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St. Louis Symphony to celebrate 50 years in Powell Hall with new season

David Robertson, the St. Louis Symphony's musical director, leads the orchestra in this file photo.
Scott Ferguson | Provided
David Robertson, the St. Louis Symphony's musical director, leads the orchestra in this file photo.

The St. Louis Symphony will open its 2017-18 season with six Mozart piano concertos featuring Emanuel Ax.

Its season, which marks half a century in Powell Hall,  concludes with a performance of “Swing Symphony” in collaboration with trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz from Lincoln Center Orchestra.

Concerts throughout the season will feature works by Beethoven, Mozart, Vivaldi and Rachmaninoff as well as U.S. premieres of music by composers Peter Ruzicka and Erkki-Sven Tuur.

“My hope is to bring a growing audience to the St. Louis Symphony,” President and CEO Marie-Helene Bernard said. “We have such a variety of programming and some really great masterworks, some new music, and a really fun season that showcases our amazing orchestra.”

Returning artists include conductors Stephane Deneve and Leonard Slatkin and soprano Christine Brewer. Appearing for the first time will be soprano Tracy Dahl and pianist Rémi Geniet.

“When [Music Director] David Robertson and my team put this season together they always try to find this balance of showcasing wonderful works from the repertoire and bringing a new audience to experience the St. Louis Symphony and possibly a different facet than what they are used to,” Bernard said.

In a press release, Robertson said Powell Hall is a great place to introduce people to the classical greats.

“A goal for programming the upcoming season was to share with our audiences -- both those who are sitting at Powell and those who join us from around the globe via live broadcasts -- the breadth of programming that is possible with a venue such as Powell Hall,” Roberston said.

This is the symphony’s 138th season, making it the second oldest orchestra in the country behind the New York Philharmonic.

The season includes a continuation of the Pulitzer Arts Foundation Contemporary Concerts Series and a number of educational programs and community partnerships that include free performances in hospitals, places of worship, and neighborhoods.

Follow Willis on Twitter: @WillisRArnold