditional music that features classical instruments, head to Meadow Brook this summer – both pavilion and lawn seats are available for each performance.
217 Farnsworth St.
Detroit, MI 48202
The Scarab Club in Detroit hosts a Chamber Music series with a reception after each performance. It also has a “Tiny Scarabs” program which features programming more appropriate for toddlers and children. The Chamber Music programming is hosted either at Scarab Club, Grosse Pointe Unitarian Church or Marygrove College in Detroit. Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door. Check the schedule on the website to find out about the summer performances.
University Musical Society (UMS)
881 N. University Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Ann Arbor is one of the best places in Metro Detroit to hear classical music, and the University of Michigan provides top-notch programming. Most of UMS’s classical performances are held at either Hill Auditorium or Rackham, both located on UM’s campus. Many major orchestras, including the DSO and London Philharmonic, have played at Hill over the years, and Rackham tends to have more intimate performances, like the Takacs Quartet. UM students get discounts for performances as well. Parking is available for both of these venues on the street and in structures nearby.
Kerrytown Concert House
415 N. 4th Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
The Kerrytown Concert House is an intimate venue in Ann Arbor for those who would prefer a smaller location to Hill Auditorium or Rackham. The house itself was built before 1860 and was originally a home in the city’s light industrial and working class neighborhood. In 1984, the house was bought by Carl Brauer, who wanted to use it for parking, and Deanna Relyea ended up leasing it from him for a small master class studio. She signed a five-year lease and founded KCH (Kerrytown Concert House), a nonprofit arts organization. The KCH will feature many classical, as well as jazz, concerts this summer, and can also be rented for special occasions such as weddings, performances and receptions; the concert house itself can seat up to 110 people.
Liz Parker is a freelance writer and a University of Michigan graduate with a degree in Creative Writing and Literature. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.