Stéphane Denève and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra share additional details for the 2019/2020 season, Denève's first as Music Director

    • Stéphane Denève begins his tenure as the 13th Music Director of the 140-year-old St. Louis Symphony Orchestra with a free concert for thousands at Forest Park's iconic Art Hill.
    • The season includes three world premieres of SLSO-commissioned works by Aaron Jay Kernis, Kevin Puts, and a group of ten composers of today; the U.S. premiere of the orchestral version of Guillaume Connesson's A Kind of Trane; 16 works by composers of today including John Adams, Lera Auerbach, William Bolcom, Anna Clyne, Guillaume Connesson, Sofia Gubaidulina, Jennifer Higdon, Pierre Jalbert, Aaron Jay Kernis, Arvo Pärt, Kevin Puts, Outi Tarkiainen, and John Williams, plus a work that includes contributions from composers Claude Baker, William Bolcom, Guillaume Connesson, John Corigliano, Truman Harris, Cindy McTee, Joseph Schwantner, Daniel Slatkin, Leonard Slatkin, and Joan Tower; 19 works that are SLSO premieres; and numerous works that have been given rare performance by the SLSO.
    • The SLSO's recently announced 19/20 Live at the Pulitzer series immerses audiences at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation in multimedia solo and chamber ensemble performances, including two world premieres by Susan Philipsz and Christopher Stark, as well as works by John Luther Adams, Christopher Cerrone, Phyllis Chen, Danny Clay, Brett Dean, Yotam Haber, Carolina Heredia, David Lang, Missy Mazzoli, Annika Socolofsky, and LJ White.
    • Denève's close collaborator and celebrated pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet joins the SLSO as the Jean-Paul and Isabelle Montupet Artist-in-Residence, performing works by Ravel, Liszt, and Connesson with the orchestra, plus an evening of chamber music at Washington University in St. Louis featuring Thibaudet and SLSO musicians.
    • Imagining new concert formats, Denève will lead the SLSO in its first symphonic play, Maurice Ravel: A Musical Journey by director and playwright Didi Balle, featuring Artist-in-Residence Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and in two new casual symphonic experiences: SLSO Crafted Concerts.
    • Inspired by Denève's desire to create an all-encompassing sense of welcome to the SLSO family for the entire St. Louis community, the SLSO introduces a series of initiatives to make extraordinary music accessible to everyone and to improve audience experience at SLSO events.
    • Additional season highlights include works from the ballet repertoire including Tchaikovsky's The Sleeping Beauty Suite, Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, and the SLSO premiere of Poulenc's Les biches Suite led by the new Music Director; Denève will also lead a cast of renowned vocal soloists in a production of Berlioz's The Damnation of Faust; SLSO Conductor Laureate Leonard Slatkin leads the premiere of a co-commissioned piece including contributions from ten total composers of today to honor his 75th birthday; Resident Conductor Gemma New conducts a program with works by Prokofiev, Vaughan Williams, and Arvo Pärt.
    • Live radio broadcasts of all Saturday Classical concerts on St. Louis Public Radio continue for a tenth season. Night at the Symphony on the Nine Network continues for its fifth season.

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For a chronological listing of SLSO concerts, click here.

(September 4, 2019, St. Louis, MO) – Today, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Stéphane Denève announced additional details for the Orchestra's 2019/2020 season, a new era in the orchestra's 140-year history, and Denève's first as Music Director. The 19/20 season runs from September 2019 through May 2020.

Stéphane Denève, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Music Director, said, "I fell in love with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra back in 2003 when I first conducted this superb orchestra in its beautiful home. After all these years of our partnership, I am still quite taken by the unique musical spirit of this wondrous institution. The talent and refinement of its musicians, and their true friendliness and open-mindedness, have always struck me as providing exceptional opportunities for profound music-making. I am overjoyed to begin my tenure as Music Director – to collaborate with this exceptional orchestra, to serve its remarkable community, and to ensure our music is even more accessible to all. For this first season of our 'marriage,' I was given the freedom to dream and I am passionate about every single week. I dedicate this season to a Franco-American arch, honoring St. Louis's strong and abiding connections to France and exploring our shared vibrant, sensual aesthetic – the pleasures of sound and color. Throughout the season, we will explore connections between classic repertoire and music of our time, between familiar guest artists and incredible new talent, and between Powell Hall and the vibrant St. Louis community. Many dear friends will join us next season, including my longtime collaborator Jean-Yves Thibaudet as our Artist-in-Residence. We also will continue to perform pieces recommended by our musicians, sharing these musical gifts from our family to yours."

