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Season highlights include:


  • a musical toast to the 90th anniversary of the Spirit of St. Louis in the opening week program
  • a salute to American composer John Adams on the occasion of his 70th birthday including a return to Carnegie Hall on March 31, 2017
  • a survey of the complete piano concertos by Beethoven
  • performances of three choral masterworks, spanning the centuries from Mozart to Walton to Adams, featuring the STL Symphony Chorus
  • a holiday performance featuring Act II of The Nutcracker, with projected images created by young artists from Webster University
  • a rousing season finale featuring concert performances of Wagner’s opera masterpiece, The Flying Dutchman, with vocal soloists and the STL Symphony Chorus


February 16, 2016 (ST. LOUIS)—Today, St. Louis Symphony Music Director David Robertson and President & CEO Marie-Hélène Bernard announced programming for the orchestra’s 2016/17 season—its 137th season and Robertson’s 12th as music director. The second-oldest orchestra in the United States, the STL Symphony offers 25 weeks of classical subscription programs, sponsored by Wells Fargo Advisors, with 12 of those weeks led by Robertson. In addition, Robertson leads the orchestra in three weeks of tours, including a return to New York’s famed Carnegie Hall. The 2016/17 season runs from Friday, September 16, 2016 through Sunday, May 6, 2017, and includes holiday offerings and special performances.


The STL Symphony continues its tradition of welcoming world-renowned artists to its stage, with 13 guest conductors and soloists making their debuts at Powell Hall in 2016/17.  In addition, 10 STL Symphony musicians make solo appearances with the orchestra, including Concertmaster David Halen, Principal and Assistant Principal Violas Beth Guterman Chu and Jonathan Chu, Principal Flute Mark Sparks, Principal Clarinet Scott Andrews, Principal Bassoon Andrew Cuneo, Horn Julie Thayer, Principal Trumpet Karen Bliznik, Second Trumpet Jeffrey Strong and Bass Trombone Gerard Pagano.


Music Director David Robertson said: “It’s always exciting to announce a new St. Louis Symphony season. In the 2016/17 season, my twelfth as Music Director, we are celebrating an anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s historic flight with a piece by Kurt Weill on Opening Weekend. We are also celebrating the 70th birthday of John Adams, both at Powell Hall with a number of performances, as well as at Carnegie Hall with his oratorio The Gospel According to the Other Mary. All five Beethoven piano concertos will be performed by five soloists and five conductors throughout the season. And since audiences seem to love what we do with big operas, our finale to 2016/17 will be Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman.”


President & CEO Marie-Hélène Bernard said: “The St. Louis Symphony is a remarkable orchestra with an extraordinary ability and nimbleness to embrace a great variety of repertoire. Next season offers an impressive display of works that balance the old and the new, with emerging and established talent, a true sign of the world-class stature of our orchestra. I continue to be impressed with David Robertson’s commitment to program music that is accessible to all.”






Music Director David Robertson opens the 2016/17 season with a nod to the 90th anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s historic flight across the Atlantic with a program titled “Spirit of St. Louis.” Robertson’s concerts open with Kurt Weill’s cantata, The Flight of Lindbergh, and features the St. Louis Symphony Chorus, under the direction of Amy Kaiser, and narration by Charlie Brennan from NewsRadio 1120 KMOX. The program continues with Pierre Boulez’s Dialogue de l’ombre double, with STL Symphony Principal Clarinet Scott Andrews as soloist, and closes with Debussy’s orchestral showpiece, La Mer (September 16 & 17, 2016).



The STL Symphony is acclaimed for outstanding recordings and performances of the works of John Adams, and is proud to celebrate the great American composer on the occasion of his 70th birthday.  As part of this celebration during 2016/17, Robertson and the orchestra perform Adams’ Violin Concerto, with soloist Leila Josefowicz (September 30-October 1, 2016), The Chairman Dances (January 13-15, 2017), and, with the St. Louis Symphony Chorus, his cantatas On the Transmigration of Souls—paired with Mozart’s Requiem(November 18-20, 2016) and The Gospel According to the Other Mary (March 24, 26, 2017). The celebration culminates with Robertson leading the Symphony and Chorus in a return to New York’s Carnegie Hall (March 31, 2017) for a performance of The Gospel According to the Other Mary, with vocal soloists Kelley O’Connor and Michaela Martens (mezzo-sopranos), Jay Hunter Morris (tenor) and Daniel Bubeck, Brian Cummings and Nathan Medley (countertenors).





