Performances commemorate Britten’s 100th birthday

(ST. LOUIS) The St. Louis Symphony will mark the centennial of Benjamin Britten’s birth with two concert performances of the composer’s haunting opera Peter Grimes:  first at Powell Hall on November 16, then at Carnegie Hall on November 22, the date of the late composer’s 100th birthday.

The orchestra, under the baton of St. Louis Symphony Music Director David Robertson, will perform with a cast that includes tenor Anthony Dean Griffey as Peter Grimes, acknowledged as the premiere interpreter of the role today, soprano Susanna Phillips as Ellen Orford, and the complete St. Louis Symphony Chorus.   Both performances will feature light staging to further accentuate the work’s tone and mood.  The Britten centennial celebration will also incorporate the composer’s works during a St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra concert and Family Concert during the 2013-2014 season.

“Britten’s Peter Grimes is an amazing masterpiece, and truly a once-in-a-lifetime kind of event for St. Louis,” said St. Louis Symphony Music Director David Robertson.   “The story of the opera centers on a community.  Although Britten exposes the darker aspects of that term, this particular presentation of the opera rallies the St. Louis Symphony community--the orchestra, the chorus, the staff and board--to make this ambitious undertaking possible.” 

The St. Louis Peter Grimes performance will be broadcast live as part of the Symphony’s partnership with St. Louis Public Radio 90.7 – KWMU.  It will also stream on-line live at

Tickets for the November 16 performance at Powell Hall may be purchased by calling 314-534-1700 or on-line at  Tickets for the November 22 Carnegie Hall performance may be purchased by calling 212-247-7800 or visiting

The St. Louis Symphony’s Peter Grimes performances are supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts, with additional support from the Britten-Pears Foundation.

November  16, 2013, at Powell Hall

November 22, 2013, at Carnegie Hall

BRITTEN                               Peter Grimes

David Robertson, Conductor

Anthony Dean Griffey, tenor (Peter Grimes)

Susanna Phillips, soprano (Ellen Orford)

Alan Held, bass-baritone (Captain Balstrode)

Meredith Arwady, contralto (Auntie)

Leela Subramaniam, soprano (Niece 1)

Summer Hassam, soprano (Niece 2)

Patrick Carfizzi, baritone (Swallow)

Nancy Maultsby, mezzo-soprano (Mrs. Sedley)

David Pittsinger, bass (Hobson)

Thomas Cooley, tenor (Robert Boles)

Liam Bonner, baritone (Ned Keene)

Keith Boyer, tenor (Horace Adams)

St. Louis Symphony Chorus

Amy Kaiser, Director


*Founded in 1880 and now in its 134th season, the St. Louis Symphony is the second-oldest orchestra in the country and widely considered one of the world’s finest. In September 2005, internationally acclaimed conductor David Robertson became the 12th Music Director, the second American-born conductor to hold that post in the Orchestra’s history.  The St. Louis Symphony strives for artistic excellence, fiscal responsibility and community connection while meeting its mission statement:  enriching people’s live through the power of music. The Symphony presents a full season of classical programs and Live at Powell Hall concerts, as well as hundreds of free education and community programs each year. In May 2009, the Symphony implemented an encompassing strategic plan that includes a 10-year vision focusing on artistic and institutional excellence, expanding audience and revenue growth across all key operating areas.