Marie-Hélène Bernard, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra President and CEO, said, "Stéphane Denève is a remarkable musician and collaborator, and the chemistry between him and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra is palpable. With the start of Stéphane's tenure as Music Director, we are thrilled to create a space for their partnership to grow and thrive. This season is a reflection of Stéphane's boundless energy and excitement. He is building on the SLSO's storied history, embracing beloved traditions and also incorporating new ideas. His commitment to enhancing our artistic, educational, community, and media outreach truly aligns with the SLSO's strategic initiatives to embrace existing and new audiences. Stéphane has already established himself as a vital partner to our entire SLSO family. This is truly a historic moment for our community – and a defining one as we look toward our future together. Welcome, Stéphane!"

For his inaugural season as SLSO Music Director, Denève focused on the connection between French and American musical cultures. His classical programs also feature a wide range of repertoire including works by Beethoven, Brahms, Liszt, Mozart, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, and Wagner. Works by French composers Berlioz, Guillaume Connesson, Debussy, Poulenc, Ravel, Roussel, and Saint-Saëns complement repertoire throughout the season by American composers John Adams, Barber, Bernstein, William Bolcom, Gershwin, Jennifer Higdon, Pierre Jalbert, and John Williams.

Another narrative thread Denève develops throughout the season features the music of several well-known ballets, as well as pieces inspired by dance and movement, including Tchaikovsky's holiday favorite The Nutcracker (November 29-30 and December 1, 2019), Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances (October 18-20, 2019), Tchaikovsky's The Sleeping Beauty Suite (January 31 and February 1, 2020), Ravel's Bolero (March 6-7, 2020), Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring (May 8-9, 2020), plus the SLSO premiere of Poulenc's Les biches Suite (October 18-20, 2019), John Adams' Short Ride in a Fast Machine (March 6-7, 2020) and Honegger's Pacific 231 (March 6-7, 2020).

The SLSO performs three world premieres during the 19/20 season: one, titled Virelai (after Guillaume de Machaut), by Pulitzer Prize winner Kevin Puts to commemorate Denève's inaugural concerts as Music Director on September 21-22, 2019, and Venit Illuminatio (Toward the Illumination of Colored Light), a work by Pulitzer Prize winner Aaron Jay Kernis on November 15-16, 2019. The SLSO also gives the premiere of a SLSO co-commission honoring Conductor Laureate Leonard Slatkin's 75th birthday – a piece in which five orchestras close to Slatkin each commissioned a composer to write a variation on Paganini's Caprice No. 24. The SLSO partnered with John Corigliano to compose a variation. Other composers contributing new variations include Guillaume Connesson, Truman Harris, Cindy McTee, and Daniel Slatkin. The new variations will be added to previously composed variations premiered in commemoration of Slatkin's final concert as SLSO Music Director on May 19, 1996. The original variations were composed by Claude Baker, William Bolcom, Donald Erb, Joseph Schwantner, Joan Tower, and Slatkin himself. In addition, the SLSO gives the U.S. premiere of the orchestral version of Guillaume Connesson's A Kind of Trane featuring saxophonist Timothy McAllister, who collaborated with the SLSO on the Grammy Award-winning recordings of John Adams' Saxophone Concerto and City Noir. The SLSO also gives the St. Louis premiere of a co-commissioned work: Kevin Puts' Silent Night Elegy, commissioned alongside the San Francisco Symphony and the Indianapolis Symphony. In total, 19 pieces will make their St. Louis premieres in the 19/20 season.

Building on a programming initiative that was first explored during his Music Director Designate year (18/19 season), Denève continued the idea of incorporating repertoire suggested by SLSO musicians in the 19/20 season, with 10 programmed works requested by members of the SLSO family.