Beethoven’s piano concertos are perhaps some of the most memorable ever written, and his genius is on display throughout the 2016/17 season, as the STL Symphony traverses his complete piano concertos with distinguished soloists at the keyboard.


  • Music Director David Robertson leads the first concerts of the survey—Piano Concerto No. 3—with soloist Yefim Bronfman. Music of Mozart, George Benjamin and Haydn complete this program. (September 24-25, 2016)


  • Guest conductor Cristian Macelaru leads Piano Concerto No. 4, with soloist Orli Shaham, on a program with two Russian works by Balakirev and Rachmaninoff. (October 21-23, 2016)


  • Guest conductor Robert Spano leads the towering “Emperor” concerto (No. 5) with pianist Stephen Hough, on a program of music by Sibelius and Respighi. (November 25-27, 2016)


  • Pianist Rafał Blechacz makes his STL Symphony debut performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2, under the baton of guest conductor Andrey Boreyko. This program also includes works by Rossini and Shostakovich. (January 20-21, 2017)


  • Completing the cycle is pianist Steven Osborne, performing Piano Concerto No. 1, with guest conductor Stéphane Denè Strauss’ An Alpine Symphony rounds out the program. (March 10-11, 2017)





Throughout the 2016/17 season, the STL Symphony joins forces with its St. Louis Symphony Chorus, Amy Kaiser, director, for performances of choral masterworks, spanning the centuries from Mozart to Walton to Adams.


  • Music Director David Robertson leads a pair of renowned choral works written centuries apart—Mozart’s Requiem and John Adams’ On the Transmigration of Souls—on a program that opens with Ives’ The Unanswered Question. In addition to the Chorus, the performances also feature The Louis Children’s Choirs, Barbara Berner, artistic director.  (November 18-20, 2016)


  • Guest conductor Sir Andrew Davis leads the orchestra and chorus in Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast, on a program that also includes music by Nicolai and Elgar. (February 24-25, 2017)


  • The celebration of John Adams’ 70th birthday continues with performances of his The Gospel According to the Other Mary, led by Robertson, and featuring vocal soloists Kelley O’Connor and Michaela Martens (mezzo-sopranos), Jay Hunter Morris (tenor) and Daniel Bubeck, Brian Cummings and Nathan Medley (countertenors). (March 24, 26, 2017).




David Robertson closes the Symphony’s 2016/17 subscription season with a concert presentation of Wagner’s stormy tale of obsession, passion and drama—The Flying Dutchman. Two performances (May 4 & 6, 2017) feature the St. Louis Symphony Chorus (Amy Kaiser, director) and an international cast of vocal soloists, including bass-baritone Alan Held as The Dutchman, and, in their STL Symphony debuts, soprano Orla Boylan as Senta and baritone Teddy Tahu Rhodes as Daland.



World Premiere

STL Symphony Bass Trombone Gerard Pagano is the featured soloist in the world premiere of the orchestral version of American composer James Stephenson’s trombone concerto, The Arch. The work was originally written for Pagano in 2010 with piano accompaniment. This performance marks the premiere of his arrangement for trombone and orchestra of the piece that was inspired by St. Louis’ Gateway Arch. David Robertson conducts. (April 28, 2017)

U.S. Premieres

David Robertson leads the STL Symphony in two U.S. premieres in the 2016/17 season.

