Oundjian, who was born in Toronto and raised in London, became famous in the musical world as the first violinist of the Tokyo String Quartet. When physical problems with his left hand forced him to give up the violin in 1995, he turned to what has become an increasingly successful conducting career. He has been music director of the Toronto Symphony since the 2004-05 season; he is also artistic advisor and principal conductor of the Caramoor Festival in New York state. For three years, through 2005-06, he was principal guest conductor of the Colorado Symphony.
Oundjian made his DSO conducting debut in 2001. He opens the orchestra's 2006-07 season with works by Beethoven, Chopin and Rachmaninoff with pianist Lang Lang as soloist.
"Peter has been a favorite artistic personality in Detroit since his days with the Tokyo String Quartet, when he would make regular visits here to perform with the Chamber Music Society," said Anne Parsons, DSO president and executive director. "We are thrilled that he is willing and able to join our family in an official artistic advisory capacity, especially during this era when we are seeking permanent artistic leadership."