Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.
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Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra

Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis, Mo. Founded in 1880, it is the country's second-oldest orchestra (the New York Philharmonic is the oldest). It performed in the Kiel Opera House until 1966, when it moved to Powell Symphony Hall. Established as the St. Louis Choral Society by the Dutch-born conductor Joseph Otten, the chorus was soon joined by an orchestra, and the group later merged with another orchestra. In 1893 the St. Louis Choral-Symphony Society was incorporated. Otten conducted until 1894. Chorus and orchestra were expanded under Alfred Ernst (1894–1907), and the ensemble received its present name during Max Zach's tenure (1907–21). Subsequent conductors have included Vladimir Golschmann (1931–58), Edouard van Remoortel (1958–62), Eleazar de Carvalho (1963–68), Walter Susskind (1968–75), Leonard Slatkin (1979–96), and Hans Vonk (1996–2002). American David Robertson has been the orchestra's music director since 2005.

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