  • Swedish trumpeter Håkan Hardenberger is soloist in the United States premiere of Norwegian composer Rolf Wallin’s concerto for trumpet, Fisher King. Written and premiered in 2011, Fisher King is included on a program with Copland’s Appalachian Spring Suite and Beethoven’s towering Symphony No. 7. (January 27-29, 2017)


  • Luxembourgian composer Georges Lentz’s Jerusalem (after Blake), for orchestra and electronics, receives its U.S. premiere by the STL Symphony on a program that also includes Elgar’s Serenade in E minor and Brahms’ Violin Concerto, performed by Augustin Hadelich. (April 29-30, 2017)

First Performances by the STL Symphony

In addition to the U.S. premieres, ten works receive their first-ever performances by the St. Louis Symphony during the 2016/17 season:

  • WEILL  The Flight of Lindbergh David Robertson, conductor (September 16-17, 2016)
  • BENJAMIN  Viola, Viola   David Robertson, conductor (September 24-25, 2016)
  • ADAMS  Violin Concerto   David Robertson, conductor (September 30-October 1, 2016)
  • LUTOSŁAWSKI  Chain 3   Hannu Lintu, conductor (October 14-16, 2016)
  • LISZT  Prometheus   Jun Märkl, conductor (October 28-29, 2016)
  • SLATKIN  Kinah   Leonard Slatkin, conductor  (November 11-13, 2016)
  • SIBELIUS  Pohjola’s Daughter   Robert Spano, conductor (November 25-27, 2016)
  • ADAMS  The Gospel According to the Other Mary   David Robertson, conductor (March 24, 26, 2017)
  • SILVESTROV  Hymn   John Storgårds, conductor (April 21-23, 2017)
  • WAGNER  The Flying Dutchman (complete)   David Robertson, conductor (May 4, 6, 2017)




Many familiar favorites from the orchestral repertoire will be offered during the 2016-17 subscription season, including:


  • MOZART  Eine kleine Nachtmusik (September 23, 2016)
  • BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 3, “Eroica” (September 30, October 1, 2016)
  • DVOŘÁK  Cello Concerto (October 14-16, 2016)
  • STRAVINSKY  Petrushka (October 14-16, 2016)
  • TCHAIKOVSKY  Symphony No. 5 (November 4-5, 2016)
  • GERSHWIN  Selections from Porgy and Bess (November 11-13, 2016)
  • TCHAIKOVSKY  Act II from The Nutcracker (December 2-4, 2016)
  • DVOŘÁK  Symphony No. 9, “From the New World” (January 13-15, 2017)
  • SHOSTAKOVICH  Symphony No. 15 (January 20-21, 2017)
  • COPLAND  Appalachian Spring Suite (January 27-29, 2017)
  • BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 7 (January 27-29, 2017)
  • BACH  Orchestral Suites 1-4 (March 3-5, 2017)
  • STRAUSS  An Alpine Symphony (March 10-11, 2017)
  • GERSHWIN  Rhapsody in Blue (April 7-9, 2017)
  • BARTÓK  Concerto for Orchestra (April 21-23, 2017)
  • DEBUSSY  Clair de lune (April 28, 2017)
  • BRAHMS  Violin Concerto (April 29-30, 2017)





Music Director David Robertson takes the STL Symphony and Chorus (Amy Kaiser, director) on a return trip to New York’s most distinguished and storied venue, Carnegie Hall, for a performance of Adams’ The Gospel According to the Other Mary as part of Adams 70th birthday celebration. Mezzo-sopranos Kelley O’Connor and Michaela Martens, tenor Jay Hunter Morris and countertenors Daniel Bubeck, Brian Cummings and Nathan Medley are the featured vocal soloists. (March 31, 2017)


Details of additional tours will be announced at a later date.





The St. Louis Symphony welcomes the following musicians in their debuts with the orchestra during the 2016/17 season:


  • Conductor

Han-Na Chang (November 4-5, 2016)


  • Piano

Rafał Blechacz (January 20-21, 2017)

Steven Osborne (March 10-11, 2017)

Nikolai Lugansky (April 21-23, 2017)


  • Cello

Alban Gerhardt (October 14-16, 2016)


  • Horn

Julie Thayer* (April 28, 2017)


  • Trumpet

Jeffrey Strong* (September 23, 2016)

Håkan Hardenberger (January 27-29, 2017)


  • Vocalists

Michaela Martens, mezzo-soprano (March 24, 26, 2017)

Nathan Medley, countertenor (March 24, 26, 2017)

Jay Hunter Morris, tenor (March 24, 26, 2017)

