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St. Louis Symphony announces 2012 European tour

David Robertson conducts a performance at Powell Hall in this file photo.
Dan Dreyfus
St. Louis Symphony music director David Robertson.

Today, the St. Louis Symphony is releasing details about its upcoming 2012 European tour, the first under Music Director David Robertson.  Beginning Sept. 5, the orchestra will make debut performances at the Musikfest Berlin | Berliner Festspiele, the Lucerne Festival, and at the Salle Pleyel in Paris. An additional concert date in London is still to be announced.  The concerts will feature works by both European and American composers including Beethoven, Brahms, Sibelius, Schoenberg, Gershwin, Ives and Elliott Carter.  Acclaimed violinist Christian Tetzlaff  will be the featured soloist throughout the tour. 

“I am ecstatic at the idea of taking the St. Louis Symphony to Europe and showing off their combination of musical sophistication, stylistic integrity and heartfelt emotional power,” said music director David Robertson.  “We are thrilled and honored to be playing in some of Europe’s most prestigious festivals and culminating in Paris, which has special meaning for me after my many years working in France.” 

The tour will be the symphony’s first European engagement since 1998, which was led by the late Hans Vonk.   The orchestra also toured Europe in 1978, 1985, 1991 and 1993.  The symphony has received dedicated funding from Monsanto and several anonymous donors, which in combination with concert fees will underwrite the entire cost of the tour. 

“The St. Louis Symphony looks forward to proudly representing St. Louis and our region in these world-renowned music venues as a demonstration of the breadth and depth of cultural assets that our city possesses,” said St. Louis Symphony president/CEO Fred Bronstein.   “Equally important is that this tour is being undertaken as a fully funded initiative consistent with the fiscally responsible operation of the St. Louis Symphony, and in no way impacts ongoing, regular Symphony financial operations or needs.”

German violinist Christian Tetzlaff, who will be the soloist in all the concerts on the St. Louis Symphony’s European tour, was also featured in the Sibelius Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47 in concerts Jan. 21 and 22, 2012 in Powell Hall.  On Friday, Jan. 20 just after his first rehearsal with David Robertson and the orchestra, the St. Louis Symphony’s Eddie Silva spoke to him about Sibelius, his relationship with David Robertson and the orchestra, as well as the European tour. You can listen to their conversation at the top of this story.

Mary Edwards is a producer for St. Louis Public Radio's broadcast program, "St. Louis Symphony."