David Robertson

St. Louis (February 10, 2009)—The Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra (SLSO) announces its 2009-10 season: the orchestra’s 130th since its founding in 1880, and fifth under Music Director David Robertson. The 2009-10 Wachovia Securities Orchestral Series runs from September 26, 2009 through May 9, 2010.
David Robertson says of the upcoming season, “A lot of the music this season is larger than life—dramatic, vital works that encompass the full range of human expression. Music has a way of creating spaces where we may re-discover those things that unite us, rather than emphasize those things that keep us apart. I think many of the concerts we’re performing this season convey this spirit: Tippett’s A Child of Our Time, for example, or the combination of works by Chinese composers and those Europeans inspired by the idea of Asia, which will be part of the Carnegie series celebrating Chinese culture. Also there’s some space for showing off, as we go on tour to California playing music that displays the richness and excitement of what the orchestra can do—if you’re looking for the spectacular in St. Louis, that’s what this is all about.”

SLSO President and Executive Director Fred Bronstein emphasizes the breadth and accessibility of the new season: “Creating something for everyone really is at the heart of the diversity, strength, and appeal of the 2009-2010 Season and at the core of what the SLSO can do. From the expansion of our newly launched SLSO Presents popular music series, to a spectacular Gala—our first in 10 years—to a two-week Beethoven Festival to blockbuster works such as The Planets and Pines of Rome, to Mendelssohn’s complete A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Mozart’s gorgeous Requiem, as well as exciting works by composers of our time such as John Adams, Meredith Monk, and Tan Dun, it is clear that we are very serious about making Powell Hall the place to be for music in St. Louis. There will be more dynamic music-making than ever before, with something truly for everyone.

“The new season, with its expanded and diversified offerings,” Bronstein adds, “is also a significant component in the SLSO’s Building Our Business initiative launched in the summer of 2008, which has audience building at its core.”

Highlights of the 2009-10 Season include:

  • Beethoven Festival featuring violinist Christian Tetzlaff and pianist Radu Lupu, with David Robertson conducting
  • Orchestral Centerpieces including Handel’s Messiah, Holst’s The Planets, Respighi’s Pines of Rome, Mozart’s Requiem and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture
  • Focus on Contemporary Composers and World Premieres of works by Rollo Dilworth and Meredith Monk
  • Violin Masterworks performed by master virtuosos in spring 2010
  • SLSO Presents, the popular new series has been expanded
  • California Tour, the SLSO’s first since 1999
  • Yo-Yo Ma in a special Gala Concert, the SLSO’s first since 1999.


Beethoven Festival (January 29-30 & February 5-7, 2010)Over two weekends David Robertson and the SLSO celebrate the genius of Beethoven, the 19th-century composer whose works remain popular, radical, fresh and inspiring in the 21st century. Christian Tetzlaff returns to perform the Violin Concerto on a program that includes the Symphony No. 5, January 29-30. The following weekend Radu Lupu performs two Beethoven concertos, the Piano Concerto No. 3 on February 5 and 7, and the Piano Concerto No. 1 on February 6. The groundbreaking “Eroica” Symphony serves as the finale to the concerts in February.


The Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra performs some of the greatest music ever created, masterworks that have remained “greatest hits” among audiences over generations. These “Orchestral Centerpieces” appear throughout the season, as the orchestra and audiences re-discover (and for some audiences, discover for the first time) music that has distinguished itself as the core of the orchestral repertoire. These include:

