St. Louis Symphony musicians’ outdoor concerts, organized by orchestra’s associate principal horn

Posted on: June 30, 2020

“I hadn’t realized just how starved I was for live music until the concert began,” writes Sarah Bryan Miller in Friday’s (6/26) St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “The venue was a suburban driveway…. The audience … sat on chairs or blankets, scattered at socially safe distances. Most of the musicians were members of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra…. All are volunteers…. They didn’t have quite the instruments called for by the composers, so others filled in: SLSO second trumpet Michael Walk took the second oboe part, using a mute throughout, while principal tuba Derek Fenstermacher impersonated a bassoonist. And it was all quite wonderful. The program was preceded by a promising young violinist, Klaus Jöstlein, the 13-year-old son of associate principal horn (and front-yard concert organizer extraordinaire) Thomas Jöstlein. Next came Charles Gounod’s 1885 Petite Symphonie in B-Flat major, for nine players … followed by the Serenade No. 11 in E-Flat major, by W.A. Mozart…. Jöstlein … has organized or taken part in almost 100 concerts in different areas…. Instrumentalists, he noted, ‘have to play to stay good.’ … I will remember [these concerts] as something akin to answered prayer…. They are a gift of infinite value.”