In Sunday’s (3/14) St. Louis Dispatch, Sarah Bryan Miller writes, “André Previn—composer, conductor, performer—has a fascinatingly varied musical résumé, from jazz to classics to film scores to opera. … Next weekend Previn will return to conduct the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, taking the podium at Powell Symphony Hall for the first time in more than 40 years. His appearance, with a program that includes one of his own works, is billed as a celebration of his 80th birthday, April 6. His last performance here was ‘a really frighteningly long time ago,’ soon after Powell Hall opened in 1968, he said in a telephone interview from his home base in New York City. ‘St. Louis was the first symphony orchestra of any note in the United States that I conducted.’… Next weekend, he’ll lead the SLSO in ‘a quite normal orchestral program.’ He calls his ‘Diversions,’ a commission from the Vienna Philharmonic, ‘not a very profound piece; but it shows the orchestra off.’ Previn will conduct and solo in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24. ‘It’s one of his very greatest concertos,’ he observed. ‘I don’t conduct from the keyboard in order to show off; I do it because it is musicologically correct. That’s how Mozart always did it.’ The concert will conclude with Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 3.”

Posted March 17, 2010