Stéphane Denève and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra announce 2019/2020 season, the orchestra's 140th and Denève's first as Music Director

Season highlights include:

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  • Stéphane Denève begins his tenure as the 13th Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra with a free concert for thousands at Forest Park's iconic Art Hill.

  • Throughout the season, Denève and the SLSO celebrate an arch of Franco-American musical friendship and explore their symmetric influences.

  • The season includes two world premieres of SLSO-commissioned works by Aaron Jay Kernis and Kevin Puts; the U.S. premiere of the orchestral version of Guillaume Connesson's A Kind of Trane; 16 works by composers of our time 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, Mason Bates, William Bolcom, Guillaume Connesson, John Corigliano, Cindy McTee, Joseph Schwantner, Leonard Slatkin, and Joan Tower; 19 works that are SLSO premieres; and numerous works that have been given rare performance by the SLSO.

  • Denève's close collaborator and celebrated pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet joins the SLSO as the Jean-Paul and Isabelle Montupet Artist-in-Residence for the 19/20 season. Thibaudet will perform works by Ravel, Liszt, and Connesson with the Orchestra, and an evening of chamber music featuring Thibaudet and SLSO musicians, presented in partnership with Washington University's Great Artists Series.

  • Imagining new concert formats, Denève will lead the SLSO in its first symphonic play, Maurice Ravel: A Musical Journey by playwright Didi Balle, featuring Artist-in-Residence Jean-Yves Thibaudet.

  • Additional season highlights include works from the ballet repertoire including Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker, Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, and Denève leading the SLSO premiere of Poulenc's Les biches Suite; SLSO Conductor Laureate Leonard Slatkin leads the premiere of a co-commission including new variations from five composers to honor his 75th birthday; Resident Conductor Gemma New conducts a program inspired by war and peace, with works by Prokofiev, Vaughan Williams, and Arvo Pärt; and the St. Louis Symphony Chorus performs in five programs.

  • Conductors making their classical subscription debuts include Rafael Payare, Masaaki Suzuki, Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider, Andrew Grams, Marcelo Lehninger, and early music specialist Richard Egarr; returning guest conductors include John Adams, Edo de Waart, Cristian Măcelaru, Nicholas McGegan, and John Storgårds.

  • Artists making their SLSO debuts include pianists Saleem Ashkar, Seong-Jin Cho, and Joyce Yang; violinist Jennifer Pike; cellist Gautier Capuҫon; and vocalists Dashon Burton, Jennifer Johnson Cano, Ellie Dehn, Mojca Erdmann, Anthony Clark Evans, Mané Galoyan, Joanne Lunn, Edward Nelson, Issachah Savage, Michael Spyres, Davóne Tines, and Zachary Wilder.

  • Returning artists include pianists Jeremy Denk, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and Simon Trpčeski; violinists James Ehnes, Karen Gomyo, Gil Shaham, and Baiba Skride; saxophonist Timothy McAllister; and vocalists Joélle Harvey, Isabel Leonard, Kelley O'Connor, and John Relyea.

  • Five SLSO musicians will take the stage as soloists during the season, including oboist Jelena Dirks; violinists Kristin Ahlstrom, David Halen, and Angie Smart; and flutist Andrea Kaplan.

  • 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.

(February 5, 2019, St. Louis, MO) – Today, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Stéphane Denève announced details for the Orchestra's 2019/2020 season, Denève's first as Music Director. Denève, who currently serves as Music Director Designate, becomes the 13th Music Director of the SLSO with the upcoming 140th season, which runs from September 2019 through May 2020.

Stéphane Denève, the next 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 first Artist-in-Residence, thanks to the generous support of Jean-Paul and Isabelle Montupet. 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. The 19/20 season is a reflection of Stéphane's boundless energy and excitement. He is building on the SLSO's 140-year 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 American repertoire throughout the season by John Adams, Barber, Bernstein, William Bolcom, Gershwin, Jennifer Higdon, Pierre Jalbert, and John Williams.

The SLSO performs two world premieres during the 19/20 season: one by Pulitzer Prize winner Kevin Puts to commemorate Denève's inaugural concerts as Music Director on September 21-22, 2019, and 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 has partnered with John Corigliano to compose a variation. Other composers contributing new variations include Mason Bates, Guillaume Connesson, and Cindy McTee. 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 are SLSO premieres in the 19/20 season.

The current 2018/2019 season was curated with the thoughtful input of SLSO musicians. Building on a programming initiative that was first explored during his Music Director Designate year (the current 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 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 the SLSO and the St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON Chorus, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary with this 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 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 their 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 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 "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 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. Thibaudet will collaborate with the SLSO in four programs during the season. He will perform Ravel's Piano Concerto in G (September 21-22, 2019), 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). He will also collaborate with SLSO musicians for a one-night-only chamber music event on January 17, 2020, co-presented by Washington University as part of its Great Artists Series. Thibaudet is the first SLSO titled guest artist since the 1990s.

