Not only will the St. Louis Symphony Chorus be singing the glorious “Ode to Joy” at Powell Hall this weekend, this joyous ensemble will be singing it without books in hand. By heart, which is appropriate for singing “All creatures drink joy!”
Jeffrey Strong joined the St. Louis Symphony trumpet section in September. This week he plays a Prokofiev symphony that is new to him and new to the orchestra. He talks about the intense Symphony No. 3 in the video blog.
The orchestra was gone, and just two people remained in deep conversation, conductor Vassily Sinaisky and pianist Ingrid Fliter. The Chopin F-minor Concerto rehearsal had been over for a while, and the two talked comfortably, relaxed and with apparent ease.
I asked her afterward about their discussion. Fliter told me her husband is Russian, as is Sinaisky, and that for Russians, once you begin a conversation with someone, it never ends. You are in a conversation for life.
We break the don’t-look-in-the-basement rule for the latest edition of “Play Memory.” It’s where the brass warm up, so it seemed like an ideal place to talk with trumpet player Mike Walk about the symphonies of Carl Nielsen. And keep watching for the surprise after the credits.
The first graders at Hodgen Elementary School had a better Monday than most of us. St. Louis Symphony musicians Shawn Weil, Tina Ward and Tod Bowermaster paid a visit to Hodgen and taught the schoolchildren about how musical instruments make sounds, and then gave them the violin, clarinet and horn version of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf.
Maybe Symphony musicians could come to various workplaces and make grownups’ Mondays better too.
St. Louis Symphony Principal Cello Daniel Lee connects a 400-year-old novel, a 300-year-old piece of wood, a 100+-year-old tone poem, and a symphony orchestra made up of nearly 100 talented people in this week’s video blog.
Claire “The Clown” Wedemeyer and Symphony violinist Angie Smart are in the business of smiles and laughter. Through Clowns on Call and SymphonyCares they visited Mercy Children’s Hospital this week and lifted spirits from room to room. A little shtick goes a long way to making children and their families feel a little bit better.
Overheard following the Wednesday afternoon rehearsal of the Final Scene from Richard Strauss’ Capriccio, with guest soprano Karita Mattila.
Karita Mattila: I love this hall.
Concertmaster David Halen: This hall loves you.
Thursday night is the first On Stage at Powell concert of the season. That’s where you get to sit on stage with the musicians, making for an especially intimate concert experience and an easy concert series to name.
A Symphony string quartet made up of violinists Ann Fink and Helen Kim, violist Chris Tantillo and cellist Bjorn Ranheim play works by Haydn and Samuel Adams. Since Adams is the living composer, and in town, we’re putting him to use. He’ll be on stage to talk about both the Haydn quartet and his own, giving insights into how they relate. Adam Crane will be on hand to interview Adams, and I’ll be bringing around the microphone so audience members can ask questions and share responses.
Thursday, September 24 at 7pm. It’s free. It’s On Stage at Powell.
Opening Weekend with the St. Louis Symphony has a lot of cool stuff, including the phenomenal Joshua Bell as soloist. It’s also got Gerry Pagano doing some awesome glissando. Can you do this with your arms? Cinematographer Joshua Dobkins continues to astonish with this week’s Video Blog.