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Introducing the SLSO's 145th Season

Updated: Feb 15

By Eric Dundon

 

The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Stéphane Denève. ©Virginia Harold

The SLSO has many things to anticipate this year, from forthcoming concerts this season—including a dazzling collaboration with cellist Yo-Yo Ma—to the progression of the renovation of Powell Hall. Now, add concerts in the 2024/2025 season to the mix. Unveiled recently, next season promises a full line-up of musical thrills.

 

The versatility and incredible talents of our wonderful musicians will shine in this season—from well-known symphonic favorites and family concerts to film scores and chamber music,” said Stéphane Denève, The Joseph and Emily Rauh Pulitzer Music Director.

 

In the current 23/24 season, the SLSO connected with audiences at a number of venues throughout the region, sharing music with audiences from St. Louis to Cottleville to the Lake of the Ozarks and many places in between. In the 24/25 season, the orchestra continues its nomadic tour through the region, performing concerts at several venues, including the Touhill Performing Arts Center at the University of Missouri–St. Louis; Stifel Theatre; J. Scheidegger Center for Performing Arts at Lindenwood University; The Sheldon; Pulitzer Arts Foundation; and the E. Desmond Lee Concert Hall at the 560 Music Center at Washington University.

 

Curated and Compose Your Own Subscriptions for the 24/25 season, which runs from September 2024 through May 2025, are on sale now.

 

A subscription, including a curated package or a create your own package of at least five concerts, grants access to single ticket discounts, priority seating, special offers, and more. Subscribers who maintain their subscription will also get priority seating when the orchestra returns to Powell Hall. Visit slso.org/season or call the Box Office at 314-534-1700. 

 

Variety of music

The SLSO takes pride in the nimbleness of its musicians, who play a wide range of music, from Baroque masterpieces to new-to-the-world sounds. Throughout the 24/25 season, the orchestra will present many classical favorites, led by Denève and a host of acclaimed guest conductors.

Hanzhi Wang will perform Nina Shekhar’s Accordion Concerto.

 

Denève conducts the SLSO in some of symphonic music’s most beloved works including Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s


performances of many works, including Guillaume Connesson’s Lost Horizons Violin Concerto, Adolphus Hailstork’s An American Port of Call, John Williams’ Theme from Seven Years in Tibet, and more.

 

He also leads a weekend of Maurice Ravel’s music, including both of the composer’s piano concerti performed in the same program by Kirill Gerstein, a dear friend of the SLSO.

 

“Nobody in the world interprets Ravel’s music like Stéphane Denève,” said Marie-Hélène Bernard, SLSO President and CEO. “The all-Ravel program in celebration of the composer’s 150th birthday will be a showcase for Stéphane and our musicians. It truly cannot be missed.”

 

Additional highlights include Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, led by former Resident Conductor Gemma New and featuring the St. Louis Symphony Chorus; a Baroque Christmas program featuring SLSO soloists; Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 1; Beethoven’s Violin Concerto; Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World”; and Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2.

 

Denève and the orchestra take audiences a two-week survey of the music of W.A. Mozart. The first week features Mozart’s brooding late-in-life works, including the Requiem and the Adagio and Fugue in C minor. The second week explores Mozart’s journeys away from home in such works as the Symphony Nos. 1 and 31, “Paris”; Piano Concerto No. 20; and the overture to the rarely heard opera Mitridate, rè di Ponto. Pieces from contemporary composers Detlev Glanert and Anna Clyne connect Mozart’s music to today.

 

A semi-staged version of Edvard Grieg’s opera Peer Gynt, with internationally renowned soprano Camilla Tilling serving in the lead role of Solveig, concludes the season. These performances of Peer Gynt include staging, costumes, and actors, led by acclaimed writer and director Bill Barclay in adaptation of the Henrik Ibsen play.

 

Along with beloved favorites, the SLSO will introduce new pieces to the repertoire, guided by Denève’s belief in furthering the symphonic art form through selecting and performing moving music created by today’s composers.

 

Jonathon Heyward returns to conductor Sibelius’ Symphony No. 5.

