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Photos: SLSO's 2023 in Review

By Eric Dundon

2023 was a milestone year for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. From heart-pounding music like Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring and Hector Berlioz's The Damnation of Faust, and three Beethoven piano concerti to connecting with the community at Forest Park, at schools, places of worship, and at our home-away-from home venues, we are grateful for the many musical memories we made with our audiences.

This year brought the return to international touring, as the orchestra wowed audiences in Vienna, Brussels, Amsterdam, and Madrid. We engaged with thousands of teachers and students in person and through digital programming. We launched a new chamber music series in partnership with our friends at The Sheldon. We began the 20th anniversary season of our Live at the Pulitzer collaboration with the Pulitzer Arts Foundation.

And we began a transformative expansion and renovation of our beloved Powell Hall. This momentous project will improve every aspect of the audience and artist experience, and position our home as a community music center for generations to come.

Take a look back at some of our favorite memories.

Photos by Justin Barr, Brendan Batchelor, Eric Dundon, Drew Fulton, Jon Gitchoff, Virginia Harold, Rafa Martin, Scott Rovak, and Dilip Vishwanat.

MARCH–The finale of the orchestra's European tour took place at the stunning Auditorio Nacional de Música in Madrid, Spain. The orchestra performed music by Sergei Prokofiev, Edvard Grief, and Sergei Rachmaninoff, with encores with Leonard Bernstein and Georges Bizet.

SEPTEMBER–Music Director Stéphane Denève takes a selfie with Concertmaster David Halen and President and CEO Marie-Hélène Bernard backstage at Stifel Theatre prior to Opening Night.

DECEMBER–In the second Live at The Sheldon chamber music concert, a string quintet performs Franz Schubert's String Quintet. This program was curated by violinist Angie Smart and cellist Bjorn Ranheim. Critics said this new series should "be the hottest ticket in town."

DECEMBER–Violinist Asako Kuboki performs a solo work for inmates at Missouri Eastern Correctional Center, part of the SLSO's SymphonyCares program.

JANUARY–Singers in the St. Louis Symphony Chorus and St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON Chorus collaborated on a special concert in tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

MARCH–Denève leads the orchestra at the famous Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Netherlands—the fourth of five stops in the SLSO's European tour.

MARCH–Denève demonstrates how to conduct with a child attendee of Tiny Tunes, the SLSO's engaging concert for the youngest audience members.

DECEMBER–At the Stifel Theatre stage edge, a family watches intently as orchestra members warm up prior to performances of the score of Home Alone.

SEPTEMBER–Despite two downpours, more than 20,000 people celebrated the start of the SLSO's 144th season on Art Hill in Forest Park.

MAY–Members of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra perform under the direction of Stephanie Childress.

DECEMBER–Construction crews pour the floor for the new Education and Learning Center, part of the expansion to Powell Hall. This new facility will serve as rehearsal space, and as a home for the SLSO's robust education programs.

APRIL–Denève leads the orchestra in Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring. The concert brought a full house and inspired a prolonged standing ovation.

OCTOBER–SLSO violinist perform at the University of Missouri–St. Louis' Touhill Performing Arts Center—one of several venues for the season.

SEPTEMBER–Violinist Hilary Hahn dazzled in performances of Felix Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto. It was the internationally acclaimed musician's first performance with the orchestra in more than 20 years.

OCTOBER–A full house at The Sheldon greets a wind quintet in the inaugural Live at The Sheldon chamber music concert.

NOVEMBER–Flutist Jennifer Nitchman interacts with colleagues at UMSL's Touhill Performing Arts Center.

FEBRUARY–Erhu player Olivia Rulin Zhang made her SLSO debut in an Education concert featuring global musical traditions.

JUNE–Takeshi Tornier, of the architecture design firm Snøhetta, reviews masonry plans at Powell Hall. In 2024, the façade of the new lobby expansion will rise.

MAY–Stephanie Childress concluded her tenure as the SLSO's Assistant Conductor and Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra.

MAY–Students play recorders alongside the orchestra in an education concert that engaged thousands of students and teachers.

OCTOBER–Costumed concertgoers participate in a contest prior to performances of The Nightmare Before Christmas.

NOVEMBER–Violinist Randall Goosby made his SLSO debut to critical acclaim.

JUNE–Singer/songwriter Natalie Merchant brought the crowd to their feet in a collaboration with the SLSO at Stifel Theatre.

DECEMBER–Soul singer Wintley Phipps was the guest artist at the annual Gospel Christmas concert featuring the St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON Chorus and led by Kevin McBeth.

MAY–A special collaboration honored the late Dr. Robert Ray, the founding director of the IN UNISON Chorus, that brought more than 200 singers to Powell Hall's stage.

SEPTEMBER–The SLSO trombone section performed at Washington University, part of a long-standing tradition that celebrates the start of the semester at the St. Louis higher education institution.

JULY–A drone image shows the footprint of the backstage expansion at Powell Hall. This part of the expansion will house musicians, guest artist, and media services, maintaining the SLSO as an international destination for artists.

OCTOBER–Pianist Ingrid Fliter performs Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3—the second of five performances of all Beethoven piano concerti in the 23/24 season.


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