St. Louis Symphony Orchestra connects cultures through education concerts featuring music from around the world, February 2019

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(January 18, 2019, St. Louis, MO) – The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra will connect elementary school students with cultures from around the world in four Music Without Boundaries education concerts on Wednesday and Thursday, February 20-21, 2019. These 45-minute concerts are presented at Powell Hall during the school day and will reach more than 8,000 children. The Music Without Boundaries concert program is designed to take students on a musical journey illustrating the influence of music from international cultures including the Balkans, China, France, and West Africa.

The Music Without Boundaries education concerts are an extension of the SLSO's Music Without Boundaries program, which provides free admission and transportation for immigrants to SLSO performances throughout the year. The program also presents unique fellowship opportunities between St. Louis' immigrant population and SLSO musicians. SLSO musicians perform more than 100 education programs and concerts both at Powell Hall and in schools throughout the St. Louis region, reaching more than 50,000 students, teachers, and families annually.

Marie-Hélène Bernard, President and CEO of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, said: "Music is such a powerful connecting force which is why the SLSO launched Music Without Boundaries in 2004 as a community initiative to welcome the newest Americans in St. Louis. We are excited to extend the Music Without Boundaries concept to our Education concerts as a way to help students learn about and appreciate the music of the richly diverse cultures that continue to shape our region."

Maureen Byrne, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Senior Director of Education and Community Partnerships, said: "St. Louis is home to the largest Bosnian community outside of Bosnia, and many of our neighbors are from this community. A traditional Sevdah piece from Bosnia will be included on this concert, and we are thrilled that our friend and accordionist Amir Salesevic, himself originally from Bosnia, will join the SLSO on stage to perform this piece."

Salesevic will perform the accordion on Uzmite moj život (Hold My Life) with the SLSO in the traditional Sevdah style of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The University of Missouri St. Louis Percussion Ensemble joins the SLSO in performing Saran Kenyi, a traditional Malinke song from West Africa.

The SLSO has developed concert curriculum for educators to use in the classroom based on the repertoire performed in the concert. Concert curriculum aligns with the Missouri and Illinois learning standards for music, social studies, and English/Language Arts.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019, 9:30am
Wednesday, February 20, 2019, 11:00am
Thursday, February 21, 2019, 9:30am
Thursday, February 21, 2019, 11:00am
Powell Hall, 718 N. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, MO

Norman Huynh, conductor
Amir Salesevic, accordion
Matthew Henry and the University of Missouri St. Louis Percussion Ensemble

JOPLIN Maple Leaf Rag
COPLAND Variations on a Shaker Melody
arr. Chris WOEHR Uzmite moj život (Hold My Life)
Traditional fanga alafia
arr. Adam MANESS Saran Kenyi
FAURÈ Pavane, op. 50
Huang RUO "Flower Drum Song" from Feng Yang
Arturo MARQUEZ Danzón No. 2 for Orchestra

These concerts are sold out. Media outlets may contact Eric Dundon at or 314-286-4134 for more information about covering the concerts.

A St. Louis Symphony Orchestra tradition for nearly 100 years, SLSO Education Concerts offer an introduction to live music to more than 20,000 students each year. Through its education programs, the SLSO engages more than 50,000 students, teachers, and families from pre-K through college – some from as far as 130 miles away – each season, offering unique access to the arts. The next Education Concerts, Carnegie Hall's Link Up "The Orchestra Swings," are May 7-8.

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 139th year with the 2018/2019 season. Widely considered one of the world's finest, 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 50 years, the orchestra is an integral part of the diverse and vibrant St. Louis community, presenting free education programs and performances throughout the region each year. It presents St. Louis Symphony Live at the Pulitzer, a four-program series at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation. The SLSO also serves as the resident orchestra for Opera Theatre Saint Louis, with this season marking the 42nd year of their 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. 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 this season as Music Director Designate. For more information, visit

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