Mary Edwards

Senior Talk Show Producer, St. Louis Symphony Producer

Mary Edwards came to St. Louis Public Radio in 1974, just after finishing her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.  She has served the station in a number of capacities over the years, and is currently Senior Producer of  St. Louis Public Radio’s two local talk/call-in shows, “St. Louis on the Air” and “Cityscape,” and producer of the live Saturday night broadcasts of the St. Louis Symphony.  Mary also teaches an undergraduate class in radio production at Webster University. In her spare time, she enjoys playing the flute, participating in various music activities at her church, and water skiing.

Ways To Connect

Ken Howard

When Opera Theatre of Saint Louis approached Ricky Ian Gordon about writing an opera for mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe, he was thrilled. “Stephanie is sort of a phenomenon. She’s probably the only singer that makes the Met feel too small,” said Gordon to Cityscape host Steve Potter. “It’s very exciting writing for a singer that bears that kind of vocal stature on the stage.  And the minute her name was mentioned to me as someone to write an opera for, I said ‘Gertrude Stein’ because I thought the personality has to match the voice.”

It’s safe to say that the life of every person is at some time touched by cancer. That is the unifying factor in the 5th Annual “Sing for Siteman” benefit concert. Eight principal singers from Opera Theatre of Saint Louis’ 2014 season will perform in a concert directed and accompanied by pianist Carol Wong on June 9 to benefit Siteman Cancer Center’s Discovery Fund. The emcee will be St. Louis Post-Dispatch Classical Music Critic Sarah Bryan Miller.

Ken Howard

A new production of an old favorite opens Opera Theatre of Saint Louis’ 2014 season.  Fashion icon Isaac Mizrahi returns as director and designer of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Opening May 24, the production features tenor Sean Panikkar in the role of Tamino and noted Mozart expert Jane Glover conducts.

Circus Flora

The members of the Circus Flora family were stunned and saddened when their beloved patriarch David Balding passed away on Friday, May 9. One of the members of that family is theater director Cecil MacKinnon who is also known as Yo-Yo, the Narrator. She joined Cityscape host Steve Potter to remember Balding.

St. Louis County Library

In 2012 St. Louis County voters approved a $.06 tax increase to fund a capital improvement plan for the St. Louis County Library. As Phase I of the project gets underway, the library’s new director Kristen Sorth was Don Marsh’s guest on St. Louis on the Air to discuss the project and new initiatives at the library.

courtesy photo

When a friend asked St. Louis vocalist Denise Thimes to come to Detroit to sing for her father’s 75th birthday party, she didn’t tell her until she got there that one of the guests was Aretha Franklin. “I was shaking in my boots, to say the least,” Thimes told Cityscape host Steve Potter, but she pulled herself together and sang for the diva and the others in the audience. “She wanted to hear “The Way We Were” and I really tried to sing it to the best of my ability.  And she was very pleased with that.”

Although former Post-Dispatch columnist Elaine Viets now lives in Fort Lauderdale, both of her book series have St. Louis connections.  Her Josie Marcus Mystery Shopper series is set in Maplewood while the main character in her Dead-End Job Mystery series is a St. Louis woman on the run in South Florida.

Young pianist Conrad Tao was scheduled to make his St. Louis Symphony debut in concerts April 25-27, 2014 led by Conductor Laureate Leonard Slatkin. But when illness forced Markus Groh to cancel his appearances on February 1 and 2, 2013, Tao stepped in as soloist in Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 on less than 3 days’ notice and wowed audiences.

Erin Williams / St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson Cowie is a professor in Cornell University’s School of Labor and Industrial Relations teaching courses in labor relations, law and history.  His most recent book, Stayin’ Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class served as inspiration for Rebecca Gilman’s play, “Soups, Stews and Casseroles: 1976” which is now playing at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis.  While Cowie was in St.

Courtesy St. Louis Symphony

When Shannon Wood assumed the role of Principal Timpanist of the St. Louis Symphony last September, he had big shoes to fill.  His predecessor Richard Holmes had been in the position for 41 years before his death in 2011.  Wood never met his predecessor but was well aware of his reputation and was humbled to accept the position.

