SLSO Music Director Designate Stéphane Denève and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra conclude the 2018/2019 classical season, May 10-12

Denève leads St. Louis premiere of Esa-Pekka Salonen's Nyx, Ravel's Shéhérazade featuring soprano Rinat Shahm in her SLSO debut, and Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique in final concert before becoming Music Director in September 2019 

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(April 10, 2019, St. Louis, MO) – Stéphane Denève, Music Director Designate of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, will lead the final weekend of the orchestra's 2018/2019 classical subscription season, May 10-12. The concerts take place at 8:00pm Friday and Saturday, May 10-11, and 3:00pm Sunday, May 12. Denève, who serves as the Music Director Designate this season, will become the 13th Music Director of the SLSO this September in the 2019/2020 season, the orchestra's 140th.

Stéphane Denève, SLSO Music Director DesignateThe May 10-12 concerts open with the St. Louis premiere of Esa-Pekka Salonen's Nyx. Described as "a rich and dazzling musical invention" (San Francisco Chronicle), the tone poem draws its inspiration from the Greek goddess Nyx, a relatively-unknown figure in Greek mythology. The concerts continue with Ravel's Shéhérazade, a song cycle based on the text of a Tristan Klingsor poem written in response to Rimsky-Korsakov's Sheherazade Suite. Ravel's composition reflects the story of the heroine and narrator of The Arabian Nights. Mezzo-soprano Rinat Shaham makes her SLSO debut singing Shéhérazade.

Closing the 18/19 season is Berlioz's masterpiece Symphonie fantastique, considered among the most influential orchestral compositions of all time. A celebrated interpreter of French repertoire, Denève leads the SLSO in this rousing symphonic story about a talented artist who resorts to drastic measures because of unrequited love.

Friday, May 10, 2019, 8:00pm
Saturday, May 11, 2019, 8:00pm
Sunday, May 12, 2019, 3:00pm
Powell Hall, 718 N. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, MO

Stéphane Denève, conductor
Rinat Shaham, mezzo-soprano

Esa-Pekka SALONEN Nyx
RAVEL Shéhérazade
BERLIOZ Symphonie fantastique

Audiences can attend the free Pre-Concert Conversation at 7:00pm Friday and Saturday and 2:00pm Sunday in the auditorium. This weekend, the conversations are hosted by pianist Peter Henderson.

Tune in to St. Louis Public Radio on Saturday, May 11, at 8:00pm for the live broadcast of the performance, along with interviews of Denève and Shaham during intermission. Listen on air (90.7 FM KWMU) or online (

The 18/19 SLSO Classical Season is presented by World Wide Technology and the Steward Family Foundation and runs through May 12, 2019.

Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased at or by calling the Box Office at 314-534-1700.

2019/2020 season
Denève returns this September to begin his tenure as the SLSO's 13th Music Director with the 2019/2020 season. Throughout the season, Denève and the SLSO celebrate an arch of Franco-American musical friendship and explore their symmetric influences. Highlights of Denève's first season as Music Director include:

  •  World-renowned pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet collaborating with the SLSO on three programs as the SLSO's first Artist-in-Residence.
  • The world premieres of two SLSO-commissioned pieces; the U.S. premiere of a saxophone concerto; and 19 St. Louis premieres.
  • The SLSO's first symphonic play, Maurice Ravel: A Musical Journey by playwright Didi Balle, featuring Artist-in-Residence Jean-Yves Thibaudet, led by Denève.
  • A host of new and returning artists regarded internationally for their talent.

Subscriptions for the 19/20 season are on sale now and may be purchased at or by calling the Box Office at 314-534-1700.

About Stéphane Denève, SLSO Music Director Designate
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 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 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, 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.

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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 and Music Director Designate Stéphane Denève. 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 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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