St. Louis Symphony Orchestra to perform world premiere of Bassoon Concerto by award-winning composer Christopher rouse with principal bassoon Andrew Cuneo

Led by guest conductor Cristian Măcelaru, November 16-17 program also includes an all-American line-up of Barber's Medea's Meditation and Dance of Vengeance, and Copland's Symphony No. 3

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(October 31, 2018, St. Louis, MO) – The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra will perform the world premiere of Christopher Rouse's Bassoon Concerto at its November 16-17 concerts with SLSO principal bassoon Andrew Cuneo as the soloist. The SLSO co-commissioned Rouse, a Pulitzer and Grammy Award-winning composer, to write the concerto with the New Jersey Symphony and the Sydney (Australia) Symphony.

The SLSO has a long-standing relationship Rouse. The orchestra premiered his three-movement Phantasmata in 1986 and his Symphony No. 3 in 2011. The New York Times described Rouse's compositions as "...among the most intriguing orchestral music now being written."

Rouse pared down the scoring for his Bassoon Concerto to create a sense of harmony between the soloist and the orchestra. The composition also pairs the two bassoons in the orchestra with the soloist to create a "mega bassoon" effect, which allows for the exploration of new musical colors.

The world premiere of Rouse's Bassoon Concerto is the first of two such premieres by the SLSO in the 2018/2019 season, titled "From Our Family to Yours." The SLSO and SLSO Conductor Laureate Leonard Slatkin will perform the world premiere of Jeff Beal's New Song Cycle on May 3-4, 2019. The SLSO commissioned the piece in honor of Slatkin's 50th anniversary of his debut with the orchestra. Rouse's Bassoon Concerto and Beal's New Song Cycle are two of 12 works added to the SLSO repertoire during its 139th season, including the United States premiere of Lotta Wennäkoski's Flounce (September 28-29) and ten additional works played by the SLSO for the first time.

In addition to Rouse, the November 16-17 concert program features pieces by two other American composers.

Barber's Medea's Meditation and Dance of Vengeance opens the program, a lush and mystifying piece condensed from the musical settings of Barber's ballet, Medea. The ballet depicts mythological characters Medea and Jason and the love, betrayal, and jealousy that develops between them.

Closing the program is Copland's Symphony No. 3. The final of his symphonies, the work blends Copland's distinct "Americana" style with the orchestra, typically thought of as a European medium at the time of its debut in 1946. The symphony strikes an optimistic tone and ends by quoting another one of Copland's most recognizable compositions, Fanfare for the Common Man.

Friday, November 16, 2018, 10:30am
Saturday, November 17, 2018, 8:00pm
Powell Hall, 718 N. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, MO

Cristian Măcelaru, conductor
Andrew Cuneo, bassoon

BARBER Medea's Meditation and Dance of Vengeance
CHRISTOPHER ROUSE Bassoon Concerto (world premiere)
COPLAND Symphony No. 3

Audiences can attend the free Pre-Concert Conversation at 9:30am Friday and 7:00pm Saturday in the auditorium. This weekend, the conversations are hosted by pianist Peter Henderson.

Tune in to St. Louis Public Radio on Saturday, November 17, at 8:00pm for the live broadcast of the performance. 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.

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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