SLSO to welcome music director designate Stéphane Denève for two weeks of concerts and special events

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Stéphane Denève, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (SLSO) Music Director Designate and incoming 13th Music Director, returns to lead the SLSO for two weeks of concerts and events February 5-17, 2019.

Denève begins his tenure as Music Director of the SLSO starting with the 2019/2020 season. He leads the SLSO in four subscription programs in the current 2018/2019 season.

The upcoming two-week celebration begins Tuesday, February 5, when Denève and the SLSO announce programming details for the 19/20 season, the SLSO’s 140th and Denève’s first as Music Director.

St. Louisans are invited to “Fall in Love with Stéphane” at a special event on Friday, February 8, at the St. Louis Union Station Ballroom. The evening is a festive welcome party for Denève. During the evening, SLSO musicians, including acoustic quartet The 442s, will offer musical gifts to the incoming Music Director, followed by dancing to the sounds of Fabulous Motown Revue, an energetic variety band.

Denève conducts the SLSO in two Classical Concerts – February 8-10 and February 15-16 – featuring works by Mozart, Vaughan Williams, Brahms, and Prokofiev. He will also take the podium on February 17, leading the SLSO in bringing the classic fairy tale Cinderella to life at the Family Concert for listeners of all ages.

Denève conducts the closing program of the Classical season on May 10-12, 2019, leading the SLSO in its premiere of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Nyx, Ravel’s Shéhérazade, and Berlioz’s masterpiece, Symphonie fantastique.

Fall in Love with Stéphane event
February 8, 2019

The SLSO invites St. Louisans to meet Stéphane Denève, the next Music Director of the SLSO, at a special event with creative cocktails, flavorful food, and surprising musical performances. Genre-defying acoustic ensemble, The 442s, partner with members of the SLSO to present a one-of-a-kind musical welcome gift for the incoming Music Director. Guests can then dance the night away with vibrant jazz music from Fabulous Motown Revue.

Friday, February 8, 2019, 7:00-11:00 pm
St. Louis Union Station Ballroom, 1820 Market Street, St. Louis, MO

7:00 pm – Cocktails and Dinner
8:00 pm – Musical Program
9:00 pm – Dancing to Fabulous Motown Revue

Co-chairs for Fall in Love with Stéphane are Janice and Steve Seele; Rachel and Jermal Seward; Ray Simon and Mel Pashea; and Sarah and Dan Wessel. The event is supported by Ascension, KPMG, Sarah and Dan Wessel, Centene, LHM Hospitality, Jean-Paul and Isabelle Montupet, Saint Louis Bank, and Janice and Steve Seele.

Event tickets are $150. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit https://www.slso.org/love.

Stéphane’s Serenade
February 8-10, 2019

Viewing this season as his “engagement“ season with the SLSO, Denève programmed the February 8-10 concerts around the idea of a romantic serenade. The program opens with a familiar Mozart work, Eine kleine Nachtmusik, K. 525, known for its sublime beauty. Next, Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending depicts an enchanting lark in the forest, represented by Concertmaster David Halen as the featured soloist. Halen is one of seven SLSO musicians stepping forward as featured soloists during the 18/19 season. More members of the SLSO family are featured in another Vaughan Williams masterwork, his Serenade to Music. Sixteen members of the St. Louis Symphony Chorus solo during the piece, which sets text derived from William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice to music. Closing the program is Brahms’ Symphony No. 2, an idyllic and inspiring work.

Friday, February 8, 2019, 10:30am
Saturday, February 9, 2019, 8:00 pm
Sunday, February 10, 2019, 3:00 pm
Powell Hall, 718 N. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, MO

Stéphane Denève, conductor
David Halen, violin
Members of the St. Louis Symphony Chorus | Amy Kaiser, director

MOZART Eine kleine Nachtmusik, K. 525
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS The Lark Ascending
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Serenade to Music
BRAHMS Symphony No. 2

Audiences can attend the free Pre-Concert Conversation at 9:30 am Friday, 7:00 pm Saturday, or 2:00pm Sunday in the auditorium. This weekend, the conversations are hosted by SLSO Resident Conductor Gemma New.

Tune in to St. Louis Public Radio on Saturday, February 9, at 8:00pm for the live broadcast of the performance, along with interviews of Denève, Halen, and SLSO President and CEO Marie-Hélène Bernard during intermission. Listen on air (90.7 FM KWMU) or online.

This concert is presented by The Thomas A. Kooyumjian Family Foundation.

Denève Conducts Prokofiev
February 15-16, 2019

Denève leads the SLSO in a program featuring the music of Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev on February 15-16. The concert opens with Denève’s arrangement of Prokofiev’s Cinderella Suite, a selection of pieces from the ballet Cinderella – one of the composer’s most popular works. Denève then collaborates with world-renowned pianist Yefim Bronfman for the first time, performing Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2. One of the most technically challenging pieces in the piano repertoire, Bronfman returns for his 12th appearance with the SLSO. Closing the concert is Alexander Nevsky, a cantata featuring the musical score to a 1938 Russian film with the same name. Mezzo-soprano Clémentine Margaine makes her debut with the SLSO in the performance of Nevsky, a story of invasion and salvation set in 13th century Russia. The St. Louis Symphony Chorus joins Denève for the performance, one of six programs that features the chorus in the 18/19 season.

Also, Bronfman debuts the SLSO’s new nine-foot Steinway grand piano, which was supported by a gift from an anonymous donor. Denève and Bronfman selected the new piano together at the Steinway factory in New York City.

Friday, February 15, 2019, 8:00pm
Saturday, February 16, 2019, 8:00pm
Powell Hall, 718 N. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, MO

Stéphane Denève, conductor
Yefim Bronfman, piano
Clémentine Margaine, mezzo-soprano
St. Louis Symphony Chorus | Amy Kaiser, director

PROKOFIEV/DENÈVE Cinderella Suite
PROKOFIEV Piano Concerto No. 2
PROKOFIEV Alexander Nevsky

Audiences can attend the free Pre-Concert Conversation at 7:00 pm Friday and Saturday in the auditorium. This weekend, the conversations are hosted by pianist Peter Henderson.

Tune in to St. Louis Public Radio on Saturday, February 16, at 8:00pm for the live broadcast of the performance. Listen on air (90.7 FM KWMU) or online.

The 18/19 SLSO Classical Season is presented by World Wide Technology and the Steward Family Foundation and runs through May 12, 2019.

Family Concert
February 17, 2019

Denève’s two-week return to the SLSO concludes on Sunday, February 17, with a family concert featuring a beloved favorite, Cinderella. Families are invited to hear the classic fairy tale brought to life by selections from Prokofiev’s vibrant and colorful score to the ballet Cinderella. This concert will last for approximately one hour. Actors with the Filament Theatre in Chicago will tell the story of Cinderella during the concert, bringing a modern twist to the familiar fairy tale while the SLSO plays Prokofiev’s music. Families are invited to Powell Hall before the concert for the SLSO’s Instrument Playground. Starting at 2:00pm before each Family Concert, guests can explore, touch, and play real instruments of the orchestra in this hands-on experience located in Powell Hall’s Wightman Grand Foyer. Families can also have photos taken with a prince or princess before the concert.

Sunday, February 17, 2019, 3:00pm
Powell Hall, 718 N. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, MO

Stéphane Denève, conductor

Tickets are on sale now and start at $8 for children. Tickets may be purchased at www.slso.org or by calling the Box Office at 314-534-1700.