Conductor Laureate Leonard Slatkin conducts a program in early October that includes the premiere of a revised theme-and-variation piece with 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 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 Arvo Pärt's Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten on April 17-18, 2020.

The classical season's Pre-Concert Conversations are again 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.


Stéphane Denève will take the podium for 11 weeks during the 19/20 classical subscription season. He will also conduct a variety of other programs, including the annual season-opening concert in Forest Park, Live at Powell Hall: The Music of John Williams, the annual New Year's Eve Celebration, and others.

The 19/20 Season also begins with the SLSO's Gala Celebration (September 20, 2019). The special event, hosted at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, will feature a special performance by members of the SLSO.


Jean-Yves Thibaudet, described as "brilliant," "impeccable," and "elegant," has been named Artist-in-Residence for the 19/20 season, 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's Great Artists Series. Denève remains committed to forging and fostering meaningful artistic relationships between the SLSO and leading artists of our time.


For the first time, the SLSO will present a symphonic play, Maurice Ravel: A Musical Journey in collaboration with 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. The performance is scheduled for May 1, 2020.

The SLSO introduces two innovative concert experiences to its established mix of offerings. In addition to the subscription concert, the SLSO will also present one hour of music without intermission at Powell Hall. 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. Works on the programs pair a work of today with an orchestral mainstay. The November 15, 2019, concert features a new work by Aaron Jay Kernis and Brahms' Symphony No. 4. The May 8, 2020, concert includes Pierre Jalbert's Music of Air and Fire and Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring. Additional details about these new experiences, including ticket information, will be released this summer.


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* (September 21-22, 2019)
Aaron Jay KERNIS New Work* (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, Mason Bates, William Bolcom, Guillaume Connesson, John Corigliano, Donald Erb, Cindy McTee, Joseph Schwantner, Leonard Slatkin, and Joan Tower
MOZART Oboe Concerto, K. 314 (October 12-13, 2019)
POULENC Les biches Suite (October 18-20, 2019)
HANDEL Sonata á 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 19/20 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 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).


Denève is committed to working with all performing ensembles of the SLSO family, including exciting collaborations with the St. Louis Symphony Chorus. This season marks Amy Kaiser's 25th anniversary as Director of the 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 as Marguerite, John Relyea as Mephistopholes, 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).


The SLSO welcomes the following musicians making their classical subscription 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)


• 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)


• Mojca Erdmann (November 9-10, 2019)
• 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)
• Mané Galoyan (April 17-18, 2020)
• Edward Nelson (April 17-18, 2020)


• 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)
• 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


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 St. Nick. 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 celebrate A Gospel Christmas. This concert is supported by Monsanto Fund (December 19, 2019).
  • Stéphane Denève will help St. Louis ring in the New Year with the annual 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 Monsanto Fund (February 21, 2020).


The Pulitzer Arts Foundation and the SLSO continue their partnership that offers rich and diverse programming showcasing SLSO soloists and chamber ensembles performing works from the 20th and 21st centuries. Begun in 2004, the programming for each Pulitzer concert complements current exhibits at the Tadao Ando-designed Pulitzer building. The 19/20 Pulitzer series will be curated by SLSO Creative Partner Tim Munro. Programs and details about events in the 19/20 season will be announced at a future date.


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 p.m.


The SLSO celebrates 10 years of Live at Powell Hall beginning with the Music of John Williams (September 13-15, 2019). A full schedule of 19/20 Live at Powell Hall concerts – including classic films on the big screen, popular artists, and tribute performances – will be announced in Spring 2019.


The SLSO performs several innovative and interactive Family and Education Concerts during the 19/20 season, each designed to engage and capture the imagination of younger listeners. Program dates and details will be announced this spring.


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 free concerts during the 19/20 season, one of which will feature Music Director Stéphane Denève guest conducting part of the concert. The first two concerts are scheduled for November 17, 2019, and March 15, 2020, each at 3 p.m. Program details will be announced at a later date.

Subscriptions for the Classical Season go on sale February 5, 2019. Single tickets will go on sale in Summer 2019. To purchase tickets, visit

Stéphane Denève, Music Director

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 serves as Music Director Designate during the current 18/19 season.

