Getta Date

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I may be repeating myself, but the Symphony Gladiator concerts, featuring the Academy Award-winning movie on the big screen with the orchestra playing the score live, is the perfect show for a couple with conflicting interests. One of you wants an action flick, the other wants a symphony concert. Bam. Here’s your perfect date on a silver sword. Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon. Tickets are available. Russell Crowe is intense in that tunic.

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Zoo Meets Orchestra

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The St. Louis Symphony completed its first series of Education Concerts of the 1415 season on Wednesday, with a great assist from the Saint Louis Zoo, as well as from Rimsky-Korsakov (Flight of the Bumblebee), Saint-Saens (Carnival of the Animals), Copland (Hoe Down) and Henry Mancini (Baby Elephant Walk). Here’s how it looked.

The Saint Louis Zoo's Rachel Killeen (left) and Kelly Kapsar get ready for the show.

The Saint Louis Zoo’s Rachel Killeen (left) and Kelly Kapsar get ready for the show.

The Saint Louis Zoo's Maggie McCoy, who served as guest host, and the Symphony's Director of Education Berakiah Boone in the Green Room

The Saint Louis Zoo’s Maggie McCoy, who served as guest host, and the Symphony’s Director of Education Berakiah Boone in the Green Room.

Maggie was prepared to catch bees and butterflies on stage.

Maggie was prepared to catch bees and butterflies on stage.

The Saint Louis Zoo provided very cool videos of animals to accompany the orchestra. Elephants!

The Saint Louis Zoo provided very cool videos of animals to accompany the orchestra. Elephants!

Rachel brought an elephant bone.

Rachel brought an elephant bone.

Principal Cello Daniel Lee plays "The Swan" while a swan glides across the screen.

Principal Cello Daniel Lee plays “The Swan” while a swan glides across the screen.

Resident Conductor Steven Jarvi expresses his fear of bees.

Resident Conductor Steven Jarvi expresses his fear of bees.

The St. Louis Symphony thanks its partner the Saint Louis Zoo, as well as presenting sponsor Booksource, for helping to make it all happen. And thank you to the schools, teachers, chaperones and schoolchildren. Come again!

 

 

 

 

 

Books and a Show

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The first Education Concerts of the season filled Powell Hall with schoolchildren on Tuesday morning. Meanwhile, here’s a look back at the Sunday Family Concert, in which children from the International Institute received books and a show. Many of the children in this photo are from Mauritania. A big thanks to the Institute and the Met Life Music Without Boundaries program for helping to make this happen.

 

From Mauritania to Powell Hall with at least one bus ride along the way.

From Mauritania to Powell Hall with at least one bus ride along the way.

Bee Meets Butterfly

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The first Family Concert of the season, Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo, was about a lot of things–animals, how music makes animal sounds, how animals make musical sounds–but it was largely about fun.

FC ZooThe Symphony partnered with the Saint Louis Zoo for this show, which–among many other things–brought a bee to meet children in the foyer.

Everyone had a bee-utiful time. Great big kudos go to Director of Education Berakiah Boone for making a whole lot happen and keeping it all fun.

Romantic and Classic

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Associate Concertmaster Heidi Harris performs Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto Friday and Saturday at Powell Hall. She is one of 50 St. Louis Symphony musicians selected by David Robertson to perform solos with the orchestra this season. Heidi shared these thoughts about her music director and the concerto.

Heidi Harris  Photo: Celeste Golden Boyer

Heidi Harris Photo: Celeste Golden Boyer

“Most people know David Robertson as the vivacious maestro up on the podium leading us in concerts, and as the Music Director of our beloved St. Louis Symphony. As a musician, I feel so lucky to be able to know David off the podium as well, and know what a generous and kind person he is.

“I recently asked David if he would listen to my Mendelssohn Concerto and give me some feedback. This was an unusual request in a way, because he is not the conductor for the upcoming Mendelssohn concerts. The request meant asking him to spend his valuable time and energy helping for a concert he wasn’t even going to conduct! I really wanted David’s feedback because I respect him so much, and since I have performed solos with him before where heĀ was the conductor, I trust his instincts implicitly about how I play a piece of music and whether or not what I’m doing musically will fit in naturally with the orchestral tutti or not.

“In David’s usual, casual, and friendly fashion, he agreed immediately to listen to me. David gave me great feedback, and was extremely helpful to me, for which I am very grateful! He is one of the busiest people I know, always jet setting to and fro, but he made time to listen to one of his own when he was needed. He is just that kinda guy.

“When I found out that I was asked to perform Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, I cried. Really, I did. I was so incredibly happy not only to get the chance to perform as soloist with my very own orchestra, but especially happy to be able to perform the Mendelssohn. No doubt you have brilliantly written program notes to read regarding the concerto, so I’d like to share what I feel about it personally instead of speaking about it historically.

“I learned the Mendelssohn as a young child, and when you learn a piece when you are young there is something extremely organic and very special about it. It’s in your blood, so to speak, and becomes a part of you. It has time to marinate and age with you as you yourself age, like a fine wine ages over time. I feel this way about the Mendelssohn, like it’s an old friend that has been a part of me for many, many years. My musical ideas have changed over time, and also my technique, so this in turn changes my relationship with the concerto in interesting ways. It’s always fresh, it’s always changing. The Mendelssohn is at once romantic and classic, which is my absolute favorite combination in any type of music. I absolutely love it, and am so excited about performing it with the symphony orchestra that I love, the St. Louis Symphony.”

Third Trumpet

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Mike Walk provides insights in the workings of the Third Trumpet in Sibelius’ Symphony No. 1, part of the Mendelssohn Violin weekend at Powell Hall.

Say Yes

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My gala experience began by photographing Lang Lang’s conversation with the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra. External Affairs VP Adam Crane served as moderator at the theater in the new KDHX studios a block from Powell. The YO musicians were a rapt audience, with Lang Lang talking about his career–when an orchestra calls and asks if you can play a certain concerto, the answer is always yes, at least in the early years–and the importance of being an ambassador of the art form. He also talked about performing with the Gangnam Style guy.

Lang Lang and Adam Crane with Youth Orchestra

Lang Lang and Adam Crane with Youth Orchestra

In the evening was the big show, with dinner before and dancing after. Symphony Principal Flute Mark Sparks played some revelatory Bach, and Lang Lang did his phenomenal thing.

I must say of the entire organization, we did well. And when it was time to let loose, we partied like it was 1999.

Tales of the E-flat Clarinet

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Associate Principal Clarinet Diana Haskell plays E-flat clarinet on Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, and that’s just the beginning of the story.

See and Hear

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Watch David Halen talk Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 on video, hear me talk Symphonie fantastique, Red Velvet Ball, and Mendelssohn Violin Concerto on our podcasts at 10-50-135.

All Work

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There is no one, absolutely no one, checking on the Cardinals game during working hours at Powell Hall. Work work work work work work work.

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