Orla Boylan, soprano (May 4, 6, 2017)

Teddy Tahu Rhodes, baritione (May 4, 6, 2017)

Paul Appleby, tenor (May 4, 6, 2017)


* STL Symphony musician







  • Conductors

Nicholas McGegan (October 7-8, 2016)

Hannu Lintu (October 14-16, 2016)

Cristian Macelaru (October 21-23, 2016)

Jun Märkl (October 28-29, 2016)

Leonard Slatkin (November 11-13, 2016)

Robert Spano (November 25-27, 2016)

Ward Stare (December 2-4, 2016)

Andrey Boreyko (January 20-21, 2017)

Sir Andrew Davis (February 24-25, 2017)

Bernard Labadie (March 3-5, 2017)

Stéphane Denève (March 10-11, 2017)

John Storgårds (April 21-23, 2017)

  • Piano

Yefim Bronfman (September 24-25, 2016)

Orli Shaham (October 21-23, 2016)

Jeremy Denk (October 28-29, 2016)

Stephen Hough (November 25-27, 2016)

Olga Kern (November 11-13, 2016)

Kirill Gerstein (April 7-9, 2017)


  • Violin

Leila Josefowicz (September 30-October 1, 2016)

Jennifer Koh (October 7-8, 2016)

David Halen* (December 2-4, 2016)

Gil Shaham (January 13-15, 2017)

Augustin Hadelich (April 29-30, 2017)


  • Viola

Beth Guterman Chu* (September 24-25, 2016)

Jonathan Chu* (September 24-25, 2016)


  • Flute

Mark Sparks* (March 3-5, 2017)


  • Clarinet

Scott Andrews* (September 16-17, 2016)


  • Bassoon

Andrew Cuneo* (September 23, 2016)


  • Trumpet

Karin Bliznik* (September 23, 2016)


  • Bass Trombone

Gerard Pagano* (April 28, 2017)


  • Vocalists

Daniel Bubeck, countertenor (March 24, 26, 2017)

Brian Cummings, countertenor (March 24, 26, 2017)

Kelley O’Connor, mezzo-soprano (March 24, 26, 2017)

Alan Held, bass-baritone (May 4, 6, 2017)


  • Vocal Ensembles

STL Symphony Chorus, Amy Kaiser, director (September 16-17; November 18-20, 2016; February 24-25; March 24, 26; May 4, 6; 2017)

The St. Louis Children’s Choirs, Barbara Berner, artistic director (November 18-20, 2016)


* STL Symphony musician





Guaranteed to please families of all ages, the St. Louis Symphony offers a wide array of seasonal performances guaranteed to bring the holiday spirit to life.


  • Subscription performances in December, led by guest conductor Ward Stare, feature the complete ballet score to Act II of Tchaikovsky’s timeless holiday classic ballet The Nutcracker. Visuals, designed by students from Webster University Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts, will be projected to give the performance an extra-special flair. This all-Russian program also includes a violin suite with music from two of Tchaikovsky’s other ballets, Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty, with STL Symphony Concertmaster David Halen as soloist, and Borodin’s Prince Igor (December 4-6, 2016)


  • Led by IN UNISON Chorus Director Kevin McBeth, the St. Louis Symphony and the St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON Chorus celebrate A Gospel Christmas with an evening of soul-stirring hymns of the season. This concert is supported by Monsanto Fund. (December 8, 2016)


  • Powell Hall will be fully decked for the Holiday Celebration concerts. The Holiday Festival Chorus, led by Kevin McBeth, is featured in five festive performances featuring timeless classics, carols, familiar favorites and even a visit from St. Nick! (December 16-18, 2016)


  • Ring in the New Year with the annual BMO Private Bank New Year’s Eve Concert, led by Music Director David Robertson. The program is an enchanting evening full of magical music and unforgettable surprises. Presented by BMO Private Bank. (December 31, 2016)


  • IN UNISON Chorus Director Kevin McBeth leads the STL Symphony and the STL Symphony IN UNISON Chorus in its annual concert, Lift Every Voice, celebrating African-American culture and music with a soulful celebration of song. This concert is presented by Monsanto Fund. (February 17, 2017)


  • The STL Symphony’s annual, black-tie fundraising gala takes place Saturday, March 25, 2017, when guests will enjoy cocktails, dinner, dancing and a special performance by members of the STL Symphony. Proceeds from the event support the STL Symphony’s education and community programs. More details to be announced at a future date.




