David Robertson | St. Louis Public Radio

David Robertson

omplishments with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra include a 2014 Grammy Award for a performance of John Adams' "City Noir."
St. Louis Symphony

This weekend, St. Louisans will say goodbye to a maestro known for honoring the magnificence of classical music while also making it approachable for the everyday person.

After 13 years as music director, David Robertson will conduct his final concert with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra on Sunday afternoon.

St. Louis Symphony music director David Robertson spoke about the 2015-16 season with "Cityscape" host Steve Potter.
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

On May 6, David Robertson will raise his baton for the final time as music director of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.

Coming to a close is Robertson’s 13-year tenure, highlighted by Grammy Award-winning recordings, national and international tours, and hundreds of concerts at Powell Hall.

Orli Shaham
Christian Steiner / Courtesy of Orli Shaham

Classical pianist Orli Shaham knew that she would likely have a career in music when she was only 11 or 12 years old.

“I knew I needed to be part of that music making,” Shaham said, recalling how she thought after getting the opportunity play with an orchestra at a young age.

Although Shaham has performed frequently with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra as a guest artist, for the final time, she will perform with the SLSO this weekend with her husband, David Robertson, as music director.

SLSO Music Director David Robertson in an interview with St. Louis Public Radio
Aine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

The acoustics of Powell Hall. The musicians. The audience.

David Robertson acknowledges that embarking on his final season as music director of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra is “bittersweet.” Robertson, however, who’s been with the SLSO since 2005, isn’t looking back just yet. He’s focused on the orchestra’s upcoming season, its 138th.

Stéphane Denève will be the St. Louis Symphony's next music director.
Photo by Drew Farrell | Courtesy of St. Louis Symphony

The St. Louis Symphony has named Stéphane Denève as its next music director.

Denève, music director of the Brussels Philharmonic and principal guest conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, will serve as music director designate during the 2018-2019 season. His three-year term begins with the 2019-2020 season.

Music director David Robertson conducts the St. Louis Symphony.
Provided by the St. Louis Symphony

The St. Louis Symphony and its musicians have a five-year contract that will increase the minimum salary for musicians to $100,000 in the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

The agreement, signed seven months before the current contract expires, aims to improve flexibility with scheduling, make rehearsals more efficient, and update tour conditions for musicians.

It comes after several strong financial performances and a significant 2016 annual campaign that helped boost the symphony's endowment to more than $200 million.  The contract will establish a stable working environment over the next five years – one that helps attract top talent in classical music, according to Vicky Smolik, Musicians Association of St. Louis representative.

David Robertson conducts a performance at Powell Hall in this file photo.
Dan Dreyfus

The St. Louis Symphony has extended the contract of Music Director David Robertson through the 2018-19 season. It will be his final season in St. Louis. Robertson began his tenure as music director in 2005.

“I want to express my profound gratitude and deep affection to the musicians of the St. Louis Symphony,” Robertson said. “I feel blessed for every note we have shared in our many years together and will share over the coming years.  Our collaboration is a continual joy for me.”

Violinist Leila Josefowicz plays with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in this photo taken earlier this fall.
Dilip Vishwanat

The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra can claim some of the glory in a Grammy Awards nomination announced today.

Violinist Leila Josefowicz was nominated for Best Classical Instrumental Solo for her performance on John Adams' Scheherazade.2,  in a February 2016 recording with the SLSO. Music Director David Robertson conducted the performance.

David Robertson and Marie-Hélène Bernard of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Symphony’s 137th season opens this Friday, September 16. On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, we heard from the orchestra’s music director, David Robertson, and president/CEO, Marie-Hélène Bernard about the upcoming season. We also heard about what they’re looking forward to most and, yes, got the backstory on that Nelly collaboration.

You can also catch the symphony on St. Louis Public Radio on Saturday nights, starting at 8 p.m. You can find a schedule of the symphony broadcasts here.

Music director David Robertson conducts the St. Louis Symphony.
Provided by the St. Louis Symphony

Updated Feb. 19, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. with audio from "St. Louis on the Air" – Look for the St. Louis Symphony to leave the ground and fly high in its 2016-17 season — a season that could be described, in part at least, as music in flight. 

This is the orchestra’s 137th season; the repertory for it was announced this morning by SLSO Music Director David Robertson and Symphony President and CEO Marie-Hélène Bernard. There's another milestone: Robertson himself chalks up a dozen career years on Grand Boulevard as maestro of the St. Louis orchestra. That, in a peripatetic era, is a statistic that soars on its own, and one cheered not only by St. Louis audiences but audiences all over the country and abroad, as well.

David Robertson conducts a performance at Powell Hall in this file photo.
Dan Dreyfus

The St. Louis Symphony will return to New York’s Carnegie Hall in March 2017.

Music director David Robertson will lead the symphony and chorus in a performance of John Adams’ “Gospel According to the Other Mary.” The event pays tribute to Adams’ 70th birthday.

The performance will include an international vocal ensemble, showcasing singer Kelley O’Connor. The mezzo-soprano performed the 2013 world premiere of the title role of “Gospel”

Deborah O'Grady / St. Louis Symphony

This weekend’s performance of French composer Olivier Messiaen’s “From the Canyons to the Stars” by the Saint Louis Symphony aims to take the listener from the orchestra pit to the passages and hollows of Bryce Canyon, Zion Canyon and Cedar Brake, Utah. These are the same places that Messiaen went in 1972 to find inspiration for the piece in 12 movements. 

Webster University

“Peter and the Wolf,” the classic work of Sergei Prokofiev, has been performed in countless guises over its 80-year history. It is often presented as a work for children, but the St. Louis Symphony is challenging that assumption with its next performance of the work over Thanksgiving weekend.

St. Louis Symphony music director David Robertson spoke about the 2015-16 season with "Cityscape" host Steve Potter.
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

This season at the St. Louis Symphony, “music tells the stories,” said music director David Robertson.

Robertson joined “Cityscape” host Steve Potter to discuss the Symphony’s 136th season, which begins this weekend and runs through June of next year.

St. Louis Symphony music director David Robertson is celebrating his 10th season with the symphony.
St. Louis Symphony

When the St. Louis Symphony’s 2014-15 season starts tonight, it will mark music director David Robertson’s 10th season. To celebrate, he’s throwing a party.

“I love celebrations with parties,” Robertson said. “The more people you have at a party, the more fun and diverse it becomes.”

This party, however, isn’t a one-night-only affair: It will last the entire season and will spotlight 50 musicians.

Dan Dreyfus | St. Louis Symphony

In writing about the strengths and weaknesses of contemporary American cities, the word infrastructure frequently issues forth from the keyboard. Sometimes it is paired with the words “challenges” or “failures.” In a more neutral context, it often is a corollary to nitty-gritty utility systems that keep the metropolis heated, moving, cooled and lighted, or on another scale, buildings that provide shelter for commerce and living.

David Robertson conducting at Powell Hall.
Scott Ferguson

The St. Louis Symphony has announced that David Robertson’s contract as music director has been extended through the 2017-18 season. Robertson came to St. Louis in 2005.

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.

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.

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