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ST. LOUIS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA ANNOUNCES 2018/2019 SEASON


MUSIC DIRECTOR DESIGNATE ST
ÉPHANE DENÈVE LEADS FOUR WEEKS

 

Season highlights include:

  • Music Director Designate Stéphane Denève conducts four weeks at Powell Hall, with a wide range of repertoire including works by Berlioz, Brahms, Lieberson, Mozart, Prokofiev, Ravel, Scriabin, Vaughan Williams, Wagner, and the SLSO premiere of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Nyx.
  • Resident Conductor Gemma New leads the season-opening concert, including the SLSO premiere of Aaron Jay Kernis’ Musica celestis, along with Sibelius’ Finlandia and Elgar’s Enigma Variations.She leads a second concert including the SLSO premiere of Thomas Adès’ Three Studies from Couperin.
  • Marking the 50th anniversary of his SLSO debut, Conductor Laureate Leonard Slatkin leads two weeks of concerts, including a program of Leonard Bernstein’s “Kaddish” Symphony (the SLSO’s first performance of the work in more than 50 years), Rachmaninoff’s First Piano Concerto, and the SLSO premiere of Loren Loiacono’s Smothered by Sky. His second program features Barber’s Symphony No. 1 (which Slatkin toured and recorded with the SLSO), Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony, and the world premiere of an SLSO-commissioned work by Emmy Award-winning composer Jeff Beal, known for his music from the Netflix series House of Cards.
  • Conductors Karina Canellakis, Michael Francis, Gustavo Gimeno, Jakub Hrůša, and Matthias Pintscher make their SLSO debuts; returning guest conductors include Matthew Halls, Hannu Lintu, Jun Märkl, Cristian Măcelaru, Nicholas McGegan, Peter Oundjian, Nathalie Stutzmann, John Storgårds, Bramwell Tovey, and Gilbert Varga.
  • World premieres of two SLSO-commissioned works, Christopher Rouse’s Bassoon Concerto and a composition by Jeff Beal, along with a U.S. premiere by Lotta Wennäkoski, punctuate a season that introduces nine other works to the SLSO repertoire and revisits numerous works that have been given rare performance by the SLSO.
  • Artists making their SLSO debuts include pianists Behzod Abduraimov and Javier Perianes; cellist Daniel Müller-Schott; and vocalists William Berger, Sasha Cooke, Hila Plitmann, Yulia Van Doren, Rinat Shaham, Siobhan Stagg, Krisztina Szabó, Robin Tritschler, and Douglas Williams.
  • Returning artists include pianists Yefim Bronfman, Kirill Gerstein, Ingrid Fliter, Olga Kern, Elizabeth Joy Roe, and Lars Vogt; violinists Joshua Bell, Renaud Capuçon, Karen Gomyo, Leila Josefowicz, and Anthony Marwood; and vocalists Karina Gauvin, Kelley O’Connor, Stephen Powell, and Nicholas Phan.
  • SLSO musicians who will take the stage as soloists include Celeste Golden Boyer, Melissa Brooks, Beth Guterman Chu, Andrew Cuneo, David Halen, Allegra Lilly, and Mark Sparks.
  • Live radio broadcasts of all Saturday subscription concerts on St. Louis Public Radio continue for a ninth season. Night at the Symphony on the Nine Network continues for its fourth season.

St. Louis, January 30, 2018 – Today, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Stéphane Denève, who serves as SLSO Music Director Designate for the 2018/2019 season, announced programming for the Orchestra’s upcoming 139th season. With the 19/20 season, Stéphane Denève will become SLSO Music Director. Denève succeeds David Robertson, whose distinguished 13-year tenure concludes at the end of the current season, during which his extraordinary contributions are being celebrated. The 18/19 Classical Season runs from September 22, 2018, through May 12, 2019.

 

Highlights of the 18/19 season include Music Director Designate Stéphane Denève leading the SLSO at Powell Hall in four programs featuring a wide range of repertoire including works by Berlioz, Brahms, Lieberson, Mozart, Prokofiev, Ravel, Scriabin, Vaughan Williams, Wagner, and the SLSO premiere of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Nyx. Resident Conductor Gemma New, who joined the SLSO conducting staff in 2016, leads the 18/19 season-opening subscription concert in a program including the SLSO premiere of Aaron Jay Kernis’ Musica celestis, along with Sibelius’ Finlandia and Elgar’s Enigma Variations.She also leads a second subscription concert including the SLSO premiere of Thomas Adès’ Three Studies from Couperin. Conductor Laureate Leonard Slatkin leads two weeks of concerts, marking the 50th anniversary of his SLSO debut. His first program features Bernstein’s “Kaddish” Symphony (the SLSO’s first performance of this piece in more than 50 years), Rachmaninoff’s First Piano Concerto, and the SLSO premiere of Loren Loiacono’s Smothered by Sky. His second program includes Barber’s Symphony No. 1 – a piece Slatkin and the SLSO recorded and toured together – Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony, and the world premiere of an SLSO-commissioned work by Emmy Award-winning composer Jeff Beal, whose fifth and most recent Emmy was for his work on House of Cards.