  • Opening Weekend (September 25-26, 2009), Mahler’s Symphony No. 5, David Robertson conducting
  • Mendelssohn’s complete A Midsummer Night’s Dream (October 10-11, 2009), Nicholas McGegan conducting
  • Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture (October 16-17, 2009), Bramwell Tovey conducting
  • Dvorák’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World” (November 27-28, 2009), with SLSO Resident Conductor Ward Stare conducting his subscription debut
  • Handel’s Messiah (December 11-13, 2009) with soprano Dominique Labelle, countertenor Daniel Taylor, tenor James Gilchrist, bass-baritone Nathan Berg, the Saint Louis Symphony Chorus under the direction of Amy Kaiser, Nicholas McGegan conducting
  • Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique (January 15-16, 2010), Susanna Mälkki conducting
  • Respighi’s Pines of Rome (January 22-24, 2010), Stéphane Denève conducting
  • Mozart’s Requiem (February 26-27, 2010), with the Saint Louis Symphony Chorus under the direction of Amy Kaiser, Roberto Abbado conducting
  • Holst’s The Planets (March 5-6, 2010), David Robertson conducting
  • an all-Wagner program (May 1-2, 2010) featuring soprano Christine Brewer and tenor Alan Held, David Robertson conducting
  • Season Finale (May 7-9, 2010), Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Vaughan Williams’ Symphony No. 1, “A Sea Symphony,” with soloist Horacio Gutiérrez, Robert Spano conducting



World Premieres (October 23 & 25, 2009 & March 13, 2010)—David Robertson and the SLSO continue the orchestra’s long tradition of presenting new works by exciting and innovative composers, including two world premieres of works by Rollo Dilworth and Meredith Monk at Powell Hall.

Chicago-based composer Rollo Dilworth places an emphasis on spirituals and gospel-inspired themes in his choral music. Dilworth has a St. Louis connection, as he studied composition with the director of the renowned Saint Louis Symphony IN UNISON® Chorus, Dr. Robert Ray, at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. David Robertson says of Dilworth’s work, commissioned by the SLSO and as yet untitled, “It is based around the spirituals. And as many spirituals are based around the Old Testament, especially Psalms, there is an overall tone of solace to the piece.” Dilworth’s themes combine with those of Barber’s Adagio, Zimmermann’s Trumpet Concerto, “Nobody knows the trouble I see,” and Tippett’s A Child of Our Time, in concerts that combine the Saint Louis Symphony Chorus and the Saint Louis Symphony IN UNISON® Chorus on October 23, and for a special SoundCheck concert, open to high school and college students only, on October 25, 2009 at Powell Hall.

The brilliant composer and performance artist Meredith Monk presents a new work with the Meredith Monk Vocal Ensemble and the Saint Louis Symphony Chorus, with David Robertson conducting. Robertson says “Meredith Monk is from a vocal tradition that is both classical and primal. She’s a really fascinating creator who is very attuned to music being as natural as breathing, which may come from her experience with singing—all comes from breath and experiencing the music through her ears, which is why she and Bartók fit so well on the program together.” Monk’s as yet untitled new work will be on the same program as her “Night,” and with Bartók’s Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta at Powell Hall on March 13, 2010.

Other contemporary composers and their works featured in the upcoming season include:

  • John Adams, Doctor Atomic Symphony (April 9-10, 2010 and California Tour)
  • Bright Sheng, Colors of Crimson* (October 30-31, 2009 at Powell Hall & November 4, 2009 at Carnegie Hall)
  • John Estacio, Frenergy* (December 4-6, 2009)
  • Luca Francesconi, Cobalt, Scarlet: Two Colors of Dawn* (February 26-27, 2010)
  • Osvaldo Golijov, Azul* (September 25-26, 2009)
  • Magnus Lindberg, Parada* (January 15-16, 2010)
  • André Previn, Diversions* (March 19-20, 2010)
  • Christopher Rouse, Rapture (April 9-10, 2010 and California Tour)
  • Tan Dun, Water Concerto* (October 30-31, 2009 at Powell Hall and November 4, 2009 at Carnegie Hall)

* SLSO premiere


The Violin—In the spring of 2010 the SLSO places a special focus on violin masterworks, featuring some of the great virtuosos of our time. Featured violinists and composers include:

  • Viviane Hagner*, Mendelssohn Violin Concerto (February 12-14, 2010)
  • Renaud Capuçon*, Ligeti Violin Concerto** (March 5-6, 2010)
  • Gil Shaham, Mozart Violin Concerto No. 2, Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 2 and Stravinsky Violin Concerto (April 9-10, 2010 and on the California Tour)
  • Pinchas Zukerman, Bach Violin Concerto No. 1 (April 23-25, 2010)

*SLSO debut
**SLSO premiere


SLSO Presents—The new series of concerts presenting popular music with the SLSO and featured artists expands, as Powell Hall continues to become the place to be for all kinds of music for every audience. Concerts include:

  • The Movie Music of John Williams, David Robertson conducting (November 7-8, 2009)
  • The Magical Music of Walt Disney, David Robertson conducting (January 2-3, 2010)
  • Bugs Bunny on Broadway, George Daugherty conducting (February 20-21, 2010)

More exciting SLSO Presents concerts will be announced as the season approaches.


