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STL Symphony Blog
Welcome to the STL Symphony Blog, an ongoing account of life with the St. Louis Symphony compiled by Eddie Silva.
456 Entries
One tries to avoid cliches, but try not to think of the word "angelic" while The St. Louis Children's Choir rehearses Mahler.
1 year ago | |
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A friend put a photo on Facebook of the orchestra set up for Pines of Rome on Sunday, with this caption: "indie rock hangover cure."
1 year ago | |
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Nothing says Opening of the Season quite like donuts in the Powell Hall foyer on a Friday morning.


1 year ago | |
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I saw from the backstage monitor that David Robertson and Emanuel Ax were at center stage together during the lunch break between rehearsals. With the musicians not yet back, I quietly took a seat in the violin section beside cover conductor Steven Jarvi. Ax played Chopin. Robertson, standing at Ax's side, moved with the music, rehearsing his conducting gestures as Ax rehearsed the notes. They found themselves in synch on what was accented, as well as where there was pause, tension, release. Neither of them looked at a score. "I love how you play this," Robertson said. They were all smiles. They looked as though they could have done this all day.
1 year ago | |
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I was laid low by some nasty bug the last couple days, which means I sadly missed first rehearsals for Opening Weekend. However, thanks to the magic of electronic mail, I kept track of the "avoid backstage" messages to staff during the rehearsal time for the off-stage trumpet in Pines of Rome. Don't distract the off-stage trumpet!
1 year ago | |
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St. Louis Symphony musicians have varied musical lives--and varied lives for that matter. Violinist Becky Boyer Hall grew up in a family of fiddlers and other bluegrass musicians in Kirkwood. She was a member of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, where she frequently was reminded that it was inappropriate to tap her foot. She played with orchestras in Mexico City and Washington, D.C., as well as with the Alabama Symphony. She told me about a gig with the Bama Orchestra and Ray Charles just before she went on stage for rehearsal with Ellis Hall on Friday afternoon.

She was playing concertmaster for the concert in a packed African-American church in Birmingham. She said she was seated only a few feet away from Charles as he swayed side to side and kicked his feet in the air. "It was amazing!"
1 year ago | |
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Passing by the Green Room with two colleagues as Ellis Hall and his rhythm section were rehearsing for Friday night's concert, one said, "I should know the name of that song." To which I broke into: "Ain't no mountain high/ Ain't no valley low/ Ain't no river wide enough, baby...."

And then I briefly reflected on the Temptations/Supremes television special that my generation, which is forgetting a lot, cannot forget.

Thanks, Ellis, for slipping some Motown memories amidst the Ray Charles.
1 year ago | |
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Away to my own private Idaho. Next post will be Thursday, Sep. 20.
1 year ago | |
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I was looking up the last time Witold Lutoslawski's Concerto for Orchestra was performed by the St. Louis Symphony. David Robertson opens the 2012-13 season with this virtuosic work by the modern Polish master, Sep. 28-30. The first time it was performed was in 1974, with Leonard Slatkin conducting. The only other performance, and most recent, was in 1977: Witold Lutoslawski conducting an all-Lutoslawski program. Also on the bill: the legendary tenor Peter Pears.
1 year ago | |
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St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON Chorus manager Susan Patterson sent me emails with photos Tuesday morning with the subject heading: "IUC in the House!"


Getting acquainted with each other and
the music




Henry Palkes at the keyboard

Monday evening was the first In Unison Chorus rehearsal of the season, as director Kevin McBeth prepares the ensemble for an exciting Gospel Christmas program, featuring Take 6, in December.
1 year ago | |
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