Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan

Date Awarded
Grant Period
10/01/12 to 09/30/17
Focus Area
Knight Arts Challenge

Project Links

Grantee Contact

  • Detroit, MI

Featured Media

To expand the audience for classical music by offering the symphony experience globally through expanded webcast and mobile content

As symphony orchestras contemplate how to better engage audiences in the digital age, Detroit’s is embracing new opportunities to expand both access and interaction. Last year, the symphony reached 120,000 music lovers from 75 countries through webcasts of its performances, sponsored by Knight Foundation. New funding will enhance the organization’s digital outreach, by expanding the webcast through new, worldwide distributors in addition to creating preconcert and intermission content, enhancing its DSO to GO app with mobile ticketing, experimenting with HD viewing parties and simulcasting concerts outdoors.

The Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan will create the Knight Foundation Digital Innovation Fund, in support of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's expanded capacity for digital experimentation in the area of audience engagement.

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Project Team

Anne Parsons

President and CEO

Anne Parsons was named President and CEO of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in April 2004. She was previously General Manager of the New York City Ballet, a position she had held since 1998. Prior to assuming her position with the Ballet, Parsons was General Manager of the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles from 1991 to 1998 and Orchestra Manager of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1983 to 1991. Parsons also held several positions with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. from 1981 to 1983. Parsons received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Smith College in Massachusetts in 1980 where, as a Music Minor, she studied flute and managed the Smith College Orchestra. She was among the first class of American Symphony Orchestra League Fellows in 1980-81.

In addition to her role at the DSO, Parsons is an active board member for several other Detroit-area cultural organizations, including the Cultural Alliance of Southeast Michigan, University Cultural Center Association (UCCA), New Detroit, and Friends of the Detroit School of the Arts. Nationally, she serves on the board of the League of American Orchestras and the advisory board for the Sphinx Organization. A native of New York, Parsons now resides in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, with her husband Donald Dietz, a photographer, and 12-year old daughter Cara.

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