A relevant requiem in St. Louis

Posted on: October 24, 2014

“On Monday night, demonstrators protested the Metropolitan Opera for performing John Adams’ The Death of Klinghoffer,” writes League of American Orchestras President and CEO Jesse Rosen in Wednesday’s (10/22) Huffington Post. “Three weeks ago a very different kind of demonstration was held in Powell Symphony Hall…. Demonstrators unfurled banners reading ‘Requiem for Michael Brown’ and ‘Racism Lives Here’ above a drawing of the iconic Saint Louis Arch.… The explosive and divisive issue of race … had entered the concert hall.… The [demonstrators’] choice of time and place was an affirmation that the St. Louis Symphony and the Brahms Requiem matter, especially, as this simmering city confronts the most urgent issues triggered by the Michael Brown shooting.” The piece also discusses “Heal Ferguson,” a concert organized by St. Louis Symphony staff member and Ferguson resident Brian Owens, as well as the St. Louis Symphony’s long-running programs with African-American churches, and a performance of Beethoven at a funeral in East L.A. cited by director Peter Sellars in his 2006 League Conference speech. “The performances mentioned here, and dozens of others across the country, demonstrate orchestras’ growing awareness of the civic and creative possibilities that result from crossing the racial divide, the power of the orchestral experience to unite, and ultimately, the relevance of the art form to critical issues of our time.”

Posted October 24, 2014

Pictured: The St. Louis Symphony’s IN UNISON Chorus performing at Powell Hall in St. Louis. Photo courtesy of St. Louis Symphony