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St. Louis Symphony's Stéphane Denève adds prestigious new job at New World Symphony

St. Louis Symphony leader Stéphane Denève will also be artistic director of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach this season.

St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Artistic Director Stéphane Denève will take on another prestigious role. This season, he’ll become artistic leader of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach.

It is a high-profile posting for the French-born maestro, who will succeed Michael Tilson Thomas — a star of the classical music world who has led New World Symphony since founding it in 1987.

New World Symphony is home to early-career musicians who receive three-year fellowships. Sixteen current members of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra have played with the ensemble.

Denève will continue his full schedule in St. Louis, President and CEO Marie-Helene Bernard said.

“It will not affect his commitment here, and because we're so focused on education and training, it's an opportunity for us also to work more closely with New World,” she said.

Denève, 50, will take the helm in Miami Beach for the 2022-23 season. Next year, he will also become principal guest conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic.

“It is with great joy and a humbling sense of purpose that I am joining today the family of the New World Symphony, making it now my mission to continue the inspired dream of its founder and guiding soul, Michael Tilson Thomas,” Denève said in a statement.

New World Symphony has a $35 million annual budget, about $7 million larger than that of St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, according to tax filings.

Denève’s first season at the helm of St. Louis Symphony Orchestra was interrupted in March 2020 by the coronavirus pandemic, which forced the organization to pause concerts until resuming a limited schedule of chamber concerts in October of that year. Last year, he signed a contract extension at Powell Hall that runs through the 2025-26 season.

Denève will lead St. Louis Symphony Orchestra on Friday and Saturday in a program that includes works by Gustav Mahler, Tōru Takemitsu and Qigang Chen. A spokesperson said he was rehearsing with the orchestra Friday and unable to comment.

Follow Jeremy on Twitter: @jeremydgoodwin

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