ST. LOUIS SYMPHONY ANNOUNCES 2014-2015 SEASON 

Music Director David Robertson’s 10th season with the STL Symphony

50 STL Symphony musicians to be featured as soloists or in solo ensembles

ST. LOUIS Today, the St. Louis Symphony announced its 2014-2015 season, the orchestra’s 135th since its founding in 1880, making it the second oldest orchestra in the United States today. The 2014-2015 classical subscription series is sponsored by Wells Fargo Advisors and runs from Friday, September 12, 2014 through Saturday, May 9, 2015.

The season marks Music Director David Robertson’s 10th with the St. Louis Symphony, and to celebrate, Robertson has chosen to feature St. Louis Symphony musicians in a scope never before seen at Powell Hall:  50 musicians will give solo performances or take part in solo ensembles during 2014-2015.

“I’m so excited about the new season,” said St. Louis Symphony Music Director David Robertson.  “This is my 10th season and in that time, I’ve gotten to know how incredibly talented and brilliantly inspired are all of the musicians of the orchestra.  So being able to have 50 of them present in a capacity where they can show the audience how amazing they are as individuals and as team members makes me more excited than I can say.”

Other notable St. Louis Symphony milestones will also be celebrated during the classical season, including David Halen’s 20th season as concertmaster, STL Symphony Chorus Director Amy Kaiser’s 20th season, the 20th anniversary of the IN UNISON Chorus and program, the 45th season of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra and the 135th anniversary of the St. Louis Symphony, all of which coincide with the 250th anniversary of the founding of the city of St. Louis.

The season includes orchestral favorites and other masterpieces that are sure to delight St. Louis Symphony audiences.  Violinist Leila Josefowicz will perform the concerto written expressly for her by composer John Adams in a St. Louis Symphony premiere.  Other exciting soloists, including Yefim Bronfman, Orli Shaham, Kirill Gerstein, Vadim Repin, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Emanuel Ax will also perform with the St. Louis Symphony in 2014-2015.  

The St. Louis Symphony makes a return trip to Carnegie Hall in the 2014-2015, in a performance that will be announced at a later date.  The Symphony’s latest Nonesuch Records recording, including its recent performances of John Adams’ City Noir and his new Saxophone Concerto, is scheduled for release during 2014-2015.

“This is a very festive season for the St. Louis Symphony as we celebrate important anniversaries, and build on the momentum that has characterized the St. Louis Symphony’s artistic and institutional performance in recent years,” said Fred Bronstein, St. Louis Symphony President/CEO.  “ We present a diverse and broad range of music--all kinds of music-- and have an opportunity to show off the incredible talent of our own musicians and try some new things, all the while continuing to build and strengthen the financial underpinning of a great orchestra.”

In the five years since the launch of its Building Our Business initiative in 2008, the St. Louis Symphony has seen its ticket revenues grow 36% due largely to its highly successful Live at Powell Hall performances; its paid attendance grow 17% (including more than 39,000 new patrons), per-concert average increase 15%; and grow its contributed operating revenues 26%, all resulting in a reduction of its structural deficit in 2013 to its lowest level since 2005 and smallest deficit as a percentage of budget in 12 years. 

2014-2015 season highlights include:

NOTABLE ANNIVERSARIES

The St. Louis Symphony is happy to recognize and celebrate several notable anniversaries throughout the 2014-2015 season.  Music Director David Robertson marks his 10th season in St. Louis, and has selected pieces and performances that will celebrate the occasion.  David Halen performs Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in October to celebrate his 20th anniversary as concertmaster with the St. Louis Symphony.  STL Symphony Conductor Laureate Leonard Slatkin, who appointed Halen to the post, will conduct the performances.  St. Louis Symphony Chorus Director Amy Kaiser, also in her 20th year, leads the Chorus in four performances throughout the season, including the season finale, Aida.  The IN UNISON Chorus is also celebrating 20 years with its annual Gospel Christmas and Black History Month concerts.  The STL Symphony Youth Orchestra turns 45 this season and the St. Louis Symphony marks its 135th anniversary, all in the same year the city of St. Louis turns 250.

