By Caitlin Custer
Photos by Caitlin Custer, Eric Dundon, Virginia Harold, and Theo Welling
The SLSO’s 142nd year was full of exciting moments. From inspiring artistic collaborations to heartwarming community concerts—and even a Midwestern road trip—here are a few of our favorite photos.
Lunar New Year
Conductor Elim Chan and world-renowned percussionist Martin Grubinger delivered an exceptional program featuring Tan Dun’s percussion concerto, The Tears of Nature. Coinciding with Lunar New Year celebrations, extra details like red envelopes containing concert vouchers, traditional cookies from Wei Hong Bakery, and a visit from the St. Louis Asian American Chamber of Commerce made the concerts special.
Dedicated to nurturing the music of tomorrow, the SLSO presented its first Composer Workshop in January 2022. Four composers early in their careers—(l. to r.) Peter Shin, Christian Quiñones, Nicky Sohn, and Aiyana Braun— visited St. Louis for a week of workshops and mentorship with guest composer/conductor John Adams plus SLSO musicians and staff, culminating in a concert of their works. The collaboration with these composers continues when the SLSO features their other works as part of the St. Louis Symphony: Live at the Pulitzer series in January 2023.
Peter and the Wolf
The SLSO has played Sergei Prokofiev’s beloved children’s fable, Peter and the Wolf, dozens of
times. The 2022 Family and Education Concerts featuring the piece were different: Lucky, a maned wolf from the Endangered Wolf Center, got her 15 seconds of fame with a short walk across the Emerson Concert Stage.
University Road Trip
In March, orchestra musicians packed their bags for a week-long, multi-state trip. Sought after as a music education leader, the SLSO brought workshops, masterclasses, and concerts to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Indiana University Bloomington, and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, serving more than 4,000 people in total.
A treasured tradition returned to Powell Hall in May with the Joining Forces concert. Military musicians from the U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America (Scott Air Force Base in Shiloh, Ill.), the 399th Army Band (Fort Leonard Wood, Waynesville, Mo.), and the 135th Army Band (Missouri National Guard, Springfield, Mo.) joined SLSO winds, brass, and percussion for a concert of patriotic anthems and military medleys, including a musical tribute to those laid to rest in our national cemeteries.
The 2022/2023 season came to life with the annual concert at Forest Park in September. The
audience filled Art Hill as Music Director Stéphane Denève led the SLSO in a program of classical favorites and beloved movie themes.
Stéphane crafted the 22/23 season around the idea of experiencing faraway places through music. In that spirit, Nathalie Joachim brought her piece, Fanm d’Ayiti (Women of Haiti), to Powell Hall for opening weekend. A rare combination of composer, flutist, and vocalist, Nathalie performed as soloist and enthralled the audience with engaging stories from her family.
Audiences packed Powell Hall for the third Extra Credit On Stage concert, a biannual concert that honors music educators, the cornerstone of the SLSO’s 100+ year education programs. Teachers, in turn, brought their families and students to Powell Hall to experience a live orchestra performance, many for the first time.
Caitlin Custer is the SLSO's Communications Manager.