World premieres of two SLSO-commissioned works, Christopher Rouse’s Bassoon Concerto and a work by Jeff Beal, along with a U.S. premiere by Lotta Wennäkoski, punctuate a season that introduces nine other works to the SLSO repertoire and revisits numerous works that have been given rare performance by the SLSO. The 18/19 season also reflects thoughtful insight from SLSO orchestra members and was curated with their input. Highlighted throughout the 18/19 season are works that have been infrequently performed by the Orchestra, works that are new to the Orchestra’s repertoire, as well as some repertoire the SLSO musicians feel is particularly beloved by SLSO audiences. 

The 18/19 season welcomes guest conductors who will make their SLSO debuts, including Karina Canellakis, Michael Francis, Gustavo Gimeno, Jakub Hrůša, and Matthias Pintscher. Returning as guest conductors are esteemed collaborators Matthew Halls, Hannu Lintu, Jun Märkl, Cristian Măcelaru, Nicholas McGegan, Peter Oundjian, Nathalie Stutzmann, John Storgårds, Bramwell Tovey, and Gilbert Varga.

Artists making their SLSO debuts in the 18/19 season include pianists Behzod Abduraimov and Javier Perianes; cellist Daniel Müller-Schott; and vocalists William Berger, Sasha Cooke, Hila Plitmann, Yulia Van Doren, Rinat Shaham, Siobhan Stagg, Krisztina Szabó, Robin Tritschler, and Douglas Williams. The SLSO welcomes the return of pianists Yefim Bronfman, Kirill Gerstein, Ingrid Fliter, Olga Kern, Elizabeth Joy Roe, and Lars Vogt. Violinists who return during the 18/19 season include Joshua Bell, Renaud Capuçon, Karen Gomyo, Anthony Marwood, and frequent collaborator Leila Josefowicz in the SLSO premiere of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Violin Concerto. The SLSO also welcomes returning vocalists Karina Gauvin, Kelley O’Connor, Stephen Powell, and Nicholas Phan.

SLSO musicians performing as soloist alongside their colleagues include Celeste Golden Boyer, Melissa Brooks, Beth Guterman Chu, Andrew Cuneo, David Halen, Allegra Lilly, and Mark Sparks.

Music Director Designate Stéphane Denève said: “I am thrilled to return to the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra! Since my first experience conducting this superb orchestra in 2003, I have regularly enjoyed the unique musical spirit of this wondrous institution. The talent and refinement of its musicians, their true friendliness and open-mindedness have always struck me as providing exceptional opportunities for profound music-making. As I anticipate our official marriage in 19/20, the upcoming SLSO season serves – if you will – as our engagement season. Our time together next season will explore repertoire that is dear to me – from works by Mozart, Brahms, Vaughan Williams, and Scriabin to works that are new to the Orchestra by Lieberson and Esa-Pekka Salonen. In addition to the four weeks I will spend with the SLSO, I applaud Marie-Hélène Bernard’s approach to programming for this transition season and feel it is quite remarkable that she invited the SLSO musicians to offer ideas for repertoire. I’m proud to collaborate with a forward-looking and deeply engaged group of artists and I am intrigued by the rich and varied exploration of works that are both new to the ensemble and to revisit many which have become a core part of this storied orchestra’s repertoire. So many dear friends will share the podium with me next season. I’m particularly pleased to welcome Leonard Slatkin back on the occasion of his 50th year of collaboration with our great orchestra and to celebrate Gemma New in her third year as Resident Conductor.” 

Marie-Hélène Bernard, President and CEO of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra said: “We look forward to exceptional programming for the upcoming season and are deeply appreciative of the many ideas generated by our musicians, as their thoughtful feedback directly influenced our programming for 18/19. We look forward to welcoming Stéphane Denève for four weeks as Music Director Designate next season. Stéphane’s enthusiasm for our orchestra and our community is infectious, and we look forward to watching his already 15-year partnership with the SLSO develop and flourish.”