ST. LOUIS SYMPHONY FEATURED MUSICIANS

To celebrate his 10th season as Music Director, and to note the 250th anniversary of the city of St. Louis, David Robertson has chosen to showcase and spotlight musicians of the St. Louis Symphony.  Fifty St. Louis Symphony musicians make solo appearances or perform in solo ensembles during the 2014-2015 season, an unprecedented number.  They include:

Violin

Erin Schreiber (September 12-13, 2014)

Joo Kim (October 10-12, 2014)

David Halen (October 17 and 19, 2014)

Heidi Harris (October 24-25, 2014)

Helen Kim (November 15-16, 2014)

Xiaoxiao Qiang (November 15-16, 2014)

Dana Edson Myers (November 21, 2014)

Rebecca Boyer Hall (November 21, 2014)

Ling Ling Guan (November 21, 2014)

Jessica Cheng (December 5-7, 2014)

Angie Smart (December 5-7, 2014)

Jooyeon Kong (December 5-7, 2014)

Alison Harney (December 5-7, 2014)

Kristin Ahlstrom (January 17-18, 2015)

Shawn Weil (January 17-18, 2015)

Asako Kuboki (January 30-31, 2015)

Ann Fink (January 30-31, 2015)

Eva Kozma (March 13, 2015)

Silvian Iticovici (March 13, 2015)

Celeste Golden Boyer (April 10-11, 2015)

Emily Ho (April 25-26, 2015)

Nicolae Bica (April 25-26, 2015)

Viola

Beth Guterman Chu (April 10-11, 2015)

Morris Jacob (April 25-26, 2015)

Cello

James Czyzewski (October 10-12, 2014)

Daniel Lee (November 22-23, 2014)

David Kim (January 17-18, 2015)

Melissa Brooks (January 30-31, 2015)

Bjorn Ranheim (March 6-7, 2015)

Anne Fagerburg (April 25-26, 2015)

Alvin McCall (May 8, 2015)

English horn

Cally Banham (September 27-28, 2014)

Bassoon

Andrew Cuneo (November 28-30, 2014)

Andrew Gott (November 28-30, 2014)

Felicia Foland (November 28-30, 2014)

Clarinet

Scott Andrews (January 17-18, 2015)

Horn

Roger Kaza (November 7-8, 2014)

Thomas Jöstlein (November 7-8, 2014)

Tod Bowermaster (November 7-8, 2014)

Trombone

Timothy Myers (January 23-24, 2015)

Amanda Stewart (January 23-24, 2015)

Jonathan Reycraft (January 23-24, 2015)

Gerald Pagano (January 23-24, 2015)

Oboe

Jelena Dirks (January 30-31, 2015)

Philip Ross (January 30-31, 2015)

Flute

Mark Sparks (October 18, 2014)

Andrea Kaplan (January 30-31, 2015)

Jennifer Nitchman (January 30-31, 2015)

Harp

Allegra Lilly (May 1-3, 2015)

Tuba

Michael Sanders (May 1-3, 2015)

OPENING WEEKEND

Opening Weekend at the St. Louis Symphony is always a special event and the beginning of the 2014-2015 season is no exception.  Music Director David Robertson will conduct the performances September 12-13, 2014.  STL Symphony Assistant Concertmaster Erin Schreiber will be the soloist for Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending and pianist Yefim Bronfman will perform Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1.  The programs conclude with Nielsen’s dramatic Symphony No. 4, “The Inextinguishable.”  Also that weekend, the first of four video enhancements designed by visual artist S. Katy Tucker will be presented as part of the concerts, an exciting fusion of music and art made possible by a generous grant from the Regional Arts Commission.

NONESUCH RECORDING

In 2014, Nonesuch Records is due to release the STL Symphony’s performances of John Adams’ City Noir and Saxophone Concerto featuring soloist Timothy McAllister.  Both concerts were recorded live at Powell Hall, and what dazzled the audiences will soon be available for all classical music lovers.  The STL Symphony’s previous Nonesuch release, Adams’ Doctor Atomic Symphony, was named “Classical Album of the Decade” by The Times of London in 2009.

