St. Louis Symphony Orchestra performs five St. Louis premieres in classical concerts, October 9-16

October 9-10, SLSO Conductor Laureate Leonard Slatkin leads SLSO premieres of Joan Tower's Made in America and William Bolcom's Violin Concerto with Concertmaster David Halen, as well as performances of Béla Bártok's Concerto for Orchestra

Guest conductor John Storgårds returns to lead October 15-16 concerts, which feature three SLSO premieres: Joseph Haydn's Symphony No. 64, "Tempora mutantur," Outi Tarkiainen's Midnight Sun Variations, and Thomas Adès' Piano Concerto with pianist Kirill Gerstein, alongside Carl Nielsen's Symphony No. 4, "The Inextinguishable"

Free tickets offered to healthcare workers and first responders for these concerts

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(September 16, 2021, St. Louis, MO) – Today, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra announced details for two weekends of classical concerts, October 9-10 and 15-16, held at Powell Hall. Leonard Slatkin, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Conductor Laureate, returns to the Emerson Concert Stage on October 9-10, 2021, to lead the orchestra in a concert that features the SLSO debuts of two works by composers of today as well as a solo performance by SLSO Concertmaster David Halen. Concerts are 8:00pm CDT Saturday, Oct. 9, and 3:00pm CDT, Sunday, Oct. 10.

The following weekend, October 15-16, frequent SLSO collaborator John Storgårds returns to the SLSO to lead the St. Louis debuts of three classical works alongside pianist Kirill Gerstein. Concerts are 7:30pm CDT Friday, October 15, and 8:00pm CDT on Saturday, October 16.

Tickets start at $15 and are on sale now. To purchase tickets, call the SLSO Box Office at 314-534-1700 or visit A full concert calendar is available at

As a thank you for their continued efforts to keep the region safe, the SLSO is offering two free tickets to healthcare workers and first responders for these concerts. Healthcare workers and first responders can reserve tickets by visiting; tickets will be held at Will Call and can be picked up with work identification.

On October 9-10, Slatkin and the SLSO explore the American experience. The concert begins with Made in America by composer Joan Tower, who was previously Composer-in-Residence with the SLSO during Slatkin's tenure as Music Director. The piece uses motifs from America the Beautiful to create a work that is both familiar and surprising. Following Made in America, SLSO Concertmaster David Halen performs the SLSO premiere of American composer William Bolcom's Violin Concerto, which draws influence from both European classical composers and American jazz musicians. To close the concert, the SLSO will perform Béla Bártok's Concerto for Orchestra, a piece premiered in the U.S. Bártok built his professional career as a composer in the United States after fleeing his native Hungary during World War II, and Concerto for Orchestra reflects his dual identity through elements of both Hungarian folk music and Western art music.

On October 15-16, Storgårds, Gerstein, and the SLSO explore themes of change and resiliency. The program starts with the first of three SLSO premieres, Joseph Haydn's Symphony No. 64, "Tempora mutantur," the title of which roughly translates to "The times change, and we change with them." Next, Kirill Gerstein is the featured soloist on Thomas Adès' Piano Concerto, which was commissioned for Gerstein himself. Following this performance, the SLSO gives the first SLSO performances of Finnish composer Outi Tarkiainen's Midnight Sun Variations, which follows the natural transformations of an Arctic summer night and is dedicated to Storgårds, also a Finland native. The concert ends with Carl Nielsen's Symphony No. 4, "The Inextinguishable," the subtitle of which refers to "that which is inextinguishable...the elemental will to live."

Calendar Listings:
The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra will perform the following concerts in October 2021:

Made in America
Leonard Slatkin, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Conductor Laureate, leads the SLSO in two concerts, October 9-10, that feature the SLSO premieres of music by Joan Tower and William Bolcom, as well as Béla Bártok's Concerto for Orchestra. Concertmaster David Halen takes center stage as the featured soloist.

Saturday, October 9, 2021, 8:00pm CDT
Sunday, October 10, 2021, 3:00pm CDT
Powell Hall, 718 N. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, MO

Leonard Slatkin, conductor
David Halen, violin

Joan TOWER Made in America (First SLSO performances)
William BOLCOM Violin Concerto (First SLSO performances)
Béla BÁRTOK Concerto for Orchestra

Changing Times
Guest Conductor John Storgårds leads the SLSO in two concerts, October 15-16, which features three SLSO premieres by composers Thomas Adès, Joseph Haydn, and Outi Tarkiainen. Carl Nielsen's Symphony No. 4 closes the concert. Kirill Gerstein performs a Piano Concerto commissioned specifically for him.

Friday, October 15, 2021, 7:30pm CDT
Saturday, October 16, 2021, 8:00pm CDT
Powell Hall, 718 N. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, MO

John Storgårds, conductor
Kirill Gerstein, piano

Joseph HAYDN Symphony No. 64, "Tempora mutantur" (First SLSO performances)
Thomas ADÈS Piano Concerto (First SLSO performances)
Outi TARKIAINEN Midnight Sun Variations (First SLSO performances)
Carl NIELSEN Symphony No. 4, "The Inextinguishable"

These concerts are presented by the Thomas A. Kooyumjian Family Foundation.

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 142nd year with the 2021/2022 season and its third 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

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