Denève has appeared eight times as a guest conductor with the SLSO. Repertoire over the years has included works ranging from living composers Guillaume Connesson, Patrick Harlin, and James MacMillan 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, Denève 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 Szeps-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, 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, 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

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. 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 more than 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 2020 marking the 43rd 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. Acclaimed conductor Stéphane Denève, who has been a frequent guest conductor with the orchestra since 2003, begins his tenure as SLSO Music Director with the 19/20 season. For more information, visit

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St. Louis Symphony Orchestra 2019/2020 season calendar

FOREST PARK CONCERT (free community concert)
Thursday, September 12, 7:00pm

Stéphane Denève, conductor
St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON Chorus
Kevin McBeth, director

In memory of Mary Ann Lee

*  *  *

Saturday, September 21, 8:00pm
Sunday, September 22, 3:00pm

Stéphane Denève, conductor
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano

Kevin PUTS Virelai (World Premiere)
Jennifer HIGDON Blue Cathedral
Guillaume CONNESSON The Shining One
RAVEL Piano Concerto in G
GERSHWIN An American in Paris

*  *  *

Friday, September 27, 8:00pm
Saturday, September 28, 8:00pm

Stéphane Denève, conductor
Joélle Harvey, soprano
Kelley O'Connor, alto
St. Louis Symphony Chorus | Amy Kaiser, director

MAHLER Symphony No. 2, "Resurrection"

*  *  *

Friday, October 4, 10:30am
Saturday, October 5, 8:00pm

Edo de Waart, conductor
Joyce Yang, piano

RACHMANINOFF Piano Concerto No. 3
ELGAR Symphony No. 1

Presented by the Thomas A. Kooyumjian Foundation

*  *  *

Saturday, October 12, 8:00pm
Sunday, October 13, 3:00pm

Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Jelena Dirks, oboe

VARIOUS* Yet Another Set of Variations (on a Theme of Paganini) (World Premiere)
MOZART Oboe Concerto, K. 314
R. STRAUSS Ein Heldenleben (A Hero's Life)

*Variations by Claude Baker, Mason Bates, William Bolcom, Guillaume Connesson, John Corigliano, Donald Erb, Cindy McTee, Joseph Schwantner, Leonard Slatkin, and Joan Tower

*  *  *

Friday, October 18, 8:00pm
Saturday, October 19, 8:00pm
Sunday, October 20, 3:00pm

Stéphane Denève, conductor
Karen Gomyo, violin

POULENC Les biches Suite
PROKOFIEV Violin Concerto No. 1
RACHMANINOFF Symphonic Dances

*  *  *

Saturday, November 2, 8:00pm
Sunday, November 3, 3:00pm

Stéphane Denève, conductor
James Ehnes, violin

BARBER Adagio for Strings
John WILLIAMS Violin Concerto
SAINT-SAËNS Symphony No. 3, "Organ"

*  *  *

Saturday, November 9, 8:00pm
Sunday, November 10, 3:00pm

Masaaki Suzuki, conductor
Mojca Erdmann, soprano
Joanne Lunn, soprano
Zachary Wilder, tenor
Dashon Burton, bass-baritone
St. Louis Symphony Chorus | Amy Kaiser, director

HAYDN Symphony No. 48, "Maria Theresia"
MOZART Mass in C Minor, K. 427

*  *  *

Friday, November 15, 10:30am
Saturday, November 16, 8:00pm

Stéphane Denève, conductor
Gil Shaham, violin

Aaron Jay KERNIS New Work (World Premiere)
BARTÓK Violin Concerto No. 2
BRAHMS Symphony No. 4

Presented by the Thomas A. Kooyumjian Foundation

*  *  *

Sunday, November 17, 3:00pm

Gemma New, conductor

*  *  *

Friday, November 22, 8:00pm
Saturday, November 23, 8:00pm

Marcelo Lehninger, conductor
Simon Trpčeski, piano

HINDEMITH Concert Music for Strings and Brass
PROKOFIEV Piano Concerto No. 1
MUSSORGSKY / orch. RAVEL Pictures at an Exhibition

*  *  *

Friday, November 29, 8:00pm
Saturday, November 30, 8:00pm
Sunday, December 1, 3:00pm

Andrew Grams, conductor

TCHAIKOVSKY The Nutcracker

Presented by the Thomas A. Kooyumjian Foundation

*  *  *

Friday, December 6, 10:30am
Saturday, December 7, 8:00pm
Sunday, December 8, 3:00pm

Richard Egarr, director and harpsichord
Kristin Ahlstrom, violin
Angie Smart, violin
Andrea Kaplan, flute

HANDEL Water Music Suite No. 1
HANDEL Sonata á 5, HWV 288
HANDEL Music for the Royal Fireworks
BACH Brandenburg Concerto No. 5
BACH Orchestral Suite No. 3

*  *  *

Friday, December 13, 2:00pm
Friday, December 13, 7:30pm
Saturday, December 14, 2:00pm
Saturday, December 14, 7:30pm
Sunday, December 15, 2:00pm
Sunday, December 15, 7:30pm

Presented by Mercy

*  *  *

Thursday, December 19, 7:30pm

Kevin McBeth, conductor
St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON Chorus
Kevin McBeth, director