In addition to Stéphane Denève’s four weeks on the podium, Conductor Laureate Leonard Slatkin will return in late April and early May for two consecutive weeks, marking the 50th anniversary of his debut with the SLSO. Resident Conductor Gemma New will lead the orchestra for two programs in September and April. Former SLSO Resident Conductor Ward Stare will take the podium for the annual BMO Private Bank New Year’s Eve Concert.

The 18/19 Classical Season is sponsored by the Steward Family Foundation and the World Wide Technology Foundation.

 

RESIDENT CONDUCTOR GEMMA NEW OPENS 2018/2019 SEASON

The subscription season will open on September 22 with Resident Conductor of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra Gemma New leading the orchestra in performances of Elgar’s Enigma Variations and the Grieg Piano Concerto with pianist Behzod Abduraimov, who makes his SLSO debut (September 22-23, 2018).

STÉPHANE DENÈVE PERFORMS FOUR WEEKS OF CONCERTS AT POWELL HALL

Stéphane Denève will take the podium for four weeks during the 18/19 season. In June 2017, the SLSO announced the appointment of Stéphane Denève as its next Music Director. Denève, who will serve as the SLSO’s 13th Music Director, has been a frequent guest conductor with the orchestra since 2003.  His initial three-year term as Music Director begins with the 19/20 season. He will serve as Music Director Designate during the 18/19 season (November 10-11, 2018, February 8-10, 2019, February 15-16, 2019, and May 10-12, 2019).

 

PREMIERES & FIRST PERFORMANCES

World Premieres 

Conductor Cristian Măcelaru and SLSO Principal Bassoon Andrew Cuneo will present the world premiere of a SLSO co-commission in the 18/19 season:

  • ROUSE Bassoon Concerto (November 16-17, 2018)

Conductor Laureate Leonard Slatkin and soprano Hila Plitmann will perform the world premiere of a new song cycle by House of Cards composer Jeff Beal, commissioned by the SLSO in honor of Maestro Slatkin’s 50th anniversary with the Orchestra.

  • BEAL New Song Cycle (May 3-4, 2019)

U.S. Premieres

Conductor Hannu Lintu will lead the SLSO in a U.S. premiere in the 18/19 season:

  • WENNÄKOSKI Flounce (September 28-29, 2018)

First Performances

In addition to the world and U.S. premieres, nine works will receive their first-ever performances by the SLSO during the 18/19 season:

  • KERNIS Musica celestis (September 22-23, 2018)
  • SALONEN Violin Concerto (September 28-29, 2018)
  • LIEBERSON Neruda Songs (November 10-11, 2018)
  • R. STRAUSS Symphonic Fantasy from Die Frau ohne Schatten (January 18-19, 2019)
  • SCRIABIN Piano Concerto (February 1-2, 2019)
  • STRAVINSKY Funeral Song (March 9-10, 2019)
  • ADÈS Three Studies from Couperin (April 5-7, 2019)
  • LOIACONO Smothered by Sky (April 27-28, 2019)
  • ESA-PEKKA SALONEN Nyx (May 10-12, 2019)

 

DEBUTS

The SLSO welcomes the following musicians in their subscription debuts with the orchestra during the 18/19 season:

Conductor

  • Gustavo Gimeno (October 12-13, 2018)
  • Michael Francis (November 23-25, 2018)
  • Karina Canellakis (January 18-19, 2019)
  • Matthias Pintscher (February 1-2, 2019) 
  • Jakub Hrůša (March 29-31, 2019)

Piano

  • Behzod Abduraimov (September 22-23, 2018)
  • Javier Perianes (October 12-13, 2018)

Cello

  • Daniel Müller-Schott (March 22-23, 2019)

Vocalists

  • Robin Tritschler (October 27-28, 2018)
  • Yulia Van Doren (October 27-28, 2018)
  • Douglas Williams (October 27-28, 2018)
  • William Berger (December 7-9, 2018)
  • Krisztina Szabó (December 7-9, 2018)
  • Siobhan Stagg (March 9-10, 2019)
  • Sasha Cooke (April 27-28, 2019)
  • Hila Plitmann (May 3-4, 2019)
  • Rinat Shaham (May 10-12, 2019)

 

