Year in Review: 2019 With Your SLSO

With 2019 nearly in the rear-view mirror, take a look back at some of the defining moments of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra's year.

FEBRUARY - Under the direction of then Music Director Designate Stéphane Denève, pianist Yefim Bronfman debuts the SLSO's new Steinway grand piano playing the incredibly challenging Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 2 in February.

FEBRUARY - Stéphane Denève, then the SLSO's Music Director Designate, demonstrates how to play a violin with a young girl from Syria at the SLSO's Family Concert in February.

FEBRUARY - A favorite tradition of the SLSO, the IN UNISON Chorus gave its Lift Every Voice: Celebrating Black History Month concert in February, a yearly collaboration between the chorus and the SLSO. This season, the IN UNISON Chorus celebrated its 25th anniversary and performed the world premiere of a work written specifically for the chorus.

MARCH - Now a treasured tradition, SLSO musicians sat side-by-side with members of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra for an afternoon of mentorship.

APRIL - The SLSO celebrated its long and fruitful relationship with Conductor Laureate Leonard Slatkin, who celebrated his 50th anniversary of his debut with the orchestra, with two weeks of concerts. In the first of his two concerts with the SLSO, he led the orchestra and St. Louis Symphony Chorus in acclaimed performances of Bernstein's Symphony No. 3, "Kaddish," a symphony the SLSO had not played in more than 50 years.

MAY - The SLSO continued its partnership with military musicians in Missouri and Illinois with a free community concert, Joining Forces on Stage, at Powell Hall.
SEPTEMBER - The SLSO kicked off a momentous 140th season with a concert for tens of thousands of St. Louisans in Forest Park. This year had a special significance, as the concert was the first directed by the SLSO's 13th Music Director, Stéphane Denève, who assumed the title after a year as Music Director Designate.

SEPTEMBER - Music Director Stéphane Denève introduced audiences to the SLSO's first Artist-in-Residence, pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet. Thibaudet played works by Ravel and Guillaume Connesson in the opening weekend of SLSO classical concerts and joins the SLSO and Stéphane in three more classical concerts in the 19/20 season.

OCTOBER - The SLSO cherishes its relationship with music educators throughout the region. The EXTRA CREDIT concert gave educators the opportunity to join SLSO musicians on stage for a free community concert to a full house in Powell Hall.

OCTOBER - For a 15th year, the SLSO and the Pulitzer Arts Foundation presented innovative concerts at the Pulitzer through its series that presents chamber works from the 20th and 21st centuries.

NOVEMBER - The SLSO introduced a new concert format, SLSO Crafted, that presented one hour of music with commentary from Stéphane, along with pre- and post-concert food drink designed to bring the listener closer to the music-making process.

NOVEMBER - Stéphane is all smiles after a visit to the Krannert Center of Performing Arts at the University of Illinois. The SLSO and guest artist, violinist Gil Shaham, performed works by Aaron Jay Kernis, Bartok, and Brahms to a rousing ovation.

NOVEMBER - Waving to a sold-out audience, celebrated film composer John Williams conducted a concert of some of his most-famous works for film. The enthusiastic audience gave Williams and Stéphane Denève, who conducted the first half of the concert, several standing ovations.

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© 2019 St. Louis Symphony Orchestra