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St. Louis Symphony Announces Return Of Powell Hall Concerts This Month

Music director designate Stéphane Denève will officially take the post now held by David Robertson in the 2019-2020 season.
File photo/St. Louis Symphony
Stéphane Denève, shown conducting at Powell Hall, will lead St. Louis Symphony Orchestra's first concerts there since the organization halted events in March because of the coronavirus.

The musicians of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra will bring live performances back to Powell Hall next week.

Orchestra leaders announced Tuesday that concerts will resume Oct. 15 and continue through November. The performances will be the first in Powell Hall since March, when the orchestra halted its concerts to avoid spread of the coronavirus.

To protect concertgoers and staff, the organization will implement new safety procedures, including strict capacity limits in the audience and onstage. Only 100 patrons will be allowed to attend each concert, and the number of performing musicians will be cut approximately in half to a maximum of 40, to preserve space for social distancing.

In a statement, orchestra leaders said that the city will allow 300 patrons per concert, but they will proceed with smaller audiences to be safe.

Music Director Stéphane Denève will lead the two weeks of concerts announced so far. Orchestra leaders expect him to arrive in St. Louis next week, after sheltering with family in Sweden earlier in the pandemic.

Tickets will be available to season subscribers first, with remaining seats offered to the general public. The orchestra will perform four concerts each weekend, rather than three, to allow more people to attend. A spokesperson for the orchestra said the concerts may not be broadcast live on St. Louis Public Radio as in the past, but the organization is making plans to make them available for online streaming later.

In August, orchestra leaders announced a reconfigured version of the 2020-21 season in August that included no Powell Hall concerts through the end of the year.

The annual series of chamber concerts presenting new works at the Pulitzer Arts Center is being converted to an online-only event, with the first video to be released online on Oct. 19. The SLSO “On The Go” series has included pop-up performances of small ensembles at Tower Grove Park, the parking lot outside the Crown Center for Senior Living and several private homes. There is also a monthly series of online series of panel discussions with organization leaders called “Lunch & Learn.”

Follow Jeremy on Twitter: @jeremydgoodwin.

Jeremy is the arts & culture reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.