It’s heartbreaking that thousands of people in the greater Saint Louis area will never experience the magic of the world famous Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. Not because they couldn’t find a cheap enough ticket or because the opportunity for a visit never presented itself. Instead they missed out on a life changing experience because they were convinced they wouldn’t enjoy it.
Blame it on movies or stereotypes of classical music fans, making the effort to experience the symphony, any symphony, is a tall order for many. Is it the fear of putting on a tuxedo? The unease of mingling with wealthy, snooty or ritzy patrons, most likely from the “other” side of the tracks? Or is it just that the idea of sitting through 90 minutes of music you can’t sing along to that keeps folks away from that first trip to Powell Hall, or any other venue playing beautiful music by world famous musicians?
As you’ll hear in my interview with David Robertson, the music director and conductor for the Saint Louis Symphony – I had the same fears and hesitation that many naive music lovers have. Thankfully, I decided to just do it. I made arrangements to experience the symphony first hand. It was mind blowing. Who would have thought that in just a couple of hours I’d see and hear music completely different than ever before? The idea that dozens of talented people, from all walks of life and cultures, can all at once produce a sound that is truly remarkable and stunning.
While I can’t speak for other venues – Powell Hall isn’t full of people with 3 piece suits and top hats. In fact, most people were casually dressed in jeans or slacks with dress shirts. They’re also incredibly friendly and seem genuinely happy that you’re there.
Just make sure your cell phone is off because you’ll crawl out of the hall with your tail between your legs if Mr Robertson stops an entire orchestra to wait for your antique phone ring tone to subside. (It happened the other day to someone on the main floor – talk about embarrassing!)
Here’s my chat with the cool and down to Earth conductor and man in charge — David Robertson.