RETURN TO CARNEGIE HALL

The St. Louis Symphony will return to Carnegie Hall again this season.  The STL Symphony is one of only a handful of American orchestras that receives regular invitations to perform at the venue, and it continues to impress audiences and critics alike with its regular engagements there.  The STL Symphony’s Carnegie performance of Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes in November 2013 was named one of the top five classical concerts of 2013 by The New York Times.

6th ANNUAL GALA

The Red Velvet Ball, featuring internationally acclaimed pianist Lang Lang and the St. Louis Symphony led by Music Director David Robertson, takes place Saturday, October 18, 2014. Lang Lang will perform Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1.  Also on the program: Bach’s Suite No. 2 in B minor featuring STL Symphony Principal Flute Mark Sparks.  Gala guests will enjoy pre-concert cocktails, dinner and what promises to be an unforgettable performance at Powell Hall.  Proceeds from this special event support the St. Louis Symphony. This year’s event is chaired by Lynn and Thriess Britton.

ORCHESTRAL FAVORITES

This season, the St. Louis Symphony perfroms many audience favorites and masterworks, including Ravel’s Bolero, Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique. Other major works on the concert schedule include Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem, Bruckner’s Symphony No. 3, and Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde.  Additionally, several subscription series concerts this season feature the works of one great single composer, including two all-Beethoven programs, (November 15-16, 2014; January 23-24, 2015) an all-Tchaikovsky program (October 10-12, 2014) and a Bach family program (January 30-31, 2015).

US PREMIERE, WORKS BY LIVING COMPOSERS

Music Director David Robertson will conduct Detlev Glanert’s Frenesia, a US premiere and St. Louis Symphony co-commission April 25-26, 2015.  Works by John Adams (September 27-28, 2014), James MacMillan (February 7-8, 2015; March 14-15, 2015) Michael Daugherty (November 28-30, 2014) and Andrew Norman (November 28-30, 2014) will also be included in the 2014-2015 subscription series. 

VIDEO COMPONENT

Thanks in part to a generous Innovation Fund grant from the Regional Arts Commission, the St. Louis Symphony will partner with NYC-based visual artist S. Katy Tucker for a series of video enhancements to be shown during four subscription concert weekends.  Tucker, who has worked extensively on performances presented across the country and around the world, has created visual productions for some of the most renowned theater and opera houses.  Her two projects with orchestras (video elements for Orff’s Carmina burana at Carnegie Hall and Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman with the Sydney Symphony) were conducted by St. Louis Symphony Music Director David Robertson.  Her project with the St. Louis Symphony will utilize light and video to create a multi-sensory concert experience at Powell Hall.  The video enhancements will be presented Opening Weekend (September 12-13, 2014), November 28-30, 2014, March 6-7, 2015 and for the season finale, Aida (May 7 and 9, 2015)

EXCITING SOLOISTS

The St. Louis Symphony is delighted to welcome back world-class soloists to Powell Hall for the 2014-2015 season.  Pianists Yefim Bronfman, Orli Shaham, André Watts and Kirill Gerstein, violinists Leila Josefowicz (performing the concerto John Adams composed specifically for her), Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Augustin Hadelich, and sopranos Susan Graham and Christine Brewer will all perform with the St. Louis Symphony.

DEFIANT REQUIEM

The St. Louis Symphony, in partnership with the Jewish Federation of St. Louis and the Anti-Defamation League Missouri/Southern Illinois, is honored to present Defiant Requiem.  The concert experience tells the story of courageous Jewish prisoners in the Terezin Concentration Camp who formed a chorus and performed Verdi’s Requiem 16 times as an act of defiance and resistance to their Nazi captors.  The event features the St. Louis Symphony performing the full Verdi Requiem, along with video testimony from surviving members of the choir.  This contemporary message of hope has received wide critical acclaim and will be performed on Wednesday, February 11, 2015.

LIVE AT POWELL HALL

Live at Powell Hall is back this season stronger than ever and includes a special collaboration with Circus Flora.  A Winter Fable (December 12-13, 2014) is a classic fairy tale set in a strange and wonderful winter world, where the fusion of circus arts and live classical music take center stage.  These three performances promise to be unforgettable for the entire family.  This is the third time the St. Louis Symphony has teamed up with its Grand Center neighbor Circus Flora for concerts at Powell Hall.