California Tour (April 14-18, 2010)—David Robertson and the SLSO, with featured artist Gil Shaham, make a four-city, five-concert tour of California, the first such tour for the orchestra since 1999. The tour includes:

  • Disney Hall in Los Angeles, the SLSO’s debut in the famed performance space (April 14, 2010)
  • McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert (April 15, 2010)
  • Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts on the University of California-Davis campus (April 16, 2010)
  • Davies Hall in San Francisco (April 17-18, 2010)

Gil Shaham performs three concertos on the tour: Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 2, Prokofiev’s Violin Concert No. 2, and Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto. Other works planned for the tour include Mozart’s Symphony No. 36, “Linz”; Sibelius’ Symphony No. 7; Christopher Rouse’s Rapture; and John Adams’ Doctor Atomic Symphony, which received its United States premiere at Powell Hall on February 7, 2008. A live recording of that premiere—combined with a live recording of Robertson and the SLSO performing Adams’ Guide to Strange Places—is to be released as a Nonesuch CD in 2009. The pre-eminent living American composer, John Adams dedicated this symphony to David Robertson; the work was co-commissioned by the BBC, Carnegie Hall and the SLSO.


Gala with Yo-Yo Ma (October 24, 2009)—The SLSO’s first Gala Concert since 1999 features star cellist Yo-Yo Ma performing Dvorák’s Cello Concerto, in a program that includes Schubert’s Symphony No. 8, “Unfinished.” David Robertson conducts the orchestra on this evening at Powell Hall. As part of this Gala event, “A Noteworthy Affair,” a post-concert dinner and dance will be held at the historic Coronado Ballroom in the Grand Center arts and entertainment district in St. Louis.


Carnegie Tour (November 4, 2009)David Robertson and the SLSO again have been invited to perform at New York City’s Carnegie Hall. This season the SLSO takes part in Carnegie’s special series Ancient Paths, Modern Voices: Celebrating Chinese Culture. Percussion virtuoso Colin Currie joins the SLSO in this concert, performing works by contemporary Chinese composers Tan Dun (Water Concerto) and Bright Sheng (Colors of Crimson). St. Louis audiences may experience the Carnegie program, which includes Stravinsky’s Song of the Nightingale (Chant du Rossignol) and Bartók’s The Miraculous Mandarin Suite, on October 30-31, 2009.


Sir Michael Tippett’s A Child of Our Time (October 23 & 25, 2009)—In a program that brings the Saint Louis Symphony Chorus and the Saint Louis Symphony IN UNISON® Chorus together on a subscription-series concert  for the first time, David Robertson conducts Sir Michael Tippett’s powerful choral masterwork, A Child of Our Time. The oratorio A Child of Our Time was inspired by Herschel Grynszpan, the Jewish teenager whose 1938 murder of a German diplomat gave the Nazis a pretext for the brutal pogrom known as Kristallnacht (“Night of Broken Glass”). Interspersed within the libretto are African-American spirituals, which embody yearnings for hope, freedom and equality. The SLSO is using these performances as catalysts for a community dialogue on race relations and has engaged several local partners to facilitate this effort. Related activities will include panel discussions with Kristallnacht survivors and civil rights leaders, art exhibits, in-school education programs and more. Current partners include the Washington University Center for the Study of Ethics and Human Values, the St. Louis Holocaust Museum and Learning Center, and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. In addition to the subscription concert, A Child of Our Time will be performed as a SoundCheck concert—for high school and college students only—on October 25 at Powell Hall.


The Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra is an integral part of the community, sharing the gift of music with tens of thousands of people in schools, churches, parks, community organizations and other venues throughout the region.
In just the last 12 years, the Orchestra's broad-based efforts have grown to include:

  • Programs, festivals and showcases each year at more than 100 schools in 12 area school districts
  • Kinder Konzerts, Young People’s Concerts, and Young Adult's Concerts for more than 40,000 students annually
  • The St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, which includes talented young musicians from more than three dozen area schools
  • Performances in 40 African-American churches through the Saint Louis Symphony IN UNISON® Program
  • Over 250 free performances at community organizations, schools, churches, parks and other locations throughout the year.

Marc Thayer, the Vice President for Education and Community Partnerships, says he is looking forward to the expansion of a number of education initiatives during the 2009-10 season: “We look to expand our collaborations with local colleges and universities. This past season we began providing music-education video materials, through our website, which teachers were able to use in their elementary school classrooms. This year we’ll be adding music-education videos for adult learners. We look forward to partnering with new schools in our Adopt-a-School program, and we’ll be developing relationships with newly developing ethnic communities in the St. Louis region through our Music Without Borders program.”
To learn more about the Education and Community Partnership Program of the SLSO visit or call 314-286-4432.


  • Conductors

Ludovic Morlot (February 12-14, 2010)
Ward Stare* (November 27-28, 2009)  
Pinchas Zukerman (April 23-25, 2010)

  • Piano

Nicolas Hodges (October 2-3, 2009)

  • Violin

Renaud Capuçon (March 5-6, 2010)
Viviane Hagner (February 12-14, 2010)

  • English horn

Carolyn Banham* (October 10-11, 2009)

  • Trumpet

Gabriele Cassone (October 23, 2009)

  • Vocalists

Measha Brueggergosman, soprano (October 23, 2009)
Christine Goerke, soprano (May 7-8, 2010)
Alan Held, bass-baritone (May 1-2, 2010)
Kate Lindsey, mezzo-soprano (October 23, 2009)
Meredith Monk Voice Ensemble (March 13, 2010)
Brett Polegato, baritone (May 7-8, 2010)

*SLSO musician debut


  • Roberto Abbado (February 26-27, 2010)
  • Sir Andrew Davis (November 13-14, 2009)
  • Stéphane Denève (January 22-24, 2010)
  • Susanna Mälkki (January15-16, 2010)
  • Nicholas McGegan (October 10-11, November 20-22, December 11-13, 2009)
  • Peter Oundjian (December 4-6, 2009)
  • André Previn (March 19-20, 2010)
  • Vassily Sinaisky (March 26-28, 2010)
  • Robert Spano (May 7-9, 2010)
  • Bramwell Tovey (October 16-17, 2009)



  • Piano

Piotr Anderszewski (January 22-24, 2010)
Ingrid Fliter (January 15-16, 2009)
Horacio Gutiérrez (May 1-2, 2010)
Stephen Hough (November 20-22, 2009)
Robert Levin (November 13-14, 2009)
Radu Lupu (February 5-7, 2010)
André Previn (March 19-20, 2010)
Orli Shaham (April 9-10, 2010)

  • Violin

James Ehnes (October 16-17, 2009)
David Halen* (December 4-6, 2009)
Gil Shaham (April 9-11, 2010)
Christian Tetzlaff (January 29-30, 2010)
Pinchas Zukerman (April 23-25, 2010)

  • Viola

Pinchas Zukerman (April 23-25, 2010)

  • Cello

Daniel Lee* (September 25-26, 2009)

  • Percussion

Colin Currie (October 30-31, 2009)

  • Vocalists

Nathan Berg, bass-baritone (December 11-13, 2009)
Christine Brewer, soprano (May 1-2, 2010)
James Gilchrist, tenor (December 11-13, 2009)
Paul Groves, tenor (October 23, 2009)
Dominque Labelle, soprano (December 11-13, 2009)
Daniel Taylor, countertenor (December 11-13, 2009)

*SLSO musicians