Supported by Monsanto Fund

*  *  *

Tuesday, December 31, 7:30pm

Stéphane Denève, conductor

*  *  *

Saturday, January 18, 8:00pm
Sunday, January 19, 3:00pm

Stéphane Denève, conductor
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano

WAGNER Siegfried Idyll
LISZT Piano Concerto No. 2
Anna CLYNE This Midnight Hour
R. STRAUSS / arr. DENÈVE Der Rosenkavalier Suite

*  *  *

Friday, January 31, 10:30am
Saturday, February 1, 8:00pm

Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider, conductor
Saleem Ashkar, piano

SCHUMANN Manfred Overture
MENDELSSOHN Piano Concerto No. 2
TCHAIKOVSKY/arr. SZEPS-ZNAIDER Sleeping Beauty Suite

*  *  *

Friday, February 7, 8:00pm
Saturday, February 8, 8:00pm
Sunday, February 9, 3:00pm

Stéphane Denève, conductor
Ellie Dehn, soprano
Jennifer Johnson Cano, mezzo-soprano
Issachah Savage, tenor
Davóne Tines, bass-baritone
St. Louis Symphony Chorus | Amy Kaiser, director

Kevin PUTS Silent Night Elegy (SLSO Co-commission)
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 9

*  *  *

Saturday, February 15, 8:00pm
Sunday, February 16, 3:00pm

Rafael Payare, conductor
Baiba Skride, violin

Sofia GUBAIDULINA Offertorium
BRUCKNER Symphony No. 7

*  *  *

Friday, February 21, 7:30pm

Kevin McBeth, conductor
St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON Chorus | Kevin McBeth, director

Supported by Monsanto Fund

*  *  *

Saturday, February 29, 8:00pm
Sunday, March 1, 3:00pm

Nicholas McGegan, conductor
Seong-Jin Cho, piano

HAYDN Symphony No. 31, "Hornsignal"
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 2
SCHUBERT Symphony No. 5

*  *  *

Friday, March 6, 10:30am
Friday, March 6, 8:00pm
Saturday, March 7, 8:00pm

Stéphane Denève, conductor
Timothy McAllister, saxophone

HONEGGER Pacific 231
John ADAMS Short Ride in a Fast Machine
Guillaume CONNESSON A Kind of Trane (Saxophone Concerto) (U.S. Premiere)
ROUSSEL Symphony No. 3
RAVEL Bolero

*  *  *

Friday, March 13, 8:00pm
Saturday, March 14, 8:00pm

Stéphane Denève, conductor
Isabel Leonard, Marguerite
Michael Spyres, Faust
John Relyea, Mephistopholes
Anthony Clark Evans, Brander
St. Louis Symphony Chorus | Amy Kaiser, director
St. Louis Children's Choirs | Barbara Berner, artistic director

BERLIOZ The Damnation of Faust

*  *  *

Sunday, March 15, 3:00pm

Gemma New, conductor
Stéphane Denève, conductor

*  *  *

Friday, March 27, 10:30am
Saturday, March 28, 8:00pm

John Adams, conductor
Jeremy Denk, piano

BEETHOVEN Fidelio Overture
John ADAMS Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes?
SIBELIUS Symphony No. 1

*  *  *

Friday, April 3, 8:00pm
Saturday, April 4, 8:00pm
Sunday, April 5, 3:00pm

John Storgårds, conductor
Jennifer Pike, violin

Outi TARKIAINEN Midnight Sun Variations
KORNGOLD Violin Concerto
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 4

*  *  *

Friday, April 17, 8:00pm
Saturday, April 18, 8:00pm

Gemma New, conductor
Mané Galoyan, soprano
Edward Nelson, baritone
St. Louis Symphony Chorus | Amy Kaiser, director

Arvo PÄRT Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten
PROKOFIEV Symphony No. 5

*  *  *

Friday, April 24, 10:30am
Saturday, April 25, 8:00pm
Sunday, April 26, 3:00pm

Cristian Măcelaru, conductor
David Halen, violin

ENESCU Romanian Rhapsody No. 2
William BOLCOM Violin Concerto
DVOŘÁK Symphony No. 9, "From the New World"

*  *  *

Friday, May 1, 8:00pm

Stéphane Denève, conductor
Didi Balle, playwright & director
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano

*  *  *

Saturday, May 2, 8:00pm
Sunday, May 3, 3:00pm

Stéphane Denève, conductor
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano

Lera AUERBACH Icarus
RAVEL Piano Concerto for the Left Hand
SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 10

*  *  *

Friday, May 8, 10:30am
Saturday, May 9, 8:00pm

Stéphane Denève, conductor
Gautier Capuçon, cello

Pierre JALBERT Music of Air and Fire
Guillaume CONNESSON Cello Concerto
STRAVINSKY The Rite of Spring

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