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A Hero's Life 

When: Sat., Oct. 12, 8 p.m. and Sun., Oct. 13, 3 p.m. 2019
Price: $15-$85
Leonard Slatkin remains a beloved figure in St. Louis for his work with the St. Louis Symphony, of which he is the conductor laureate. Slatkin returns to town to celebrate his 75th birthday by — what else? — leading the orchestra through a selection of music that finishes with Richard Strauss' tone poem Ein Heldenleben (A Hero's Life). Despite the piece's modern popularity, it was originally greeted with critical approbation, which Strauss was very familiar with. It's a musical journey through the life of a stylized hero (often presumed to be Strauss himself), who appears, then fights his adversaries and retreats to the comforts of home and his unnamed companion. He returns to battle, earns a hard-fought piece and then retires. The piece is performed at 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday (October 12 and 13) at Powell Hall (718 North Grand Boulevard; Tickets are $15 to $85.
— Paul Friswold
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