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St. Louis Symphony Orchestra performs Strum

Friday, December 1 20237:30pm
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St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
Touhill Performing Arts Center
1 Touhill Circle
St. Louis, MO 63121 United States
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David Danzmayr, conductor
Jelena Dirks, oboe

Jessie Montgomery Strum 
Ralph Vaughan Williams Oboe Concerto
Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No. 2

This concert takes place at Touhill Performing Arts Center.

David Danzmayr’s 2021 SLSO debut delighted listeners and players. He returns with a program that thrills and sings. Danzmayr pushes Beethoven’s Second Symphony close to the edge, flirting with danger. SLSO Principal Oboe Jelena Dirks’ goal is to sing through her instrument. She has every opportunity in the songful, break-your-heart musical world of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Oboe Concerto. Strum by Jessie Montgomery, the in-demand American composer of this moment, salutes American folk music, its spirit of dance and movement.

A few things to know:

  • SLSO Principal Oboist Jelena Dirks grew up surrounded by music. Her grandmother was a singer and her parents sang in the local church choir. Later, her mother played as concertmaster of the San Diego Opera Orchestra and was later a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. For Jelena, openness is “what being a musician is all about. A sharing of musical thoughts with the orchestra, the conductor, and the audience.”
  • Jessie Montgomery is a violinist and composer whose music is heard across the country. She is currently the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Composer in Residence. Recent works include a work inspired by the Great Migration, and a reimagining of Scott Joplin’s opera Treemonisha. “I imagine that music is a meeting place at which all people can converse about their unique differences and common stories.”
  • David Danzmayr loves the energy and joy of Jessie Montgomery’s Strum: “I’m allergic to over-complicated music. I look for pieces that enlighten me, that engage me. If it’s not doing anything for me, why play it?”