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October 03, 2003 - Image 88

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-10-03

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"In order for there to be a great city, there
has to be great culture."

— Marc Schwartz

Chamber Music Society of Detroit,
remembers dragging Jean-Pierre
Rampal to the still denuded
Orchestra Hall in the early 1970s,
when the late flutist was in town to
play with the DSO at Ford
"I maneuvered him up on the stage,
under the one stage light," said Dr.
Konikow, who now lives in
Bradenton, Fla. "I said, 'Try it out,' so
he whistled, and he said to me, 'This,
this, is where I want to play'
Orchestra Hall opened for business
in its half-finished state in 1978 with
a performance by the Guarneri String
Quartet, booked by Dr. Konikow
through the Chamber Music Society.
The DSO moved back in 1989.
`As good as a new hall might be,
sometimes something old is a gem,"
Dr. Konikow said.

To The Max

The DSO will continue to perform at
Orchestra Hall, now a component of
the Max. The hall has all new seats,
new air conditioning and numerous
other improvements.
The Max has two other main com-
ponents: a performance venue provi-
sionally known as "The Music Box"
("unless someone comes along to give
it their name," said Cummings) and
the Jacob Bernard Pincus Music
Education Center, made possible by a
$6-million contribution from Marilyn
and the late Bernard Pincus of
Bloomfield Hills.
Many of the donors to the $60-mil-
lion Max project are members of the
Jewish community, Cummings said.
Most recently, the DSO announced
that benefactor David Handleman
had doubled his previously
announced contribution, and was
committing himself and the Troy-
based Handleman Company to a
combined total of $5 million.
Jewish benefactors are legion in arts
organizations both in Detroit and in
its suburbs.
"Nothing is more gratifying than
hearing music and knowing you
helped put it there," said the current
president of the Chamber Music
Society Lois Beznos.
The DSO's opening-night concert
and celebration, featuring conductor


Above: The updated
interior of Orchestra


10/ 3


Sam Frankel: ". just thought
we should have a cultural
center, and [the restoration of
Orchestra Hall] was the

Peter Cummings: "Everything
we're doing now is being
built on the foundation of
the Save Orchestra Hall

Neeme Jarvi and violinist Itzhak
Perlman, takes place Saturday, Oct.
11. But the Max will not be used for
music alone.
Two weeks later, the facility will
host "Eye For Art," a benefit for the
Friends of Modem Art (FMA), the
oldest auxiliary of the Detroit
Institute of Arts.
"In order for there to be a great city,
there has to be great culture," said
FMA chair Marc Schwartz of
The son of longtime DIA and
Jewish community benefactors Alan
E. and Marianne Schwartz, Marc
Schwartz called the DIA and the Max
"a natural collaboration."
"Support for the arts is something I
was brought up to do, and something
I love to do," he said.
"Eye For Art," scheduled for 6-9
p.m. Friday, Oct. 24, will feature pre-
sentations by 10 experienced local col-
lectors, who will explain the artistic
merits of works of art available for sale
from participating galleries. Proceeds
will benefit the FMA acquisition
Donors to the Max, the DIA and
related projects frequently say their
generosity comes from their love of
arts and education, according to the
DSO's Cummings.
`And there's something about the
pull of the city," he added.
"About a month ago, I took a tour
with Irwin Cohen [author of the
upcoming Echoes of Detroit's Jewish
Communities], looking at old shuls of
the 1920s and 1930s," Cummings
said. "Within walking distance of
Orchestra Hall, there are seven or
eight shuls."
Fisher, who has been associated
politically with the Republican Party,
said that, as far as rebuilding Detroit,
politics and religion are not impor-
"[Gov. John] Engler was very much
involved, and [Gov. Jennifer]
Granholm is too," Fisher said. "But
it's not a matter of Republican or
Democrat — it's a matter of what
contributes to the welfare of the city,
and what it has to offer." Ell

Staff Writer Harry Kirsbaum con-
tributed to this story.

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