St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra to host nationally-broadcast NPR program, From the Top, at its May 31, 2020, concert

Featuring the SLSYO during its 50th anniversary season, From the Top showcases the country's premiere young musicians

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(July 25, 2019, St. Louis, MO) – Today, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra proudly announced the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra will host the nationally-distributed NPR radio program From the Top, America's largest platform celebrating the voices and talents of America's brightest young classical musicians. From the Top will record the SLSYO's May 31, 2020, concert at Powell Hall, the final concert in the orchestra's 2019/2020 season and third concert of its milestone 50th anniversary season. The program will be broadcast across the country the week of September 7, 2020.

Marie-Hélène Bernard, SLSO President and CEO, said, "We are excited to host this highly-esteemed show in St. Louis as we celebrate 50 years of nurturing our region's exceptional young musicians."

Gemma New, the SLSYO's Music Director and Resident Conductor of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, will lead the program, which will feature a new work for orchestra by the SLSYO's founding Music Director, SLSO Conductor Laureate Leonard Slatkin, and the winner of an SLSYO show piece contest. Further program details will be announced at a later date.

From the Top began as a radio experiment in 2000 and quickly became the most popular weekly one-hour classical music program on public radio. Broadcast on more than 220 stations nationwide to an audience of more than half a million listeners, From the Top celebrates the stories, talents, and character of America's best pre-collegiate classically-trained musicians.

St. Louis is one of ten stops on a national live recording tour announced today by From the Top. Lara Downes, an acclaimed concert pianist, will host the program with the SLSYO. Downes is among the foremost American pianists of her generation, dedicated to expanding the resonance and relevance of American music for diverse audiences.

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

About the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra
The St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra is an audition-only ensemble that draws 100 of the most accomplished young instrumentalists within 150 miles of St. Louis. Recognized nationally for its superb artistry, the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra performs expert-level repertoire under the direction of Youth Orchestra Music Director and St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Resident Conductor Gemma New. Musicians in the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, aged 12 to 22, regularly receive coaching from the world-class musicians of the SLSO and also participate in a peer-to-peer mentorship program. Founded in 1970 by SLSO Conductor Laureate Leonard Slatkin, there are now more than 2,000 alumni of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, many of whom have gone on to pursue careers in the music industry. Six current members of the SLSO participated in the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra.

The St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra performs three free concerts each season at Powell Hall.

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. 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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