From the President
Thank you for visiting the St. Louis Symphony website, and the President’s page. I like to use this space to report important recent developments at the St. Louis Symphony.
A Very Busy Season
In addition to a full schedule this season at Powell Hall that will have included 110 concerts, as well as hundreds of performances by individual musicians and ensembles in schools, churches, hospitals, parks and community centers across the region, the St. Louis Symphony has also been busy nationally and internationally with the successful completion of two major tours this season. In September 2012 the Symphony took its first international tour in nearly 15 years, performing at London’s Proms, the Berlin and Lucerne festivals, and Paris’ La Salle Pleyel, all highly prestigious venues. The Guardian of London said “The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra made an impressive and thoroughly engaging Proms debut…ensuring the St. Louis players are not quickly forgotten,” and The Times of London called the Proms performance “magnificent” and found it to be full of “unconfined joy.” And in March the St. Louis Symphony returned to California, its second West Coast tour in 3 years, for a 3-day residency at the University of California at Davis that included concerts, student workshops and master classes along with a plethora of community activities as well as concerts in Orange County, Palm Desert and Santa Barbara. Reviews were equally enthusiastic for this tour. The Los Angeles Times said “The orchestra, led by David Robertson, is one of the country’s most exciting. The St. Louisans played with unfailing brilliance.”
Four years ago the St. Louis Symphony launched a vision to build new audiences through the breadth and depth of its offerings and to create the most dynamic and varied programming possible. The 2013-14 season, announced at a Town Hall meeting on the stage of Powell Hall in February, with its broad range of musical styles and artists throughout all of our series, defines what the St. Louis Symphony means today: a pinnacle of musical excellence where there is something for everyone to relate to, be thrilled by, and to love.
The 2013-14 Wells Fargo Advisors classical series season focuses on the idea of contrast in music and includes audience favorites like Orff’s Carmina burana and Verdi’s Requiem. Other favorites include Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade and Dvorak’s “New World” Symphony while a four-week winter Beethoven Festival features some of Beethoven’s most popular works alongside contrasting composers like Shostakovich and Bartok, and throughout the season, a generous offering of works by some of the most dynamic composers writing today including John Adams, Brett Dean, Ingram Marshall and others. Expansion of our Live at Powell Hall series, which displays a completely different side of the St. Louis Symphony, builds on the success of recent seasons with shows that combine film with live music including Walt Disney’s Fantasia, Casablanca, and Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II, special guest artists that include Ben Folds and Michael W. Smith, as well as special tribute shows featuring the music of Elvis Presley and Barry White. Other shows feature the Music of John Williams, Mannheim Steamroller, and more. The St. Louis Symphony also presents its fifth gala with the return of superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma in an event chaired by Peggy Ritter and Marsha Rusnack.
2013-14 Season Announcement
Over the next 12 months, the St. Louis Symphony undertakes several exciting projects. This coming June, the St. Louis Symphony hosts the League of American Orchestras Conference in St. Louis for the first time since 1966 bringing hundreds of delegates from across the country for three days of concerts, meetings and symposiums. This will be a major opportunity to showcase the St. Louis Symphony and St. Louis itself to a national audience of industry professionals and volunteers. The St. Louis Symphony’s hosting of this 68th League Conference is very generously underwritten by Dr. Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield. We are truly grateful to Rex and Jeanne for their wonderful support.
In addition, the St. Louis Symphony returns to Carnegie Hall in November 2013 with a major initiative: a concert performance of Benjamin Britten’s opera Peter Grimes, on the 100th Anniversary of Britten’s birth, an important event in Carnegie’s schedule as part of their Britten centennial project. Also, the St. Louis Symphony undertakes a new CD project with Nonesuch Records featuring John Adams’ City Noir and the composer’s new Saxophone Concerto co-commissioned by the St. Louis Symphony. This builds on the success of the St. Louis Symphony’s last CD on Nonesuch released in 2009, the orchestra’s first major recording in ten years, which was selected as “Classical Album of the Decade” by The Times of London.
As you can see, there is a lot of activity at the St. Louis Symphony, and more to come soon. As always, I appreciate your interest and look forward to keeping you updated on future developments. And most importantly, I look forward to seeing you at Powell Hall!