RETURNING ARTISTS

Conductor

  • Gemma New* (September 22-23, 2018 & April 5-7, 2019)  
  • Hannu Lintu (September 28-29, 2018)
  • Bramwell Tovey (October 5-6, 2018)
  • Jun Märkl (October 19-21, 2018)
  • Nicholas McGegan (October 27-28, 2018)
  • Stéphane Denève** (November 10-11, 2018, February 8-10, 2019, February 15-16, 2019, & May 10-12, 2019)
  • Cristian Măcelaru (November 16-17, 2018)
  • John Storgårds (November 30-December 1, 2018)
  • Matthew Halls (December 7-9, 2018)
  • Peter Oundjian (March 2-3, 2019)
  • Nathalie Stutzmann (March 9-10, 2019)
  • Gilbert Varga (March 22-23, 2019)
  • Leonard Slatkin*** (April 27-28, 2019 and May 3-4, 2019)

Piano

  • Elizabeth Joy Roe (October 19-21, 2018)
  • Ingrid Fliter (November 30-December 1, 2018)
  • Kirill Gerstein (February 1-2, 2019) 
  • Yefim Bronfman (February 15-16, 2019)
  • Lars Vogt (March 2-3, 2019)
  • Olga Kern (April 27-28, 2019)

Violin

  • Leila Josefowicz (September 28-29, 2018)
  • Joshua Bell (November 23-25, 2018)
  • Renaud Capuçon (January 18-19, 2019)
  • Anthony Marwood (March 15-17, 2019)
  • Karen Gomyo (March 29-31, 2019)

Vocalists

  • Kelley O'Connor (November 10-11, 2018)
  • Karina Gauvin (December 7-9, 2018)
  • Nicholas Phan (December 7-9, 2018)
  • Stephen Powell (Mar 9-10, 2019)

SLSO Musicians

  • Beth Guterman Chu (October 5-6, 2018)
  • Celeste Golden Boyer (October 19-21, 2018)
  • Melissa Brooks (October 19-21, 2018)
  • Andrew Cuneo (November 16-17, 2018)
  • David Halen (February 8-10, 2019)
  • Allegra Lilly (April 5-7, 2019)
  • Mark Sparks (April 5-7, 2019)

*Resident Conductor of the SLSO and Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra

**SLSO Music Director Designate during the 18/19 season

*** SLSO Conductor Laureate

 

HOLIDAY AND SPECIAL PROGRAMING

Guaranteed to please families of all ages, the SLSO offers a wide array of seasonal performances that bring the holiday spirit to life:

  • Led by IN UNISON Chorus Director Kevin McBeth, the SLSO and the St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON Chorus celebrate A Gospel Christmas. This concert is supported by Monsanto Fund (December 20, 2018).
  • Powell Hall will be filled with enchantment for the Mercy Holiday Celebration concerts. The Holiday Festival Chorus, led by Kevin McBeth, will join the SLSO for five festive performances featuring timeless classics, carols, familiar favorites, and a visit from St. Nick. Presented by Mercy (December 21-23, 2018).
  • Ring in the New Year with the annual BMO Private Bank New Year’s Eve Concert, led by former SLSO Resident Conductor Ward Stare. The program is an enchanting evening full of magical music and unforgettable surprises. Presented by BMO Private Bank (December 31, 2018).
  • IN UNISON Chorus Director Kevin McBeth will lead the SLSO and the St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON Chorus in its annual concert, Lift Every Voice, celebrating African-American culture and music with a soulful celebration of song. This concert is supported by Monsanto Fund (February 22, 2019).

 

ST. LOUIS SYMPHONY: LIVE AT THE PULITZER

The Pulitzer Arts Foundation and the SLSO continue their ongoing collaborative concert series aimed at exploring contemporary music, art, and architecture. These concerts are hosted in Tadao Ando’s intimate and contemporary setting of the Pulitzer Arts Foundation. Programs and details about events in the 18/19 season will be announced at a future date. https://www.slso.org/pulitzer

 

BROADCAST PARTNERSHIPS

The 18/19 season marks another year of partnerships with two leading public media outlets – The Nine Network of Public Media and St. Louis Public Radio, 90.7-KWMU. St. Louis Public Radio broadcasts and live streams the entire SLSO Saturday night subscription series for a ninth year, with broadcasts resuming in September 2018. The Nine Network features SLSO performances on its Night at the Symphony program, now in its fourth season and airing the first Sunday of each month at 5 p.m.

 

LIVE AT POWELL HALL

A full schedule of 18/19 Live at Powell Hall concerts, featuring popular music programming, light classical favorites, and much more, will be announced in Spring 2018. https://www.slso.org/liveatpowell

 

FAMILY AND EDUCATION CONCERTS

The SLSO performs several innovative and interactive Family and Education Concerts during the 18/19 season, each designed to engage and capture the imagination of younger listeners. Program dates and details will be announced this spring. https://www.slso.org/family  https://www.slso.org/educationconcerts

Stéphane Denève, SLSO Music Director Designate (2018/2019)

In June 2017, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra announced the appointment of Stéphane Denève as its next Music Director. Denève, who will serve as the orchestra’s 13th Music Director, has been a frequent guest conductor with the orchestra since 2003. His initial three-year term as Music Director begins with the 19/20 season. He will serve as Music Director Designate during the 18/19 season.