The Pulitzer Arts Foundation and the STL Symphony continue their ongoing collaborative concert series aimed at exploring contemporary music, art and architecture. These concerts are hosted in Tadao Ando’s newly renovated, intimate and contemporary setting of the Pulitzer Arts Foundation. Programs and details about events the 2016-2017 season will be announced at a later date.




The 2016/17 season marks the seventh year of partnerships with two leading public media outlets – The Nine Network of Public Media and St. Louis Public Radio, 90.7-KWMU. St. Louis Public Radio broadcasts and live streams of the entire St. Louis Symphony Saturday night Wells Fargo Advisors Orchestral Series will resume in September, 2016.  The Nine Network regularly features STL Symphony performances on its Night at the Symphony program.





A full schedule of 2016/17 Live at Powell Hall concerts, featuring popular music programming, light classical favorites and much more, will be announced on May 9, 2016.




The St. Louis Symphony performs four innovative and interactive Family Concerts during the 2016/17 season, each designed to engage and capture the imagination of younger listeners. Program dates & details will be announced later this spring.




The STL Symphony’s External Affairs Department coordinates the Symphony’s Education, Community Partnership and Youth Orchestra programs. Its mission: To enrich people’s lives

through the power of music by providing many free, live events in intimate community settings. Each year, the St. Louis Symphony shares its talents with thousands of people in our area. This is accomplished in several ways:


  • Education programs:


  • Symphony in Your School, an intense residency program that includes a school resident musician group and additional visits and lessons from St. Louis Symphony musicians and staff featuring cross-curricular lesson plans.


  • Education and Family Concerts, held four times each season. More than 40,000 children attend these performances at Powell Hall each year.



  • Community Partnerships:


  • Symphony In Your City, free performances held at venues throughout the city of St. Louis, including Powell Hall.


  • Symphony In Your Neighborhood, free performances at special community venues.


  • Symphony In Your College, providing performances and master classes at colleges and universities in both Missouri and Illinois.


  • SymphonyCares, bringing the power of music to patients in hospitals, retirement communities and assisted-living facilities.


  • Symphony Where You Worship, including the St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON church program.  The IN UNISON program provides performances at more than 40 African-American churches throughout the St. Louis area each year. Other Symphony Where You Worship performances are held at synagogues, diverse places of worship and interfaith events.


  • Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra:


  • Now in its 46th season, this program trains talented musicians from more than three dozen schools across the St. Louis area.


  • Offers student musicians an expanded curriculum through Beyond Rehearsal, a series of workshops, talks and exercises designed to help cultivate “the whole musician,” including one-on-one interactions with STL Symphony musicians and staff.


  • The orchestra’s three performances at Powell Hall during the 2016/17 season are free with a $1 processing fee per ticket.


To learn more about the Education and Community Partnership programs of the St. Louis Symphony, visit

The St. Louis Symphony’s 2016/17 classical subscription season is sponsored by Wells Fargo Advisors.  Other generous sponsors of programming throughout the season include the Thomas A. Kooyumjian Family Foundation and Thompson Coburn.

Founded in 1880 and now approaching its 137th season, the STL Symphony is the second-oldest orchestra in the country and widely considered one of the world’s finest. In September 2005, internationally acclaimed conductor David Robertson became the 12th Music Director, the second American-born conductor to hold that post in the Orchestra’s history.  The STL Symphony strives for artistic excellence, fiscal responsibility and community connection while meeting its mission statement:  enriching people’s live through the power of music. The Symphony presents a full season of classical programs and Live at Powell Hall concerts and hundreds of free education and community programs each year.  Media partners include St. Louis Public Radio, 90.7 –KWMU, which broadcasts the Symphony’s Saturday night subscription concerts live, and The Nine Network, which regularly features STL Symphony performances on its Night at the Symphony program.


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