From welcoming new Music Director Stéphane Denève, to a rapidly changing spring and summer during COVID-19, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra's 140th season has been unlike any other.
The season opened with Stéphane’s first time conducting the Forest Park concert in September—and his first time conducting in his personalized St. Louis Cardinals jersey. The following week, Stéphane traded the conductor’s podium for the pitcher’s mound, throwing out the first pitch for the Cardinals.
A few days later, at his inaugural classical concert as Music Director, Stéphane gave a champagne toast to the audience during intermission. Before starting the second half, violinists Erin Schreiber (right) and Angie Smart visited with audience members.
Opening Weekend celebrated the season’s Franco-American Arch by featuring both French and American composers, including St. Louis native Kevin Puts (pictured right) as well as welcoming world-renowned pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet as the Jean-Paul and Isabelle Montupet Artist-in-Residence.
As fall arrived, local music educators joined the SLSO and Resident Conductor Gemma New for Extra Credit, a side-by-side concert where teachers share music stands with SLSO musicians. More than 100 teachers from the St. Louis area and beyond participated in this unique experience, which is one of dozens of free community concerts the SLSO shares with the St. Louis community each year.
The St. Louis Symphony: Live at the Pulitzer series began its 15th year of concerts, offering concertgoers an opportunity to hear music of our time in the unique and modern setting of the Tadao Ando–designed building.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T! The SLSO and members of the IN UNISON Chorus, joined by vocalists Capathia Jenkins and Ryan Shaw, paid tribute to the legendary queen of soul, Aretha Franklin.
Legendary film composer John Williams joined Stéphane and the SLSO in a concert of music from his Oscar-winning career. Williams shared stories about his music and life as the full house—including Stéphane—cheered. The same weekend, the orchestra performed Williams’ Violin Concerto with soloist James Ehnes.
Powell Hall transformed for its first happy hour concert, Crafted, where local breweries, wineries, distilleries, and restaurants provided samples, and SLSO musicians mingled with audience members.
Stéphane welcomed the new decade in St. Louis as he conducted his first BMO Wealth Management New Year’s Eve Celebration with the SLSO. The concert’s theme of dances from around the world was heightened by a performance by dancers from Big Muddy Dance Company.
The St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra celebrated its 50th anniversary this season. More than 90 alumni joined current YO members in January for a special concert and celebration.
In March, the SLSO launched its Instrument Playground Online. Presented by PNC Arts Alive, the digital resource features videos, photos, and activities that introduce audiences of any age to the instruments of the orchestra and the musicians who play them. The SLSO shared additional digital educational resources to help support teachers and parents as schools shifted to online learning.
Though the last concerts of the 2019/2020 season came much earlier than we anticipated, SLSO musicians continued to share the power of music with #SLSOatHome. Performing from their homes, musicians offered selections to comfort and inspire.
The 2019/2020 season marked the 10th year of SLSO broadcasts on St. Louis Public Radio. When the SLSO could not perform live at Powell Hall due to the pandemic, St. Louis Public Radio brought us together over the airwaves by rebroadcasting concerts on Saturday nights throughout the spring and summer.
We can't wait to get back to Powell Hall to share the power of live music with you once again. Share your favorite memories from the season in the comments below!