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Founded in 1880, the SAINT LOUIS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (SLSO) is the second-oldest orchestra in the country and is widely considered one of the world’s finest. In September 2005, internationally acclaimed conductor David Robertson became the 12th Music Director and second American-born conductor in the Orchestra’s history. In its 130th season, the SLSO continues to strive for artistic excellence, fiscal responsibility, and community connection. In addition to its regular concert performances at Powell Hall, the SLSO is an integral part of the St. Louis community, presenting more than 250 free education and community partnership programs each year.
The SLSO is one of only a handful of major American orchestras invited to perform annually at the prestigious Carnegie Hall. Recordings by the SLSO have been honored with six Grammy awards and 56 Grammy nominations over the years. The SLSO has embraced technological advances in music distribution by offering recordings over the internet. The SLSO downloading initiative includes live recordings of John Adams’ Harmonielehre and Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No. 1, with Christian Tetzlaff, available exclusively on iTunes and Amazon.com. In 2009, the SLSO’s Nonesuch recording of John Adams’ Doctor Atomic Symphony and Guide to Strange Places reached No. 2 on the Billboard rankings for classical music, and was named “Best CD of the Decade” by the Times of London.
In June 2008, the SLSO launched Building Our Business, which takes a proactive, two-pronged approach: build audiences and re-invigorate the SLSO brand making the SLSO and Powell Hall the place to be; and build the donor base for enhanced institutional commitment and donations. This is all part of a larger strategic plan adopted in May 2009 that includes new core ideology and a 10-year strategic vision focusing on artistic and institutional excellence, doubling the existing audience, and revenue growth across all key operating areas.