Other Live at Powell Hall offerings during the 2014-2015 season have a Tinseltown theme.  In a nod to Powell Hall’s past as a movie house and vaudeville hall, the St. Louis Symphony will provide the live score to the following movies that will play in the big screen: 

  • Pirates of the Caribbean 2 (September 19-21, 2014) US Premiere
  • Gladiator  (October 31-November 2, 2014) US Premiere
  • The Godfather (March 27-29, 2015)

In addition, the LAPH line-up will include Pixar in Concert, with the movie music and themes from some of that studio’s best-known and loved movies. (December 27-28, 2014)

 A full schedule of Live at Powell Hall concerts, including dates in May and June of 2015, will be announced in early spring.

HOLIDAY CONCERTS

Building on its hugely successful holiday line-up, Powell Hall once again becomes a winter wonderland in December 2014, and a destination location for all things musical, with a wide array of programs designed to delight the entire family.  The season begins with the IN UNISON Chorus’s A Gospel Christmas, featuring soloist Oleta Adams (December 18, 2014).  The Symphony’s five Holiday Celebration concerts (December 19-21, 2014) will feature favorite carols, songs and sights of the season, and even a visit from Santa himself.  Resident Conductor Steven Jarvi brings movie magic back to Powell Hall with Pixar in Concert (December 27-29, 2014), then Music Director David Robertson returns to the podium for the annual New Year’s Eve Concert (December 31, 2014).

MUSICIAN DEBUTS

The St. Louis Symphony welcomes the following musicians for their Powell Hall debuts during the 2014-2015 season:

  • Conductor

Markus Stenz (October 4-5, 2014)

Cristian Macelaru (October 10-12, 2014)

Juraj Valcuha (February 20-21, 2015)

  • Piano

Markus Groh (November 7-8, 2014)

  • Vocalists

Carolyn Sampson, soprano (October 4-5, 2014)

Kiera Duffy, soprano (December 5-7, 2014)

Lucrezia Garcia (May 7 and 9, 2015)

Ekaterina Semenchuk (May 7 and 9, 2015)

Antonello Palombi (May 7 and 9, 2015)

RETURNING GUEST CONDUCTORS

  • Leonard Slatkin (October 17 and 19, 2014)
  • John Storgårds (October 24-25, 2014)
  • Hannu Lintu (November 7-8, 2014)
  • Jun Märkl (November 15-16, 2014)
  • Nicholas McGegan (January 30-31, 2015)
  • Stéphane Denève (February 7-8, 2015)
  • Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos (February 27-March 1, 2015)
  • Semyon Bychkov (April 10-11, 2015)
  • Vasily Petrenko (April 17-18, 2015)

RETURNING GUEST ARTISTS

  • Piano

Yefim Bronfman (September 12-13, 2014)

Orli Shaham (November 15-16, 2014)

Kirill Gerstein (November 28-30, 2014)

Richard Goode (January 17-18, 2015)

Jean-Yves Thibaudet (February 7-8, 2015)

André Watts (February 20-21, 2015)

Simon Trpceski (April 17-18, 2015)

Emanuel Ax (April 25-26, 2015)

  • Violin

Leila Josefowicz (September 27-28, 2014)

Augustin Hadelich (February 27-March 1, 2015)

Vadim Repin (March 14-15, 2015)

  • Vocalists

Patrick Carfizzi, bass-baritone (October 4-5, 2014)

Susan Graham, mezzo-soprano (November 22-23, 2014)

Paul Groves, tenor (November 22-23, 2014)

Christine Brewer, soprano (March 6-7, 2015)

SEASON FINALE

For the first time ever, the St. Louis Symphony and Chorus perform the rousing opera Aida at Powell Hall for the 14-15 season finale.  David Robertson will conduct and Amy Kaiser will lead the Chorus in a celebration of her 20th season as Director.  The May 7 and May 9 performances of Verdi’s masterpiece will also feature video enhancement from visual artist S. Katy Tucker, made possible thanks to a generous grant from the Regional Arts Commission.  

PULITZER SERIES CONCERTS

The relationship between modern art and modern music will again be explored during the 2014-2015 season as the St. Louis Symphony provides a series of chamber concerts at the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts. The space, a 21st century architectural masterpiece, is the ideal venue for these repertoires, which are designed to initiate dialogue with the Foundation’s featured exhibit. Programs and dates for the 2014-2015 season will be announced later.

