“Stéphane Denève will officially take the reins as the 13th music director of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra next fall,” writes Sarah Bryan Miller in Tuesday’s (2/5) St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “As befits a French conductor in a city with deep French roots, Denève has chosen many works that illustrate what he calls ‘a Franco-American arch.’ … The SLSO will have its first artist-in-residence, pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and its first ‘symphonic play,’ ‘Maurice Ravel: A Musical Journey.’ The St. Louis Symphony Chorus will perform in five programs … The St. Louis Youth Symphony Orchestra, directed by resident conductor Gemma New, will celebrate its 50th anniversary … There’s a focus on new music, with … world premieres by Aaron Jay Kernis and Kevin Puts; the U.S. premiere of the orchestral version of Guillaume Connesson’s ‘A Kind of Trane,’ and works by another 15 contemporary composers…. Opening night … starts off with Denève conducting Thibaudet and the orchestra in a varied program that includes the world premiere of Kevin Puts’ ‘Virelai,’ Jennifer Higdon’s ‘Blue Cathedral,’ Debussy’s ‘La Mer,’ Guillaume Connesson’s ‘The Shining One,’ the Ravel Piano Concerto in G, and … Gershwin’s ‘An American in Paris.’ ”

Posted February 6, 2019

In photo: Stéphane Denève leads the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in 2018. Photo by Dilip Vishwanat