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Thursday, February 12, 2009

St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Gets All Interactive on People

Posted By on Thu, Feb 12, 2009 at 10:10 AM

click to enlarge Interactive Town Hall Meeting at Powell
  • Interactive Town Hall Meeting at Powell
The Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra (SLSO) got all interactive on patrons at its first-ever "Town Hall Meeting" Tuesday evening at Powell Hall.

With HEC-TV broadcasting live, music director David Robertson and president Fred Bronstein breezed through an hour-long Power Point presentation of the quirky upcoming season, then took questions from the audience and T.V. viewers who were emailing their questions in.

Classical Music + new-fangled Webby format = KABOOM.

Yes, they are.
  • Yes, they are.
Some stuff on offer this year, such as Handel's Messiah and Beethoven's Symphony No. 5, might sound familiar. Other stuff, unless you've spent life wholly enveloped in a Snuggie, will definitely sound familiar: the music of John Williams (Star Wars, etc.), Looney Toons, and Disney will each get its own program. And some stuff you haven't heard, because it's not written yet -- SLSO has commissioned original works by contemporary composers Meredith Monk and Rollo Dilworth.

But hard-core classical symphony buffs, be not crestfallen: will an entire two weeks of straight Beethoven cheer you up? How about Mozart's Requiem? How about Rachmaninoff, Dvorak, and Tchaikovsky?
 
SLSO is obviously trying to lure in all kinds of folks this year, but one email questioner wanted to know: what about the less well-off among us? Robertson answered by pointing out that there are always 50 free tickets to every performance, and that some tickets run only $10 to $15, about the cost of going to a movie.
 
The last questioner of the night -- also submitting via email -- asked Bronstein and Robertson what they would do if they could wave a magic wand over SLSO.

Robertson replied without hesitation: "I'd love the symphony to be supported at a level that you'd never have think about anything other than getting the music."

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