Denève will lead the SLSO for 12 weeks total throughout the season, including 11 classical subscription programs, a Live at Powell Hall program, and the SLSO's annual BMO Wealth Management New Year's Eve Celebration concert. His tenure as Music Director begins with the festive Forest Park concert for the St. Louis community on September 12, 2019, featuring members of the St. Louis Symphony Chorus, St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, and St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON Chorus, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in the 18/19 season. Over the past 50 years, the SLSO has performed 32 free community concerts in Forest Park, entertaining hundreds of thousands of St. Louisans on Art Hill. In 2004, this special event became an annual tradition, thanks to the generosity of longtime SLSO supporter Mary Ann Lee, and serves as the unofficial start of the orchestra's season. In addition to the IN UNISON Chorus, Denève – who is committed to working with all SLSO performing ensembles – will lead the St. Louis Symphony Chorus in three programs and the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra in a portion of one of its concerts during his first year as Music Director. He also leads the SLSO in the opening Live at Powell Hall program: the Music of John Williams on September 13-15, 2019. Denève will take the podium for the SLSO's annual BMO Wealth Management New Year's Eve Celebration on December 31, 2019. In addition to his work on stage, Denève is committed to advancing the SLSO's deep relationships and service to the St. Louis region. During his first season as Music Director, he plans to experience, and participate in, the SLSO's rich and varied education and community engagement efforts.

Denève's opening program on September 21-22, 2019, represents his musical "marriage" to the SLSO following his "engagement" season and is programmed around the well-known wedding saying, "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue." His opening concert begins with the world premiere of Virelai by Kevin Puts, and features Jennifer Higdon's blue cathedral, Debussy's La Mer, Guillaume Connesson's piano concerto The Shining One featuring the Jean-Paul and Isabelle Montupet Artist-in-Residence Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Ravel's Piano Concerto in G with Thibaudet, and closes with Gershwin's An American in Paris. Denève concludes the season on May 8-9, 2020, with Stravinsky's landmark work, The Rite of Spring, plus the SLSO premieres of Pierre Jalbert's Music of Air and Fire and Guillaume Connesson's Cello Concerto with the SLSO debut of internationally-renowned cellist Gautier Capuçon.

Denève is committed to nurturing meaningful artistic relationships between the SLSO and the world's greatest artists and will regularly create substantive projects to realize these collaborations. For the 19/20 season, celebrated pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet has been named Artist-in-Residence, made possible with the generous support of Jean-Paul and Isabelle Montupet. He will perform on four classical programs: Ravel's Piano Concerto in G and Guillaume Connesson's The Shining One (September 21-22, 2019), Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 2 (January 18-19, 2020), a selection of works in the symphonic play Maurice Ravel: A Musical Journey (May 1, 2020), and Ravel's Piano Concerto for the Left Hand (May 2-3, 2020). SLSO musicians, in collaboration with Thibaudet, will present a night of chamber music on January 17, 2020, as part of Washington University in St. Louis' Great Artists Series.

Conductor Laureate Leonard Slatkin conducts a program on October 12-13, 2019, that includes the premiere of a revised theme-and-variation piece with new contributions from five composers to honor his 75th birthday. Additional works on Slatkin's program include Mozart's Oboe Concerto with SLSO Principal Oboe Jelena Dirks in her first major SLSO concerto appearance and Richard Strauss' Ein Heldenleben (A Hero's Life). SLSO Resident Conductor Gemma New will lead the orchestra in a program that includes Vaughan Williams' Dona Nobis Pacem featuring the St. Louis Symphony Chorus, Prokofiev's Symphony No. 5, and the St. Louis premiere of Arvo Pärt's Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten on April 17-18, 2020.

The 19/20 Classical season is sponsored by the Steward Family Foundation and World Wide Technology. The classical season's Pre-Concert Conversations are sponsored by Washington University Physicians and, in recognition of an extraordinary gift from Emerson, the SLSO has named the stage the Emerson Concert Stage at Powell Hall.



