St. Louis Symphony Orchestra announces release of Mozart piano concerti recording with conductor David Robertson and pianist Orli Shaham

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(August 7, 2019, St. Louis, MO) – Today, renowned pianist Orli Shaham, conductor David Robertson, and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra announced the international release of an album featuring two of Mozart's most-loved piano concertos. The album is due out August 23.

Recorded for Canary Classics at historic Powell Hall in November 2017 and January 2018, the valedictory season of Robertson's 13-year tenure as Music Director of the SLSO, the album may be purchased at

Between the month of his 21st birthday and the time of his death 14 years later, Mozart effectively invented the piano concerto and turned it into one of the most thrilling of all musical genres. Shaham trains the spotlight on the drama and expressive power of two of the composer's finest works for keyboard and orchestra in her latest recording for Canary Classics. The album presents the compelling pairing of Mozart's Piano Concertos Nos. 17 in G major K.453 and 24 in C minor K.491. Her vision of both scores is brought to life in company with the SLSO and Robertson, ideal partners in a project that penetrates deep beneath the surface of Mozart's music to reveal a complex web of quicksilver emotions and fluctuating moods.

The album's selected works stand as emblems of the extraordinary theatricality of Mozart's concertos. Each highlights the spirit of dialogue between soloist and orchestra, the ever-shifting exchange of musical ideas, colors, and textures used by Mozart to create a world of limitless dramatic possibilities.

Pianist Orli Shaham said, "These pieces move with such intense energy, driven forward by themes that grow in many directions. They develop like characters in a play or an opera. Mozart always thought dramatically and theatrically first. The way he wrote the first melody you hear is the perfect way to set up a scene, whatever that scene is. I feel like these concertos are great examples of opera at the concerto level. With the theme and variations in the finales, for example, each variation is a little part of a scene in which the story is being pushed along."

Taken together, the two concertos embrace tragedy and comedy, pathos and joy, laughter and tears. Mozart pushes at the boundaries of convention – from harmonic language and thematic development to the technical demands he makes on the soloist – to construct multiple layers of meaning.

The SLSO recording of the Mozart piano concerti is latest in a robust history of recordings that has resulted in nine Grammy Award wins. Most recently, the SLSO, in conjunction with Blue Engine records, released the first commercial recording of Wynton Marsalis' Swing Symphony in July 2019. The SLSO won the 2014 Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance for the Nonesuch release of John Adams' City Noir, conducted by Robertson.

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. 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.

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.

American conductor David Robertson was the 12th Music Director in the orchestra's history and solidified the SLSO's standing as one of the nation's most vital and innovative ensembles. Robertson's remarkable 13-year tenure with the SLSO concluded in May 2018. Conductor Stéphane Denève, a frequent guest conductor with the orchestra since 2003, begins his tenure as SLSO Music Director with the 19/20 season.

Today, the SLSO builds on the institution's current momentum on all fronts, including artistic, financial, audience growth, and community impact. For more information, visit

About David Robertson
David Robertson – conductor, artist, thinker, and American musical visionary – occupies some of the most prominent platforms on the international music scene. A highly sought-after podium figure in the worlds of opera, orchestral music, and new music, Robertson is celebrated worldwide as a champion of contemporary composers, an ingenious and adventurous programmer, and a masterful communicator whose passionate advocacy for the art form is widely recognized.

Robertson has served in numerous artistic leadership positions, such as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and a transformative 13-year tenure as Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, where he solidified its status as among the nation's most enduring and innovative, established fruitful relationships with a spectrum of artists, and garnered a 2014 Grammy Award for the Nonesuch release of John Adams' City Noir. Earlier artistic leadership positions include at the Orchestre National de Lyon; as a protégé of Pierre Boulez, the Ensemble InterContemporain; as Principal Guest at the BBC Symphony Orchestra; and as a Perspectives Artist at Carnegie Hall, where he has conducted numerous orchestras. He appears regularly with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Bayerischen Rundfunk, and other major European orchestras and festivals. Robertson continues a longstanding and rich collaboration with the New York Philharmonic, and conducts numerous North American orchestras, including the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati and Dallas Symphony Orchestras, and the Juilliard Orchestra, where he serves as Director of Conducting Studies, Distinguished Visiting Faculty.

Robertson continues to build upon his deep conducting relationship with The Metropolitan Opera, including James Robinson's premier production of Porgy and Bess (2019), and the premier of Phelim McDermott's celebrated production of Così fan tutte (2018). Since his 1996 Met Opera debut, The Makropulos Case, he has conducted a breathtaking range of projects, including the Met premiere of John Adams' The Death of Klinghoffer (2014); the 2016 revival of Janáček's Jenůfa; and many favorites. Robertson has frequent projects at the world's most prestigious opera houses, including La Scala, Théâtre du Châtelet, San Francisco and Santa Fe Operas.

Robertson is the recipient of numerous musical and artistic awards, and in 2010 was made a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the Government of France. He is devoted to supporting young musicians and has worked with students at festivals ranging from Aspen to Tanglewood to Lucerne.

About Orli Shaham
A consummate musician recognized for her grace, subtlety and brilliance, Orli Shaham has established an impressive international reputation as one of today's most gifted pianists. Hailed by critics on four continents, Ms. Shaham is in demand for her prodigious skills and admired for her interpretations of both standard and modern repertoire. The New York Times called her a "brilliant pianist," The Chicago Tribune referred to her as "a first-rate Mozartean" in a performance with the Chicago Symphony, and London's Guardian said Ms. Shaham's playing at the Proms was "perfection."

Orli Shaham has performed with major orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic; Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, and Philadelphia Symphony Orchestras; and internationally with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Filarmonica della Scala, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and Orchestre National de France among many others.
Ms. Shaham serves as the Artistic Director for Pacific Symphony's chamber music series in Costa Mesa, California, a position she has held since 2007. She is a featured performer on each of the chamber recitals in the series. In addition, Ms. Shaham is the Artistic Director for the interactive children's concert series, Orli Shaham's Bach Yard (formerly Baby Got Bach), which she founded in 2010.

In 2018 and 2019, Orli Shaham was guest host of the NPR's From the Top, a radio program featuring young classically-trained musicians, broadcast by hundreds of stations around the country. Also in 2019, Orli Shaham released a recording of Mozart's piano concertos K.453 and K.491 with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, David Robertson conducting. Ms. Shaham's other recordings include "Brahms Inspired" and "American Grace", all on the Canary Classics label.

In addition to her activities on stage, Ms. Shaham is on faculty at The Juilliard School, and has served on the jury of numerous piano competitions, including the Cliburn International Junior, New York International, Sydney International, Virginia Waring International and Hilton Head International piano competitions.

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