BROADCAST PARTNERSHIPS

The 2014-2015 season marks the fifth year of partnerships with two leading public media outlets - The Nine Network of Public Media and St. Louis Public Radio, 90.7-KWMU.  The Nine Network features several Symphony productions and stories each season for its Living St. Louis and Arts America programs, and KWMU broadcasts and live streams the entire St. Louis Symphony Saturday night subscription series.   The St. Louis Symphony will also continue to work with RAF-STL during the 2014-2015 season.

EDUCATION AND FAMILY CONCERTS

The St. Louis Symphony will present four Family Concerts throughout the 2014-2015 season, each designed to capture imaginations of younger listeners. They include:

  • Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo (Sunday, October 26, 2014):  Based on the popular children’s book written by  John Lithgow, the St. Louis Zoo and the St. Louis Symphony team up for the first time in more than 30 years to present this dynamic performance.  Concertgoers will learn just how musical animals can be when they communicate with one another.  The fusion of the featured work, Saint-Saëns Carnival of the Animals paired with Henry Mancini’s Baby Elephant Walk, makes this program a true delight for music lovers of all kinds! 
  • From Bach to Rock to Hip Hop (Sunday, January 25, 2015)Project Trio returns to Powell Hall for this high-energy, interactive concert.  Enjoy the sounds of the St. Louis Symphony on a journey through musical time periods featuring the works of composers from around the world.  Project Trio explores various world rhythms and encourages audience participation in counting and clapping the rhythms aloud.
  • The Science of Sound and The Art of Noise (Sunday, April 19, 2015):  This concert is anything but conventional.  Maestro Steven Jarvi will be joined by a special guest who will help lead demonstrations of sound creation in the various instruments of the orchestra.  If you’ve ever wondered what a sound wave looks like or how long the tubing of the French horn really is, this concert is for you!  Featured works include Bartok’s Romanian Folk Dances and Beethoven’s Creatures of Prometheus Overture

EDUCATION AND COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM

The St. Louis Symphony’s External Affairs Department coordinates the Symphony’s Education, Community Partnership and Youth Orchestra programs. Its mission: To enrich people’s lives

through the power of music by providing many free, live events in intimate community settings. Each year, the St. Louis Symphony shares its talents with thousands of people in our area. This is accomplished in several ways: 

  • Education programs:

–      Symphony in Your School, an intense residency program that includes a school resident musician group and additional visits and lessons from St. Louis Symphony musicians and staff featuring cross-curricular lesson plans.

–      Education and Family Concerts, held four times each season. More than 40,000 children attend these performances at Powell Hall each year.

–      PNC Grow Up Great Early Childhood program, introducing pre-school children to classical music and concepts.

  • Community Partnerships

–      Symphony in Your City, free performances held at venues throughout the city of St. Louis, including Powell Hall.

–      Symphony in Your Neighborhood, free performances at special community venues.

–      Symphony in Your College, providing performances and master classes at colleges and universities in both Missouri and Illinois.

–      SymphonyCares, bringing the power of music to patients in hospitals, retirement communities and assisted living facilities.

–      Symphony Where You Worship, including the St. Louis Symphony church program.  The IN UNISON program provides performances at more than 40 African-American churches throughout the St. Louis area each year. Other Symphony Where You Worship performances take place at synagogues and interfaith events.

  • St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra:

–      Now in its 45th season and led by St. Louis Symphony Resident Conductor/YO Music Director Steven Jarvi, this program trains talented musicians from more than three dozen schools across the St. Louis area.

–      Offers student musicians an expanded curriculum including Beyond Rehearsal, a series of workshops, talks and exercises designed to help cultivate “the whole musician,” including one-on-one interactions with STL Symphony musicians and staff.

–      The orchestra’s three performances at Powell Hall during the 2014-2015 season are free with a $1 processing fee per ticket.

To learn more about the Education and Community Partnership programs of the St. Louis Symphony, visit slso.org/en/com

 

 *Founded in 1880 and approaching its 135th 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.