Inspired by Denève's desire to welcome the St. Louis community to join the SLSO family, the SLSO introduces a series of initiatives to make extraordinary music accessible to everyone and to improve audience experience at SLSO events. Whether joining the SLSO for the first time or a returning regular, the SLSO will offer pricing and opportunities to make it easy to share in the power of music. Acting on Denève's desire to make tickets to SLSO concerts comparable to tickets to see a movie, the SLSO will have a limited quantity of $15 tickets for all classical concerts, with student and children's tickets starting at $10. Throughout the season, partner organizations can take advantage of Stéphane's Seats – an initiative to welcome groups to the SLSO at no cost. Denève and the SLSO also have committed to making all education concerts free of cost to interested schools by the 2020/2021 season, the 100th anniversary of the SLSO's education programs.

Energized by Denève's vision of making a symphonic experience welcoming to all, the SLSO has made significant changes to the audience experience in conjunction with the addition of a Director of Hospitality and Audience Experience, including menu upgrades with more locally-sourced options, the launch of SLSO "Keep Cups" – commemorative drink containers allowed in every SLSO concert, improved signage in Powell Hall, "selfie spots", and enhanced customer service training for SLSO staff.

For the first time, the SLSO will present a symphonic play, Maurice Ravel: A Musical Journey in collaboration with director and playwright Didi Balle. The program traces the life of the French composer and pianist through his music, performed by the SLSO and featuring the Jean-Paul and Isabelle Montupet Artist-in-Residence Jean-Yves Thibaudet. Selections of Ravel's work in this program include Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 2, selections from Mother Goose Suite, and Le Tombeau de Couperin. The performance is scheduled for May 1, 2020.

The SLSO introduces two innovative concert experiences to its established mix of offerings – SLSO Crafted concerts. In these concerts, played in addition to the regular subscription concert, the SLSO will present one hour of music without intermission at Powell Hall in a casual atmosphere. The events will be an immersive experience, with food and drinks, open seating, and inclusive packaging options with concerts at different times than a typical Friday evening concert. The programs pair a work of today with an orchestral mainstay.

The November 15, 2019, concert features the world premiere of Venit Illuminatio by Aaron Jay Kernis and Brahms' Symphony No. 4. This happy hour concert, beginning at 6:30pm, features craft beer tastings with 4 Hands Brewery and small bites by Brennan's Work and Leisure. Doors open at 5:00pm.

The May 8, 2020, concert includes Pierre Jalbert's Music of Air and Fire and Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring. This late-night concert, beginning at 9:00pm, will feature custom cocktails. Additional details about these new experiences, including ticket information, will be available at


The 19/20 season includes the SLSO premieres of 19 different works. Fifteen of those works are by 12 composers of today, with an additional work by multiple living composers. Music Director Stéphane Denève remains committed to discovering and performing works by living artists that will enter and become mainstays of the orchestral repertoire.

World Premieres
· Kevin PUTS Virelai (after Guillaume de Machaut)* (September 21-22, 2019)
· Aaron Jay KERNIS Venit Illuminatio* (November 15-16, 2019)

U.S. Premiere
· Guillaume CONNESSON A Kind of Trane (March 6-7, 2020) (Orchestral version)

SLSO Premieres
· Jennifer HIGDON blue cathedral (September 21-22, 2019)
· Guillaume CONNESSON The Shining One (September 21-22, 2019)
· VARIOUS Yet Another Set of Variations (on a Theme of Paganini)** (October 12-13, 2019)
Variations by Claude Baker, William Bolcom, Guillaume Connesson, John Corigliano, Donald Erb, Truman Harris, Cindy McTee, Joseph Schwantner, Daniel Slatkin, Leonard Slatkin, and Joan Tower
· MOZART Oboe Concerto, K. 314 (October 12-13, 2019)
· POULENC Les biches Suite (October 18-20, 2019)
· HANDEL Sonata à 5, HWV 288 (December 6-8, 2019)
· Anna CLYNE This Midnight Hour (January 18-19, 2020)
· Kevin PUTS Silent Night Elegy*** (February 7-9, 2020)
· Sofia GUBAIDULINA Offertorium (February 15-16, 2020)
· John ADAMS Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes? (March 27-28, 2020)
· Outi TARKIAINEN Midnight Sun Variations (April 3-5, 2020)
· Arvo PÄRT Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten (April 17-18, 2020)
· William BOLCOM Violin Concerto (April 24-26, 2020)
· Lera AUERBACH Icarus (May 2-3, 2020)
· Pierre JALBERT Music of Air and Fire (May 8-9, 2020)
· Guillaume CONNESSON Cello Concerto (May 8-9, 2020)

*SLSO commission
**SLSO co-commission with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National de Lyon, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and Nashville Symphony Orchestra.
***SLSO co-commission with the San Francisco Symphony and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.


