Obituary: Roberta Gardner, longtime St. Louis Symphony staffer, chorus member, librarian, 83

Posted on: September 11, 2018

“Roberta Gardner ‘was the institutional memory’ of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, according to SLSO music librarian Elsbeth Brugger,” writes Sarah Bryan Miller in Thursday’s (9/6) St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Gardner died on May 31 at age 83; a memorial service was held on September 8. “Ms. Gardner joined the SLSO in 1977, serving as executive secretary to … music directors Jerzy Semkow and Leonard Slatkin, SLSO president David Hyslop and general managers Jim Cain and Joan Briccetti. She left the orchestra in 1992 for another job, but when she retired, she returned to the SLSO, this time as a part-time music librarian, from 2003 until her death…. Ms. Gardner was also an original member of the St. Louis Symphony Chorus … Leslie Caplan, who … sang with her ‘all over the city’ … called Ms. Gardner ‘a font of knowledge…. She understood all the different styles of music: when she sang John Adams it sounded like John Adams; when she sang Bach, it sounded like Bach.’ … Ms. Gardner was seeking a part-time job after retiring from her second career; when she learned that the SLSO’s music library needed someone, ‘it was a perfect fit,’ said music librarian Elsbeth Brugger.”

Posted September 11, 2018