October 15, 2020, will go down as a milestone date for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. After seven long months, the first sounds of a concert with an audience reverberated through the historic Powell Hall, music that had been removed from Powell Hall due to the Coivd-19 pandemic, but never silenced. While the SLSO has continued to provide music since March, this was the first time musicians had given a concert on stage before a live audience.
Music Director Stéphane Denève led a shortened concert of works by Jessie Montgomery and Beethoven, with a special video presentation of Joan Tower's Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman No. 5, performed by the trombone section.
Audiences were separated physically by more than six feet, but everyone was united with feelings of joy at the return of concerts from Powell Hall. Stéphane selected Beethoven's Symphony No. 3, "Eroica" as the first large-scale work to fill the hall. It proved an apt choice, ending in a decidedly optimistic tone. Here are photos from the first concert back in Powell Hall, taken by Dilip Vishwanat.