The SLSO welcomes the following musicians making their classical season debuts with the orchestra during the 19/20 season:

· Masaaki Suzuki (November 9-10, 2019)
· Marcelo Lehninger (November 22-23, 2019)
· Andrew Grams (November 29-December 1, 2019)
· Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider (January 31-February 1, 2020)
· Rafael Payare (February 15-16, 2020)

Director & Harpsichord
· Richard Egarr (December 6-8, 2019)

· Joyce Yang (October 4-5, 2019)
· Saleem Ashkar (January 31-February 1, 2020)
· Seong-Jin Cho (February 29-March 1, 2020)

· Jennifer Pike (April 3-5, 2020)

· Gautier Capuҫon (May 8-9, 2020)

· Joanne Lunn (November 9-10, 2019)
· Zachary Wilder (November 9-10, 2019)
· Dashon Burton (November 9-10, 2019)
· Ellie Dehn (February 7-9, 2020)
· Jennifer Johnson Cano (February 7-9, 2020)
· Issachah Savage (February 7-9, 2020)
· Davóne Tines (February 7-9, 2020)
· Michael Spyres (March 13-14, 2020)
· Anthony Clark Evans (March 13-14, 2020)
· Edward Nelson (April 17-18, 2020)


The SLSO welcomes the following musicians returning for engagements with the orchestra during the 19/20 season:

· Edo de Waart (October 4-5, 2019)
· Leonard Slatkin* (October 12-13, 2019)
· Nicholas McGegan (February 29-March 1, 2020)
· John Adams (March 27-28, 2020)
· John Storgårds (April 3-5, 2020)
· Gemma New** (April 17-18, 2020)
· Cristian Măcelaru (April 24-26, 2020)

· Jean-Yves Thibaudet (September 21-22, 2019, January 17-19, 2020, and May 1-3, 2020)
· Simon Trpčeski (November 22-23, 2019)
· Jeremy Denk (March 27-28, 2020)

· Karen Gomyo (October 18-20, 2019)
· James Ehnes (November 2-3, 2019)
· Gil Shaham (November 15-16, 2019)
· Baiba Skride (February 15-16, 2020)

· Timothy McAllister (March 6-7, 2020)

· Kelley O'Connor (September 27-28, 2019)
· Joélle Harvey (September 27-28, 2019)
· Carolyn Sampson (November 9-10, 2019)
· Isabel Leonard (March 13-14, 2020)
· John Relyea (March 13-14, 2020)

SLSO musicians
· Jelena Dirks, oboe (October 12-13, 2019)
· Kristin Ahlstrom, violin (December 6-8, 2019)
· Andrea Kaplan, flute (December 6-8, 2019)
· Angie Smart, violin (December 6-8, 2019)
· David Halen, violin (April 24-26, 2020)

*SLSO Conductor Laureate
**SLSO Resident Conductor


Denève is committed to working with all performing ensembles of the SLSO family, including exciting collaborations with the St. Louis Symphony Chorus. The Chorus takes the stage on five programs, singing some of the great choral works in the repertoire: Mozart's Mass in C Minor (November 9-10, 2019), Vaughan Williams' Dona Nobis Pacem (April 17-18, 2020), and Berlioz's The Damnation of Faust (March 13-14, 2020) with an all-star cast of soloists including Isabel Leonard in her role debut as Marguerite, John Relyea as Méphistophélès, and the SLSO debuts of Michael Spyres as Faust and Anthony Clark Evans as Brander. Additional collaborations with the Chorus include Mahler's Symphony No. 2, "Resurrection" (September 27-28, 2019) and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 (February 7-9, 2020).


