Since 2010, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra has hosted more than 200 Live at
Powell Hall concerts: from movies like Singin’ in the Rain, Harry Potter TM, and Jurassic
Park, to tribute concerts and one-night-only performances with award-winning guests
including Boyz II Men, Ben Folds, Wyclef Jean, Leslie Odom Jr., and Idina Menzel. Not
only do these events offer fantastic entertainment, they also welcome new audiences to
discover the power and beauty of orchestral music.
John Williams conducted the SLSO in a concert of legendary film music last month before a sold-out crowd, sharing the evening with his friend and SLSO Music Director Stéphane Denève. Between pieces, he shared memories and marveled at the SLSO’s musicians, including calling the SLSO “one of this country’s greatest artistic institutions.”
The Live at Powell Hall series hosts several movies each year, from classics like North by Northwest and Casablanca, to musicals including An American in Paris and Singin’ In the Rain, to modern favorites like Harry Potter and Star Wars. The SLSO performs the score live while the movie is projected onto a movie theater–sized screen.
The SLSO hosted the popular radio variety show, Live from Here with Chris Thile, at Powell Hall earlier this year. Thile said, “We are thrilled that the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra is welcoming us to Powell Hall and joining us on the program as a guest. I can’t wait to share their incredible sound with our audience.” The SLSO was the first major American orchestra to appear as a guest in the show’s history. The broadcast reached 2.6 million people worldwide on public radio stations, SiriusXM Radio, Radio New Zealand, KPRG in Guam, and on the American Forces Networks.
Boyz II Men, the best-selling R&B group of all time, combined their smooth harmonies with the SLSO in 2018. The concert featured more than 20 years of timeless songs like “End of the Road,” “I’ll Make Love to You,” “One Sweet Day,” and “Motownphilly.”
The SLSO paid tribute to the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, along with members of the IN UNISON Chorus, in a concert of the singer-songwriter’s biggest hits.
The rest of the 19/20 season features an exciting variety of Live at Powell Hall performances. The SLSO welcomes back Ben Folds (for two nights!) and the holiday classic Home Alone. The Star Wars saga will continue with The Empire Strikes Back. This summer, the SLSO will pay tribute to the music of The Beatles and David Bowie.
This article appears in the December 2019 edition of Playbill.