In a cramped hallway outside Stéphane Denève’s new office at Powell Hall, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra chief executive Marie-Hélène Bernard had a warning for the orchestra’s new music director.
There’ll be a lot of microphone reverb when he talks to the audience at the orchestra’s Forest Park concert the next night, she said.
“Like Woodstock!” he exclaimed, and pantomimed playing guitar to the tune of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
A crowd of 20,000 at Forest Park is not quite Woodstock, but it’s also a world away from Denève’s humble origins. This weekend, he leads his first concerts as the orchestra’s artistic leader.