Now in its 15th season, the SLSO's Live at the Pulitzer series continues its deep exploration of solo and chamber music from the 20th and 21st centuries. Curated in partnership with SLSO Creative Partner Tim Munro, these concerts take place at the Tadao Ando-designed Pulitzer Arts Foundation building. This innovative and engaging four-program experience explores themes related to nature, powerlessness, place, and childhood, and includes two world premieres: the live version of Susan Philipsz's soundscape Study for Strings, which complements her own exhibit on display at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation at the January 28-29, 2020, concerts and Christopher Stark's 2nd Nature – a work for solo violin, electronics, and video on March 24, 2020. Each program is curated to complement exhibits on display at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation. For more information about the 19/20 SLSO Live at the Pulitzer series, visit


The St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, under the direction of SLSO Resident Conductor Gemma New, celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2020. Founded in 1970 by SLSO Conductor Laureate Leonard Slatkin, the Youth Orchestra has had a significant impact on the region's young musicians. The Youth Orchestra will present three concerts during the 19/20 season, with SLSO Music Director Stéphane Denève serving as guest conductor on part of the March 15, 2020, concert. Concerts are scheduled for November 17, 2019, March 15, 2020, and May 31, 2020, each at 3:00pm. The final program of the season will be recorded by NPR's popular program, From the Top – which showcases the country's most talented young musicians. The program will air during the week of September 7, 2020. Additional highlights of this milestone season include an alumni play-in event and side-by-side rehearsal with SLSO musicians. Program details will be announced at a later date. For more information, visit


The 19/20 Season also begins with the SLSO's Gala Celebration (September 20, 2019) to celebrate the start of Denève's tenure as Music Director. The special event, hosted at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, will feature a special jazz performance by trumpeter Byron Stripling, his quartet, and members of the SLSO, inspired by the "Hot Club of France." A nightcap party, also hosted at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, will bring dancers to their feet with music from a live big band led by Stripling.

To purchase tickets for the Gala or Gala Nightcap, visit


Each year, the SLSO welcomes more than 40,000 guests to concerts between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve. The SLSO continues its holiday traditions with a wide array of seasonal performances that bring the holiday spirit to life:

· Powell Hall will be filled with enchantment for the Mercy Holiday Celebration concerts. The Holiday Festival Chorus, made up of area high school students and led by St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON Chorus Director Kevin McBeth, will join the SLSO for six festive performances featuring timeless classics, carols, familiar favorites, and a visit from Santa Claus. Presented by Mercy (December 13-15, 2019).

• Led by IN UNISON Chorus Director Kevin McBeth, the SLSO and the St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON Chorus present its popular annual concert, A Gospel Christmas. This year, the chorus will be joined by Kennedy Holmes, St. Louis-area native who placed fourth on NBC's hit show The Voice in 2018. This concert is supported by Bayer Fund (December 18-19, 2019).

· Stéphane Denève will help St. Louis ring in the New Year with the annual BMO Wealth Management New Year's Eve Celebration Concert. The program is an enchanting evening full of magical music and unforgettable surprises (December 31, 2019).

· IN UNISON Chorus Director Kevin McBeth will lead the SLSO and the IN UNISON Chorus in its annual concert, Lift Every Voice, celebrating African-American culture and music with a soulful celebration of song. The chorus, among the first symphony choruses to specialize in music of African and African-American origin, celebrated its 25th anniversary in the 18/19 season. This concert is supported by Bayer Fund (February 21, 2020).


The SLSO celebrates 10 years of Live at Powell Hall beginning with the Music of John Williams (September 13-15, 2019), led by Stéphane Denève. Denève and the SLSO bring Williams' memorable film themes to the stage, with two unpublished pieces borrowed from Williams' personal library for the performance. The 10th year of Live At Powell Hall brings beloved film classics to Powell Hall, with scores performed live by the SLSO, including: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (October 25-27, 2019), Home Alone (December 20-21, 2019), Beauty and the Beast (1991) (December 27-28, 2019), Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (January 23-26, 2020), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (March 20-22, 2020), and Raiders of the Lost Ark (May 16-17, 2020). Innovative artist Ben Folds return for a double billing with the SLSO (February 13-14, 2020) and the SLSO pays tribute to the Queen of Soul with its Tribute to Aretha Franklin (October 11, 2019). Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra perform big band holiday hits on December 4, 2019. For more information about 19/20 Live at Powell Hall concerts, visit .


