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St. Louis Symphony will play next season at multiple venues as it renovates Powell Hall

Stéphane Denève, St. Louis Symphonic Orchestra music director, rehearses James Lee III’s “Visions of Cahokia” ahead of its world premiere on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023, at Powell Hall in Grand Center.
Brian Munoz
St. Louis Public Radio
St. Louis Symphony Orchestra rehearses at Powell Hall in January.

St. Louis Symphony Orchestra will spend its 2023-24 season on the road — but it’s not going far.

The orchestra will perform most of its concerts next season at the Stifel Theatre in downtown St. Louis and the Touhill Performing Arts Center on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus while Powell Hall undergoes a $100 million renovation and expansion.

“The musicians of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra are excited to share our music at venues around the St. Louis region while our home is updated and enhanced for generations of concertgoers to come," said Bjorn Ranheim and Chris Tantillo, co-chairs of the SLSO Musicians' Council, in a statement.

St. Louis Symphony will perform most of its subscription concerts next season at the Touhill’s Anheuser-Busch Performance Hall, which has a seating capacity of 1,600, about 40% fewer than Powell Hall. It will stage special events at the much larger Stifel Theatre — which seats more than 3,000 patrons — including concerts that accompany film screenings, plus classical and holiday shows.

Lindenwood University’s J. Scheidegger Center in St. Charles will host two holiday performances in December and a Lunar New year concert in February 2024. The orchestra will also stage its annual season kickoff at Art Hill in Forest Park.

SLSO leaders plan to announce additional supplementary venues later this year.

Highlights of the 2023-24 season include cellist Yo-Yo Ma’s first appearance with the SLSO in more than 10 years, a co-commission by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Julia Wolfe and a newly orchestrated work by Adam Schoenberg, which will include dancers from the Big Muddy Dance Company and choreography by Kirven Douthit-Boyd. Five soloists will also contribute to a full cycle of Beethoven’s piano concertos.

Victor Goines, president and CEO of Jazz St. Louis, will make his clarinet debut with the SLSO during a three-concert series led by Conductor Laureate Leonard Slatkin that will explore how jazz has influenced European classical music.

The concerts at the Stifel Theatre will represent a homecoming of sorts. When the venue opened in 1934 as the Municipal Opera House, it was St. Louis Symphony’s home. The orchestra stayed there until 1968, when it moved to its current home in Grand Center.

The Powell Hall construction project includes a new entrance lobby for patrons, backstage space for performers and rehearsal areas for the St. Louis Symphony Chorus, IN UNISON Chorus and St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra. The centerpiece of the expansion will be a space for education programs and special events.

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