Private Collection / courtesy Kodner Gallery

To celebrate the 250th anniversary of St. Louis, the Sheldon Art Galleries has organized a major exhibition depicting the founding of the city and the people involved. Imagining the Founding of St. Louis includes paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture by a variety of noted artists.

Sheldon Art Galleries Director and co-curator of the exhibit Olivia Lahs-Gonzales commented, “Obviously this all happened before the advent of photography so there was no photographer on the boat with the explorers, so it’s really left up to artists to kind of imagine what it was like.”

Dan Dreyfus

The St. Louis Symphony announced plans for its 2014-15 season at a town hall meeting on Thursday, January 23.  It is a season highlighted by many significant anniversaries: David Robertson’s 10th as music director, David Halen’s 20th season as concertmaster, Amy Kaiser’s 20th season as chorus director, the 20th anniversary of the In UNISON Chorus, the 45th season of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra  and the 135th anniversary of the St. Louis Symphony, and all these take place while the city celebrates the 250th anniversary of its founding.

Dilip Vishwanat

St. Louis Symphony Music Director David Robertson sat down with Cityscape host Steve Potter for a year-end reflection on the accomplishments in the first four months of the 2013-14 season as well as a look at what is still in store.

Topping Robertson’s list of Fall highlights is the Carnegie Hall performance of Britten’s opera “Peter Grimes” which received much critical acclaim including being named in the top five classical concerts in 2013 by New York Times classical music critic Anthony Tommasini.

Jazz pianist and composer Peter Martin
Courtesy of Peter Martin

Vocalist Kim Massie and pianist Peter Martin performed a concert before a sold-out audience in the UMSL at Grand Center Community Room on December 6.  

The entire concert and an interview with Kim Massie will air on Arch City Radio Hour at 9:00 a.m. Monday, December 23 on St. Louis Public Radio’s HD2 Channel, The Gateway. Beginning at that time, the concert and interview will also be available on demand at the St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon website.

Mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey and tenor Nicholas Phan are two of the soloists that join David Robertson and the St. Louis Symphony and Chorus in Cantatas 1-3 of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio on December 6 and 7. The two singers also performed in the St. Louis Symphony's performance of Bach's Mass in B Minor in April, 2012.

(via Flickr/cliff1066™)

David Robertson conducted the St. Louis Symphony and Chorus as well as a roster of vocal soloists in a concert version of Benjamin Britten’s opera “Peter Grimes” in Carnegie Hall on November 22, the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth.  St. Louis Symphony goers had the opportunity to preview that performance the previous Saturday in Powell Hall.  Both performances received accolades from audience members and critics.

When Jeremy Segel-Moss, guitarist with the Bottoms Up Blues Gang, conceived the idea of the Baby Blues Showcase, he probably didn’t think about the fact that his group would one day age out of the annual event. But that’s exactly what happened. The original intent was to give blues musicians under the age of 30 a chance to shine for one night at BB’s Jazz, Blues and Soups.

Alex Irvin

David Robertson, the St. Louis Symphony and Chorus and a cast of vocal soloists led by tenor Anthony Dean Griffey and soprano Susanna Phillips traveled to New York City this week to perform a concert version of Benjamin Britten’s “Peter Grimes.”  The November 22nd performance marks the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth. St. Louisans were treated to a preview performance on November 16 in Powell Hall.

Alex Irvin

On Saturday, November 16, David Robertson conducted the St. Louis Symphony and Chorus and a cast of vocal soloists in a concert version of Benjamin Britten’s “Peter Grimes.” These same forces will reprise that performance in Carnegie Hall on Friday, November 22, the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

Alex Irvin

American tenor Anthony Dean Griffey has performed to great acclaim in opera houses and concert halls around the world.  But when he appears in the title role of the St. Louis Symphony’s concert version of Britten’s opera “Peter Grimes,” it will be another opportunity to sing the role that is near and dear to his heart.  Not only was it his first major role when he first performed it while a student at Tanglewood, but because Griffey grew up as a shy, misunderstood child, he feels a real connection to the character.

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