Stéphane Denève has been appointed as Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony from the 2019/20 season. He succeeds David Robertson in the role, and between now and September 2019 will serve as Music Director Designate.
Stéphane Denève made his debut with the St. Louis Symphony in 2003, since when he has appeared regularly with the orchestra as a guest conductor, most recently in March this year. As Music Director, he will lead the St Louis Symphony in subscription concerts, on tour, at local community and civic events, and in the orchestra’s programme of events for families and young people. He will also participate in bringing the work of the St Louis Symphony to the widest possible audience through broadcasts and recordings, and will, through his work internationally, act as an ambassador and advocate for the institution as a whole.
Commenting on the appointment, Stéphane Denève said:
“I adore the St. Louis Symphony! Since my first experience conducting this superb orchestra in its beautiful home at Powell Hall in 2003, I have regularly enjoyed the unique musical spirit of this wondrous institution. The talent and refinement of its musicians, their true friendliness and open-mindedness, have always struck me as providing exceptional opportunities for profound music-making. Therefore I am overjoyed to become Music Director of such an orchestra, and to be able to play my part in the St. Louis community by serving its audiences and developing the connection and feeling of pride between this great city and its musical jewel.
I am very honored to succeed David Robertson, who I would like to congratulate for all the achievements of his tenure, building a world-class ensemble with a modern outlook on repertoire. I would like to express my excitement at having more opportunities to work with Amy Kaiser and her wonderful St. Louis Symphony Chorus. And last but not least, I am very much looking forward to working with all the board members who work so hard to support and sustain the SLSO, and with Marie-Hélène Bernard and her brilliant executive team. À bientôt !”
St. Louis Symphony Chairman of the Board, Barry Beracha, said:
“It is an honor to share this news about the St. Louis Symphony’s future artistic leadership. Over the years, Stéphane Denève’s partnership with the orchestra and its audience has blossomed, showing his clear connection with, and affinity for, both our musicians, audiences, and community. In his interaction with various St. Louis Symphony constituents, Stéphane has shown great respect and enthusiasm toward our storied institution. We look forward to welcoming him to the St. Louis Symphony family.”
President & CEO Marie-Hélène Bernard said:
“The chemistry between Stéphane Denève and the St. Louis Symphony is palpable. We are thrilled to create a space for the partnership to grow and thrive, and to expand the orchestra’s palette under his leadership while embracing existing and new audiences in St. Louis and in other markets. Stéphane’s genuine commitment to exploring innovative projects reflects his deep respect for David Robertson’s outstanding legacy in St. Louis, and for the values that are deeply woven into the fabric of the St. Louis Symphony and our community. Stéphane’s enthusiasm for deepening our artistic, educational, community and media outreach truly aligns with our strategic initiatives, making him a vital partner to our entire St. Louis Symphony family, including our orchestra, choruses, administrative team, volunteers and board.”
Recognised internationally for the exceptional quality of his performances and programming, Stéphane Denève regularly appears at major concert venues with the world’s greatest orchestras and soloists. He currently serves as Music Director of the Brussels Philharmonic and Principal Guest Conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra.