St. Louis Symphony Orchestra creates Sarah Bryan Miller Fund in support of vocal soloists and performances of choral repertoire

The endowed fund was made possible by Miller, the late St. Louis Post-Dispatch classical music critic, who bequeathed more than $1 million to the SLSO

SLSO celebrates Miller's life at November 27-28 concerts, with mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke singing Jake Heggie's The Work at Hand, featuring SLSO cellist Elizabeth Chung, and Edward Elgar's Sea Pictures in the first use of the Sarah Bryan Miller Fund; concerts, led by Gemma New, conclude with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade

Listen to the November 27 live on 90.7 KWMU St. Louis Public Radio or Classic 107.3; portions of the concert are available to stream on for 30 days. SLSO to release concert for digital streaming in early 2022

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To download a photo of Sarah Bryan Miller, click here.

(October 12, 2021, St. Louis, MO) – Today, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra announced it has established the Sarah Bryan Miller Fund in honor of the late St. Louis Post-Dispatch classical music critic who left a meaningful bequest of more than $1 million to the orchestra. The endowed fund supports vocal soloists and underwrites performances of choral repertoire with the SLSO.

Marie-Hélène Bernard, SLSO President and CEO, said, "The entire SLSO family is deeply moved by Bryan's remarkable gift and profound generosity. We miss Bryan dearly and are honored to celebrate her legacy and many contributions to St. Louis' vibrant arts community through this newly established fund. For more than 20 years, Bryan brilliantly covered and gave voice to arts institutions large and small throughout the region. Her life's work immeasurably enriched the St. Louis cultural landscape, inspiring countless people to engage more deeply with music. We are humbled by Bryan's generosity and will strive to continue to elevate throughout our programming the vocal performances which she so dearly loved."

During her lifetime, Miller did not financially contribute to the orchestra to remain impartial in her coverage. However, her bequest, in excess of $1 million, is a significant addition to the SLSO's existing endowment.

Sarah Bryan Miller—or Bryan, as she was known to those close to her—covered St. Louis arts and culture, with a focus on classical music, for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for more than 20 years. She reviewed countless SLSO concerts and covered institutional news. In 2001, her reporting on the SLSO led the Taylor family to double its financial commitment to the orchestra, a fundraising challenge that eventually raised $80 million for the SLSO and put it on the path to the financial stability the institution enjoys today. The Post-Dispatch nominated her for a Pulitzer Prize for her thorough coverage of the orchestra.

Miller died on November 28, 2020, of cancer.

Memorial concerts
A former professional mezzo-soprano, Miller particularly cherished vocal soloists and choral performances with the SLSO. The Sarah Bryan Miller Fund supports these performances, beginning with the November 27-28, 2021, concerts at Powell Hall. These concerts, performed in celebration of Miller's life, feature mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke singing The Work at Hand by Jake Heggie—which also features SLSO cellist Elizabeth Chung—and Edward Elgar's Sea Pictures. Gemma New, former SLSO Resident Conductor, leads these concerts, which also includes performances of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade.

Tune in to 90.7 KWMU St. Louis Public Radio or Classic 107.3 on Saturday, November 27, at 8:00pm for a live broadcast of the performance. Listen on air (90.7 FM KWMU or 107.3 FM) or online ( Portions of this concert are available to stream for 30 days following the Saturday performances at

The SLSO will release the concert in early 2022 as part of the SLSO's spring 2022 slate of digital concerts.

Saturday, November 27, 2021, at 8:00pm CST
Sunday, November 28, 2021, at 3:00pm CST
Powell Hall, 718 N. Grand, St. Louis, MO 63103

Gemma New, conductor
Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano
Elizabeth Chung, cello

Jake HEGGIE The Work at Hand (First SLSO performances)
Edward ELGAR Sea Pictures
Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Scheherazade

These concerts are performed in memory of St. Louis Post-Dispatch classical music critic Sarah Bryan Miller.

Audiences can attend the free Pre-Concert Conversation at 7:00pm Saturday and at 2:00pm Sunday in the auditorium.

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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