Denève has appeared seven times as a guest conductor with the SLSO. Repertoire over the years has included works ranging from contemporary French composer Guillaume Connesson to works by Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart, Ravel, Strauss, and Tchaikovsky. His performances with the SLSO have received critical acclaim, and have also included collaborations with soloists from the orchestra including Concertmaster David Halen and Principal Flute Mark Sparks.

Stéphane Denève is currently Music Director of the Brussels Philharmonic, Principal Guest Conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra, and Director of the Centre for Future Orchestral Repertoire (CffOR). From 2011-2016, he served as Chief Conductor of Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra (SWR) and from 2005-2012 as Music Director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

Recognized internationally for the exceptional quality of his performances and programming, he regularly appears at major concert venues with the world’s greatest orchestras and soloists. He has a special affinity for the music of his native France and is a passionate advocate for new music.

Recent engagements include appearances with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Vienna Symphony, Munich Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, Czech Philharmonic, and NHK Symphony. In North America, he made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2012 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, with whom he has been a frequent guest both in Boston and at Tanglewood, and he appears regularly with The Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, and Toronto Symphony.

He enjoys close relationships with many of the world's leading solo artists, including Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Yo-Yo Ma, Nikolaj Znaider, James Ehnes, Leif Ove Andsnes, Leonidas Kavakos, Nicholas Angelich, Lang Lang, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Gil Shaham, Emanuel Ax, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Lars Vogt, Nikolai Lugansky, Paul Lewis, Joshua Bell, Hilary Hahn, and Nathalie Dessay.

In the field of opera, Stéphane Denève has led productions at the Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne Festival, La Scala, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Saito Kinen Festival, Gran Teatro de Liceu, Netherlands Opera, La Monnaie, Deutsche Oper Am Rhein, and at the Opéra National de Paris.

As a recording artist, he has won critical acclaim for his recordings of the works of Poulenc, Debussy, Ravel, Roussel, Franck, and Connesson. He is a triple winner of the Diapason d’Or of the Year, has been shortlisted for Gramophone’s Artist of the Year Award, and has won the prize for symphonic music at the International Classical Music Awards. His most recent releases are a disc of the works of Guillaume Connesson with Brussels Philharmonic (awarded the Diapason d’Or de l’année, Caecilia Award, and Classica Magazine’s CHOC of the Year), and a disc with Lucas and Arthur Jussen and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, both for Deutsche Grammophon.

A graduate and prize-winner of the Paris Conservatoire, Stéphane Denève worked closely in his early career with Sir Georg Solti, Georges Prêtre, and Seiji Ozawa. A gifted communicator and educator, he is committed to inspiring the next generation of musicians and listeners. He has worked regularly with young people in programs at the Tanglewood Music Center and New World Symphony.

For further information, please visit www.stephanedeneve.com.

St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

Celebrated as one of the most exciting and enduring orchestras, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra is the second-oldest orchestra in the country and widely considered one of the world’s finest. Now in its 138th season, the orchestra is committed to artistic excellence, educational impact, and community connection – all in service to its mission of enriching people’s lives through the power of music.

In addition to its regular concert performances at Powell Hall, which marks its 50th anniversary as home of the SLSO in 2018, the orchestra is an integral part of the diverse and vibrant St. Louis community, presenting hundreds of free education programs and performances throughout the region each year. The Grammy Award–winning SLSO’s impact beyond the St. Louis region is realized through weekly Saturday night concert broadcasts on St. Louis Public Radio, celebrated recordings, and regular touring activity.

American conductor David Robertson is the 12th Music Director in the orchestra’s history. During his 13-year tenure, he has solidified the SLSO’s standing as one of the nation’s most vital and innovative ensembles.  The current SLSO season honors the legacy of Music Director David Robertson, whose remarkable tenure will conclude in May.

Today, the SLSO builds on the institution’s current momentum on all fronts, including artistic, financial, audience growth, and community impact, and looks toward the future with Stéphane Denève.  Denève, who has been a frequent guest conductor with the orchestra since 2003, begins his tenure as Music Director with the 19/20 season, following the 18/19 season as Music Director Designate.