Superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma plays to SRO Powell Hall for SLSO’s first gala in a decade
“A Noteworthy Affair,” the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra’s first gala event since 1999, has been "proclaimed a huge success, both artistically and in terms of fundraising," announced SLSO President and Executive Director Fred Bronstein . Guest artist Yo-Yo Ma performed Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, with Music Director David Robertson conducting the SLSO, to a standing-room-only audience at Powell Hall on October 24, 2009. Robertson and the SLSO also performed Schubert’s Symphony No. 8, “Unfinished,” at the start of the evening.
After the concert, more than 500 guests were transported by shuttle from Powell Hall to the Coronado Ballroom for an evening of dining and dancing. The Steve Schankman Orchestra provided the entertainment. The Gala committee was chaired by Noémi Neidorff, with co-chairs Peggy Ritter and Marsha Rusnack. The sponsor for “A Noteworthy Affair” was Centene Corporation.
Bronstein reported that the Gala event netted more than $800,000 for the SLSO. ‘“A Noteworthy Affair’ was first of all a fundraiser,” Bronstein said. “It was also another way in which we sought to build the brand and build the visibility of the orchestra. We wanted to create a signature event—a not-to-be-missed evening. And we wanted people to have a really wonderful time. I think we succeeded on all counts.”
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. Currently in the 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. 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 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.