By Eric Dundon
The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s 2023/2024 season is almost here—and with it comes powerful experiences that enrich our lives, spark emotions, and inspire us to imagine and dream. Along with the familiar experiences of the orchestra’s warm and dazzling sound, a few things are new for the season as Powell Hall—the SLSO’s home—is closed for a transformative expansion and renovation.
Here are five things to know about the upcoming 144th season:
1. Our Homes Away From Home
The doors of the revamped Powell Hall will open in 2025, but until then, we’re heading out into the St. Louis community. The 23/24 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 main 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—a Presenting Partner of the season, Stifel Theatre, Pulitzer Arts Foundation, The Sheldon, and the J. Scheidegger Center for Performing Arts at Lindenwood University. One-night-only concerts will take place throughout the region from downtown to Cottleville. These venues were selected for their acoustics, production capabilities, and comfort for our audiences and artists.
2. New Time for Saturday Night Concerts
We know your Saturday nights are busy. In response to audience feedback, we’ve reconfigured all Saturday night concerts to start at 7:30pm, allowing you plenty of time to head home (or out to an afterparty!) once the concert concludes. Our long-time concert broadcasts on St. Louis Public Radio will make the shift with us—concerts at the Touhill Performing Arts Center at UMSL will also begin at 7:30pm. This means Saturday in-person Pre-Concert Conversation, sponsored by Washington University Physicians, will begin at 6:30pm, providing insights in the music performed on the program. Our other concert times remain the same: 10:30am for Coffee Concerts, 7:30pm for Friday nights, and 3:00pm for Sunday afternoons.
3. A New Series
Have you always wants to hear an individual musician’s sound? Watch the strokes of their bow up close? See their intense focus, all in service of outstanding music? This season, we’re introducing a new, five-concert chamber music series in collaboration with The Sheldon. Showcasing the talents of SLSO musicians in smaller groups, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra: Live at The Sheldon concert series presents a wide variety of chamber music in The Sheldon, the SLSO’s neighbor in Grand Center known for its exceptional acoustics and intimate atmosphere. Curated and performed by SLSO musicians, concerts spotlight the curators and the instruments they play, with programming that spans the entire chamber music library, from beloved standards like Maurice Ravel’s String Quartet in F and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Sextet in E-flat to lesser-heard composers like Louis Spohr, Florence Price, and Paul Hindemith.
4. Getting To Our Concerts
For all classical performances, the SLSO will offer its Symphon y Shuttle for $15 per passenger per concert. All passengers must have both a shuttle ticket and concert ticket. Pick up for concerts at UMSL’s Touhill Performing Arts Center will be at Plaza Frontenac, while concerts at the Stifel Theatre will have two pick-ups: Plaza Frontenac and St. Louis Community College–Forest Park. If you prefer to drive, the Touhill at UMSL has a large, free parking lot. Several parking lots and garages surround Stifel Theatre. And don’t forget about public transportation! Metrolink has stops near both venues.
5. All About the Community
While the orchestra performs in venues throughout the region, our programming reflects the talents that make St. Louis one of the most thriving cultural landscapes in the country. A March program combines music and dance for an outstanding collaboration with The Big Muddy Dance Company in the premiere performance of a new work by Adam Schoenberg. The Saint Louis Zoo will join the SLSO for fun and informative activities before the October Family Concert, A Zoo Called Earth. We’ll collaborate with long-time friends at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and we return to the venerable Cathedral Basilica for an inspirational performance of Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem. Concerts will take us from west county to St. Charles.
Eric Dundon is the SLSO’s Public Relations Director.