The orchestra gives the world premiere of a new concerto for orchestra by Anna Clyne, enhanced by electronically augmented sounds captured by microphones placed among the musicians. Hanzhi Wang, an international ambassador for her instrument, will be the featured soloist in the world premiere of a new, and rare, accordion concerto by Nina Shekhar. In addition, the SLSO gives the U.S. premieres of music by Guillaume Connesson, Magnus Lindberg, and Daniel Slatkin.

 

Incredible talent

Throughout the 24/25 season, many acclaimed artists will make their SLSO debut.

 

Conductors making their debut include David Afkham, Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Spanish National Orchestra and Chorus, rising German conductor Ruth Reinhardt, Patrick Dupré Quigley on a Baroque Christmas program, and Daniela Candillari, Principal Conductor of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

 

Instrumentalists making their SLSO debuts include pianist Yeol Eum Son, a prizewinner at the


International Tchaikovsky competition; violist Lawrence Power; and cellist Andrei Ioniță, the Gold Medal winner of the 2015 International Tchaikovsky Competition; and Vidar Skrede, a Hardanger fiddle player.

 

The SLSO will also continue relationships with many of the world’s leading artists, including conductors David Danzmayr, Jonathon Heyward, Hannu Lintu, Cristian Măcelaru, Gemma New, and John Storgårds.

 

Former SLSO Resident Conductor Gemma New leads Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9

Friends returning to St. Louis include pianists Behzod Abduraimov, Saleem Ashkar, Kirill Gerstein, Nikolai Lugansky, and Conrad Tao; violinists including James Ehnes, Gil Shaham, Akiko Suwanai, and Christian Tetzlaff; and vocalists Dashon Burton,

Joélle Harvey, Kelley O’Connor, Michael Spyres, and Camilla Tilling.

 

Leonard Slatkin’s Legacy

The SLSO celebrates the legacy of Conductor Laureate Leonard Slatkin with a slate of activities, culminating in a weekend of concerts. Slatkin—who served as the SLSO Music Director from 1979 to 1996—leads the orchestra in a family-oriented celebration. The concert includes music by Cindy McTee, Leonard’s wife; Daniel Slatkin, Leonard’s son; and his own arrangement of piano sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti for winds.

 

Violinist James Ehnes performs Beethoven’s Violin Concerto

Community, film, and holidays

The SLSO’s 24/25 season also features concerts with a variety of music from popular artists, films, tributes to crowd-favorite musicians, and special programs to celebrate the people of St. Louis.

 

The celebratory opening of the season, the free concert in Forest Park, returns with Denève on the podium.

 

Film presentations with the SLSO playing the score live include E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (conducted by Denève), Coco, The Muppet Christmas Carol, and Casino Royale.

 

Broadway veteran Brian Stokes Mitchell will sing at Lift Every Voice.

Holiday concerts include the popular IN UNISON Christmas concert, previously known as Gospel Christmas, which features the IN UNISON Chorus—an SLSO resident chorus that specializes in music from the African diaspora—led by Kevin McBeth along with a cappella group Take 6.  The Mercy Holiday Celebration presents four concerts of beloved holiday music with conductor Norman Huynh and vocalist Capathia Jenkins—two at the J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts at Lindenwood University in St. Charles and two at Stifel Theatre. Former Assistant Conductor Stephanie Childress leads the annual New Year’s Eve Celebration Concert. The SLSO also performs its annual Lift Every Voice: Celebrating Black History Month concert with the IN UNISON Chorus and Broadway veteran Brian Stokes Mitchell.

 

Chamber music

In addition to full symphonic works, the SLSO will continue both old and new traditions of sharing chamber music in intimate settings.

 

Sustaining its unflinching commitment to today’s musical voices, the SLSO partners with the Pulitzer Arts Foundation for the 21st year of presenting bold and adventurous chamber music concerts, curated by composer Christopher Stark for the second season.

 

In the second season of Live at The Sheldon, SLSO musicians curate the chamber music program, offering a combination of beloved chamber music favorites, complemented by pieces rarely or never-before performed in St. Louis—a formula for engaging concerts called “the hottest ticket in town” (St. Louis American) in its first season.

 

In May 2024, the SLSO will announce plans for additional programming, including Family Concerts and one-night-only special concerts.

 

Eric Dundon is the SLSO's Public Relations Director.

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