Photos by Caitlin Custer and Eric Dundon
For the first time since March 2020, the full St. Louis Symphony Orchestra gathered on the Emerson Concert Stage and Powell Hall for concerts, September 17-19. The start of the SLSO's 142nd season featured not only the full orchestra, but a full house, in a celebration of shared music experiences.
On September 17, multi-talented artist Kishi Bashi shared the stage with the SLSO in his first full concert with an orchestra. The performance featured Improvisations on EO 9066, the executive order that forced the relocation of Japanese Americans from their homes into internment camps during World War II. The performance was made even more poignant by the attendance of survivors from the camps, along with their descendants.
Powell Hall was in party mode on September 18 for Dancing in the Streets: The Music of Motown. Kevin McBeth, Director of the SLSO IN UNISON Chorus, led the SLSO and vocalists Shayna Steele, Chester Gregory, and Darren Lorenzo in music by hitmakers from Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross to The Temptations and Lionel Richie.
Music Director Stéphane Denève returned to Powell Hall to lead a concert of music from throughout the 2021/2022 season on September 19. The orchestra performed favorites from Ludwig van Beethoven, Igor Stravinsky, Jessie Montgomery, and more. The concert included a guest appearance from SLSO Assistant Conductor Stephanie Childress, who led the orchestra in a selection from Antonín Dvořák's Symphony No. 9, "From the New World."
Check out more photos from the weekend below:
Kishi Bashi's Improvisations on EO 9066 featured images from the 1940s projected on Powell Hall's big screen.
Crowds were ready to party at the September 18 Music of Motown concert.
Prior to the September 17 concert with Kishi Bashi, patrons enjoyed Japanese food from the St. Louis-based food truck Izumi.
Kishi Bashi with the SLSO.
Vocalist Chester Gregory, foreground, sings during the Music of Motown concert alongside vocalists Darren Lorenzo and Shayna Steele.
SLSO Music Director Stéphane Denève leads the orchestra in a selection from Johannes Brahms' Symphony No. 1 at the Season Preview Concert on September 19. The entire Brahms symphony will be performed in January 2022.
Kishi Bashi with SLSO clarinetist Tzuying Huang, center, and violinist I-Jung Huang.
Patrons visit during the intermission of the concert with Kishi Bashi.
SLSO IN UNISON Director Kevin McBeth leads the orchestra during the Music of Motown concert.
Patrons enjoying the Kishi Bashi concert.
Patrons visit with SLSO violinist Emily Ho.