While Powell Hall is being renovated, your SLSO is taking music out into the community
By Jen Roberts
After the final concert of the 2022/2023 season, there was a flurry of activity in Powell Hall. St. Louis Symphony Orchestra musicians packed up their instruments, staff members moved loaded boxes to temporary offices, and construction crews began removing the red velvet auditorium seats, all in preparation for a transformative 65,000-square-foot expansion and renovation of the historic building.
The project will add a new lobby and visitor’s center, a backstage, and an education and learning center to our beloved 98-year-old concert hall. “We will preserve the history of Powell Hall while creating a state-of-the-art center for community, innovation, and powerful music experiences,” says Marie-Hélène Bernard, SLSO President and CEO.
The doors of the revitalized Powell Hall will open in 2025, but until then, your SLSO is heading out into the community. The 2023/2024 season will kick off in familiar fashion, with the SLSO performing under the stars on Art Hill in Forest Park, and throughout the season, the orchestra will present programs in five venues throughout the region–the same number of temporary homes the orchestra performed in from its founding in 1880 until it moved into Powell Hall in 1968. The SLSO’s home away from homes including the Touhill Performing Arts Center at the University of Missouri–St. Louis—which is a Presenting Partner of the season, Stifel Theatre, Pulitzer Arts Foundation, Sheldon Concert Hall, and the J. Scheidegger Center for Performing Arts at Lindenwood University. There will be a shuttle available for all concerts at Touhill Performing Arts Center at UMSL and the Stifel Theatre. Tickets for the shuttle are $15 per passenger per concert.
“We are excited by the opportunity to share music with people throughout the region in various venues around St. Louis,” says Music Director Stéphane Denève. “The orchestra has a long history of building bridges through music, and I can’t wait to see our longtime patrons alongside new faces at concerts in the community.”
University of Missouri–St. Louis Touhill Performing Arts Center
23/24 Season Presenting Partner
1 Touhill Circle, St. Louis 63121
Since 2003, the Touhill Performing Arts Center at the University of Missouri–St. Louis has been home to campus events, academic programs, and local arts organizations. Since its opening 20 years ago—which the SLSO helped celebrate—the orchestra has been back many times. I.M. Pei, Cobb, Freed, and Partners, the architectural firm that designed the venue’s modern take on a classic opera house, was also the mastermind behind the glass pyramid at the Louvre in Paris and the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C.
“We are excited for the chance to have one of the country’s finest orchestras performing on our campus,” University of Missouri–St. Louis Chancellor Kristin Sobolik said. “It’s an unbelievable opportunity to welcome music lovers from across the region who might not otherwise have visited UMSL or experienced the beauty of the Touhill Performing Arts Center on our campus, which is now celebrating its 20th anniversary. We can’t wait for the season to begin.”
Touhill Performing Arts Center at the University of Missouri–St. Louis is a Presenting Partner of the SLSO’s 23/24 Season and is located on the campus of the University of Missouri–St. Louis near the I-70 and I-170 interchange. There are several free parking lots and garages near the building, in addition to the University of Missouri–St. Louis North Campus Metrolink station.
1400 Market Street, St. Louis 63103
Stifel Theatre first opened its doors in 1934 as the Kiel Opera House. This 3,100-seat theater has hosted Broadway shows, presidential speeches, and some of the world’s top performers, including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr., and The Rolling Stones. Stifel Theatre also served as the home of the SLSO from 1934 to 1968.
“We are thrilled to welcome the world-renowned SLSO back to a ‘home away from home’ for the 2023/2024 season,” says Todd Mitchell, VP & GM of Stifel Theatre and Enterprise Center. “After 55 years, the excitement of making music and memories together again is palpable amongst Stifel Theatre’s staff and remarkable patrons.”
Stifel Theatre will host the opening weekend concerts with Stéphane Denève conducting and Hilary Hahn on violin. Choral presentations, five film concerts, and holiday programs will all be held at the venerable downtown venue. There are several parking lots and garages near the theater and the Clark Metrolink station is also nearby.
Pulitzer Arts Foundation
3716 Washington Avenue, St. Louis 63108
The Pulitzer Arts Foundation has been a premiere art institution in St. Louis. The museum hosts world-class exhibitions and provides free programming for the community. The SLSO began its partnership with the Pulitzer Arts Foundation in 2004, presenting several innovative concerts each year featuring music by today’s leading voices.
The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra: Live at the Pulitzer 20th anniversary season will be curated by St. Louis-based composer Christopher Stark. The programming for this three-concert series responds to the art on display in the museum and includes string quartets, solo instrumentalists, and small ensembles with electronic and video elements.
Sheldon Concert Hall
3648 Washington Boulevard, St. Louis 63108
The Sheldon Concert Hall—dating to 1912 and designed by Louis, C. Spiering, one of the architects of the 1904 World’s Fair—is a familiar location in Grand Center Arts District, just across the street from Powell Hall.
This intimate theater, with 712 seats, will host five chamber music concerts, curated and led by SLSO musicians. Reflecting the variety that is known to audiences at The Sheldon, the chamber music series includes music from well-known composers including Ludwig van Beethoven and Maurice Ravel to four world premieres of music by rising composers at the University of Missouri. There are numerous parking options in Grand Center, with the nearest being the garage at 3637 Washington Avenue.
J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts at Lindenwood University
2300 West Clay Street, St. Charles 63301
The J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts at Lindenwood University opened in 2008 and has hosted some of the biggest names in entertainment, including Patti LaBelle, Glen Campbell, and Liza Minnelli.
The SLSO will perform two concerts at the J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts at Lindenwood University. The first, the Mercy Holiday Celebration at Lindenwood, fills the auditorium with the sounds of the holidays. In February, the Lunar New Year concert, conducted by Norman Huyhn, will be a musical celebration of the Year of the Dragon. Parking at the venue is free, and there is accessible parking on the east and west sides of the building.