Review: St. Louis Symphony program in memory of classical music critic Sarah Bryan Miller

Posted on: November 30, 2021

“This weekend’s concerts by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra were dedicated to the memory of longtime Post-Dispatch classical music critic Sarah Bryan Miller, who died a year ago after an extended battle with cancer,” writes Fred Blumenthal in Monday’s (11/29) St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “The concerts also serve as continuing documentation of the way women are gaining influence in music previously dominated by men…. Saturday evening’s concert began with a video tribute to Miller—known to friends as Bryan—introduced by SLSO president and CEO Marie-Hélène Bernard. The memorial concert was guest conducted by Gemma New, who in May 2020 completed a four-year engagement as SLSO resident conductor. SLSO cellist Elizabeth Chung was soloist in Jake Heggie’s ‘The Work at Hand.’ Grammy-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke [was] soloist in the Heggie and in Edward Elgar’s ‘Sea Pictures’ … a cycle of five poems perhaps having in common a theme of humans trying to find their place in the universe…. Heggie’s ‘The Work at Hand’ from 2015 … has a dreamy surrealism…. Concluding the concert [was] Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s ‘Scheherazade’ … the most substantial music of the evening…. The standing ovation was the loudest and longest of the season so far.”