The SLSO performs three innovative and interactive Family and Education Concerts during the 19/20 season, each designed to engage and capture the imagination of younger listeners. SLSO Resident Conductor Gemma New leads this season's concerts, including Music Without Boundaries (October 6, 2019), presented in partnership with The Magic House; Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf (February 23, 2020); and World of Water (April 19, 2020), presented in partnership with the St. Louis Aquarium and Union Station. For more information about the Family Concert series, visit


The SLSO presents a handful of free community concerts throughout the season as musical gifts to the St. Louis region. SLSO musicians team up with area music educators to perform works by Smetana, Ravel, Borodin, and Shostakovich in EXTRA CREDIT On Stage at Powell Hall (October 4, 2019). The SLSO celebrates the contributions of female composers in the annual Equal Play chamber music concert to commemorate Women's History Month in March. And on April 26, 2020, the IN UNISON Chorus will perform its free community concert in an IN UNISON partner church. For more information about free SLSO concerts and events, visit


The 19/20 season marks a milestone year for the SLSO's partnerships with two leading public media outlets – St. Louis Public Radio, 90.7-KWMU and the Nine Network of Public Media. St. Louis Public Radio broadcasts and live streams the entire SLSO Saturday night Classical series for a 10th year, with broadcasts resuming in September 2019. The Nine Network features SLSO performances on its Night at the Symphony program, now in its fifth season and airing the first Sunday of each month at 5:00pm.

About Stéphane Denève, SLSO Music Director
Stéphane Denève is Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and the Brussels Philharmonic, Principal Guest Conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra, and Director of the Centre for Future Orchestral Repertoire (CffOR). He has previously served as Chief Conductor of Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra (SWR) and 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 music of the 21st century.

Recent engagements include appearances with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Vienna Symphony, DSO Berlin, NHK Symphony, Munich Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, Czech Philharmonic, and Rotterdam Philharmonic. In North America he made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2012 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, with whom he has appeared several times both in Boston and at Tanglewood, and he regularly conducts The Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony and Toronto Symphony. He is also a popular guest at many of the US summer music festivals, including Bravo! Vail, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Hollywood Bowl, Blossom Music Festival, Festival Napa Valley, Grand Teton Music Festival, and Music Academy of the West.

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 Augustin Hadelich.

In the field of opera, Stéphane Denève led a new production of Pelléas et Mélisande with the Netherlands Opera at the 2019 Holland Festival. Elsewhere, he has led productions at the Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne Festival, La Scala, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Saito Kinen Festival, Gran Teatro de Liceu, 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 include a live recording of Honegger's Jeanne d'arc au bûcher with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and two discs of the works of Guillaume Connesson with the Brussels Philharmonic (the first of which was awarded the Diapason d'Or de l'année, Caecilia Award, and Classica Magazine's CHOC of the Year).

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, and has worked regularly with young people in programmes such as those of the Tanglewood Music Center, New World Symphony, the Colburn School, the European Union Youth Orchestra, and the Music Academy of the West.
For further information, please visit

About the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
Celebrated as one of today's most exciting and enduring orchestras, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra is the second-oldest orchestra in the country, marking its 140th year with the 2019/2020 season and its first with Music Director Stéphane Denève. Widely considered one of the world's finest orchestras, the SLSO maintains its commitment to artistic excellence, educational impact, and community connections – all in service to its mission of enriching lives through the power of music.

In addition to its regular concert performances at Powell Hall, which has been the permanent home of the SLSO for more than 50 years, the orchestra is an integral part of the diverse and vibrant St. Louis community, presenting dozens of free education and community programs and performances throughout the region each year. It has an ongoing commitment to championing music of our time, through commissions, a collaboration with the Mizzou New Music Initiative, and its popular St. Louis Symphony Live at the Pulitzer series. The SLSO also serves as the resident orchestra for Opera Theatre Saint Louis, with the upcoming season marking the 43rd year of this unique partnership.

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, acclaimed recordings, and regular touring activity. A sought-after artistic partner by preeminent musicians and composers from across the globe, as well as by local and national organizations, the SLSO enjoys a long history of robust and enduring artistic collaborations that have developed and deepened over the years.

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. For more information, visit

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