Founded in 1880, the St. Louis Symphony is the second-oldest orchestra in the United States and is widely considered one of the world’s finest. In September 2005, internationally acclaimed conductor David Robertson became the 12th Music Director and second American-born conductor in the orchestra’s history. In its 137th season, the STL Symphony continues to strive for artistic excellence, fiscal responsibility, and community connection. In addition to its regular concert performances at Powell Hall, the Symphony is an integral part of the St. Louis community, presenting free education and community programs throughout the region each year.
In the 2016-17 season, Robertson and the Symphony make a three-city concert tour of Spain (Valencia, Madrid, and Oviedo), the orchestra’s first visit to Spain since 1998.
In March 2017, the STL Symphony returns to Carnegie Hall as part of a 70th-birthday celebration for American composer John Adams. Robertson conducts Adams’ oratorio The Gospel According to the Other Mary at Carnegie, featuring the St. Louis Symphony Chorus and mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor in the title role. The STL Symphony performs numerous works by Adams throughout its Powell Hall concert season, including his Violin Concerto, featuring soloist Leila Josefowicz, in the fall of 2016. The concerto was recorded by Nonesuch Records for a future release that will include Adams’ violin symphony, Scheherazade.2, which was recorded with Josefowicz at Powell Hall in February 2016.
In 2015, the STL Symphony received a Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance for Adams’ City Noir and Saxophone Concerto, with Robertson conducting and featuring soloist Timothy McAllister, also recorded on Nonesuch. This was the orchestra’s sixth Grammy and 57th nomination.
In the 2015-16 season the STL Symphony completed a highly successful California tour, which included stops in Berkeley and Los Angeles’ Walt Disney Concert Hall. With Robertson conducting, the tour featured performances of Messiaen’s Des canyons aux etoiles…, which included video images of the American Southwest landscapes that inspired the composer, created by the artist Deborah O’Grady especially for the St. Louis Symphony.