After a months-long pause due to exploding COVID-19 numbers, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra has announced this week that it will resume live concerts at Powell Hall (718 North Grand Boulevard, 314-534-1700) for its spring season.
The in-person concerts will take place from March 26 through May 15, and will go forward in a socially distanced fashion with a limited capacity. Only 300 tickets will be available per performance, priced between $25 and $50, and each show will last an hour with no intermission.
Masks will also be required for all attendees, Powell Hall staff and the orchestra's string musicians, in an attempt to avoid the spread of coronavirus.
According to a press release, highlights of the spring season will include:
- Music Director Stéphane Denève leads five weeks of chamber orchestra concerts at Powell Hall, leading the SLSO in works across genre and time including works by J.S. Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, TJ Cole, Aaron Copland, Arthur Honegger, Ester Mägi, Felix Mendelssohn, W.A. Mozart, Arvo Pärt, Sergei Prokofiev, Camille Saint-Saëns, Dmitri Shostakovich, Richard Strauss, and Igor Stravinsky.
- Stephanie Childress makes her debut as SLSO Assistant Conductor, leading works by Sally Beamish, Benjamin Britten, and Antonín Dvořák in concerts April 9-11 and conducting the SLSO again April 16-18 in works by Luigi Boccherini, W.A. Mozart, and Ottorino Respighi. She also makes her SLSO debut as a soloist in Bach’s Double Violin Concerto, March 26-28.
- SLSO Conductor Laureate Leonard Slatkin returns to the lead the SLSO April 23-25 in works by Benjamin Britten, Alberto Ginastera, and Maurice Ravel.
- Five SLSO musicians are featured soloists during the spring: violinists Kristin Ahlstrom, Celeste Golden Boyer, Xiaoxiao Qiang, Erin Schreiber, and violist Shannon Farrell Williams.
The SLSO will also continue offering digital concerts, recorded in front of a live audience in the fall, for those who are not yet comfortable venturing out into the world (or, even, for those who are simply extremely comfortable taking in some music at home). Additionally, the organization will offer an expanded collection of educational resources including its popular Soundlab series, a four-part digital affair that teaches kids about the science of sound.
Even in the context of a press release, the excitement those in the organization have to be able to perform in front of a live audience again is palpable (note the liberal use of exclamation points).
“‘Retrouvailles’ is one of the most beautiful French words to me," SLSO Music Director Stéphane Denève says in a statement. "It perfectly describes the happiness of being together again, after too long an interval! At last, we are indeed able to welcome our dear audience safely back at Powell Hall. What a joy to reunite our family, including our Conductor Laureate Leonard Slatkin and also the exciting addition of Stephanie Childress, our new Assistant Conductor! What a thrill to share altogether the power of live music anew! Music is a precious balm for these times and its essential resounding gives me hope for the bright future that lies ahead.”
All of the shows in the spring season will be recorded by the SLSO's new high-definition camera system, and each will be put online at a later date — so even if you can't catch them live, you can bet you'll be able to stream them down the road.
For tickets for the live performances, more info about Soundlab or streams of previous pconcerts, visit slso.org.