Last week, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra took over the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts.
That symphony musicians play at the Pulitzer is not news. Ensembles have been bringing new works to the Grand Center neighbor for some time. But this time it was the entire orchestra and the work was a major piece by an American composer that had not be presented in this country before.
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.
Composer and musician Stephanie Berg will achieve a rare distinction when the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra performs her composition, “Ravish and Mayhem” at Powell Hall performances on Jan. 10 and 11. Berg, who is in her 20s, appears to be the youngest composer from St. Louis to have a work played by the SLSO during its subscription series.
Kansas City native Stephanie Berg just received a master's in clarinet performance and composition from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2012. And she only began thinking of making a career as a composer in 2009, after wining the Sinquefield Composition Prize. But she already is making her St. Louis Symphony debut. On Jan. 10 and 11, the symphony will perform Berg's "Ravish and Mayhem."
Originally written for chamber orchestra, the piece was inspired by a "wild street festival" in "some sort of exotic location, like ancient Egypt," Berg said.
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.