The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Stéphane Denève welcome the St. Louis community to Forest Park for annual free community concert, September 14

Denève leads the SLSO in its annual concert for the community in works by Edvard Grieg, Scott Joplin, Astor Piazzolla, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and music by John Williams including The Mission Theme and Star Wars; soprano Raquel González makes her SLSO debut singing a Giacomo Puccini aria from Tosca

Celebratory opening of SLSO's 143rd season concludes with fireworks display over Forest Park's Grand Basin

More than 15,000 people join the SLSO annually for community concert

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(August 11, 2022, St. Louis, MO) – Led by Music Director Stéphane Denève, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra marks the beginning of its 2022/2023 season with the return of its free concert in Forest Park at 7:00pm CDT, Wednesday, September 14, on Art Hill. Since its inaugural Forest Park concert more than 50 years ago, the SLSO has performed this annual concert for more than 15,000 people as a community celebration of music and the kick-off of the SLSO's season.

Denève leads this celebratory opening of the 22/23 season, the orchestra's 143rd and his fourth as Music Director. The Forest Park concert will take the audience on an adventure through music to places including Scandinavia, Italy, Ukraine, Spain, South America, even outer space. The concert includes orchestral and vocal selections from operas including Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, Giacomo Puccini's Tosca, and Edvard Grieg's Peer Gynt. Soprano Raquel González, a former Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, will make her SLSO debut singing the aria "Vissi d'arte" from Puccini's Tosca. Dance will be celebrated through Astor Piazzolla's "Libertango" and Arturo Márquez's Conga del Fuego Nuevo, alongside music by celebrated film composer John Williams, including the Star Wars Main Theme and The Mission Theme.

The festivities end with a show-stopping fireworks display following John Philip Sousa's patriotic anthem The Stars and Stripes Forever.

Performed in memory of longtime SLSO supporter Mary Ann Lee, this concert marks the 54th anniversary since the first Forest Park concert in 1968. Attendees are encouraged to come early, bring chairs and blankets, and enjoy food trucks on site. Local vendors at the concert will include Angie's Burgers, Balkan Treat Box, Blues Fired Pizza, Cha Cha Chow, Fire and Ice Cream Truck, Go Gyro Go, Grace Meat + Three, Holy Crepe, Mission Taco, Picture Perfect Panini, The Popcorn Bar, STL Barkeep, Urban Chestnut, and Waynos International. Food and drink vendors will be available starting at 5:00pm.

Following the concert in Forest Park, Denève leads the orchestra in its first classical concerts of the season, September 17-18, featuring the first SLSO performances of Nathalie Joachim's Fanm d'Ayiti (Women of Haiti), performed with the composer as the vocal soloist. The opening weekend concerts begin with Jacques Ibert's Escales (Ports of Call), music reflecting the culture of Mediterranean Sea regions, including Italy, Tunisia, and Spain. Opening weekend concludes with a trip to Bohemia through Antonín Dvořák's Symphony No. 8.

Tickets for all 22/23 season concerts are on sale now and can be purchased at slso.org or by calling the SLSO Box Office at 314-534-1700.

Calendar listing:
The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Stéphane Denève open its 2022/2023 season with a free community concert on Forest Park's Art Hill at 7:00pm Wednesday, September 14. The annual concert—featuring classical music, film music, and patriotic tunes—concludes with a festive fireworks display.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022, 7:00pm CDT
Art Hill at Forest Park, 1 Fine Arts Drive, St. Louis, Missouri, 63110

Stéphane Denève, conductor
Raquel González, soprano (SLSO debut)

John Stafford SMITH (arr. Sousa/Damrosch) The Star-Spangled Banner
John WILLIAMS The Mission Theme
Emmanuel CHABRIER España
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY Polonaise from Eugene Onegin
Edvard GRIEG "In the Hall of the Mountain King" from Peer Gynt Suite No. 1
Gioachino ROSSINI Excerpt from William Tell Overture
Scott JOPLIN (arr. Hayman) The Entertainer
Giacomo PUCCINI "Vissi d'arte" from Tosca
Modest MUSSORGSKY (orch. Ravel) "Great Gate of Kiev" from Pictures at an Exhibition
Astor PIAZZOLLA (arr. Mondelci) "Libertango"
Arturo MÁRQUEZ Conga del Fuego Nuevo
John WILLIAMS "Main Title" from Star Wars
John Philip SOUSA The Stars and Stripes Forever

This concert is performed in memory of Mary Ann Lee.

About the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
Celebrated as a leading American orchestra, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra is the second-oldest orchestra in the country, marking its 143rd year with the 2022/2023 season and its fourth with Music Director Stéphane Denève. The SLSO maintains its commitment to artistic excellence, educational impact, and community collaborations, honoring its mission of enriching lives through the power of music.

The SLSO serves as a convener of individuals, creators, and ideas, and is committed to building community through compelling and inclusive musical experiences. As it continues its longstanding focus on equity, diversity, inclusion, and access, the SLSO embraces its strengths as a responsive, nimble organization, while investing in partnerships locally and elevating its presence globally. For more information, visit slso.org.

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