St. Louis Symphony’s Denève on accessibility, collective experience of long-form music

Posted on: December 2, 2019

Stéphane Denève, who became music director of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in September, “is currently music director of the Brussels Philharmonic, principal guest conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and director of the Centre for Future Orchestral Repertoire, a project to identify the best symphonic works created since 2000,” writes Lea Konczal in Tuesday’s (11/26) St. Louis Business Journal (MO; subscription required). “Q: Why are symphonies and classical music important? Denève: Songs are sometimes very short. In our case, we deal with long forms. So it’s a bit like cathedrals, in a way—symphonies have a very impressive structure that allows you to have a journey inside of them. Q: How are you making the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra more accessible? Denève: We recently offered some changes of price, which means that you can enter a classical concert for as cheap as $15…. This season we have a new concert called SLSO Crafted where we do something with food and drinks before and after, and mingling with the musicians and the audience. Q: What do you like about conducting? Denève: It sounds pretentious maybe, but I hope I heal some souls with the music sometimes. Let’s hope.”

Posted December 2, 2019