October 25-26, 2013
Peter Oundjian, conductor Stewart Goodyear, piano Karin Bliznik, trumpet

Overture Waltz Finale

THOMAS ADÈS Dances from Powder Her Face (1995) (b. 1971)

SHOSTAKOVICH Concerto No. 1 in C minor for Piano, Trumpet, (1906-1975) and Strings, op. 35 (1933)
Allegretto— Lento— Moderato— Allegro con brio

Stewart Goodyear, piano Karin Bliznik, trumpet (Played without pause) INTERMISSION

RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Scheherazade, op. 35 (1933) (1844-1908)

Largo e maestoso; Allegro non troppo (The Sea and Sinbad’s Ship) Lento; Allegro molto (The Story of the Kalandar Prince) Andantino quasi allegretto (The Young Prince and Princess) Allegro molto (Festival in Baghdad; The Sea; Shipwreck; Conclusion) David Halen, violin


Peter Oundjian is the Monsanto Guest Artist. Stewart Goodyear is the Bruce Anderson Memorial Fund Guest Artist. The concert of Friday, October 25, is underwritten in part by a generous gift from Mary Strauss. The concert of Saturday, October 26, is underwritten in part by a generous gift from Mr. and Mrs. Jan K. Ver Hagen. Pre-Concert Conversations are sponsored by Washington University Physicians. These concerts are part of the Wells Fargo Advisors series. Large Print Program notes are available through the generosity of Dielmann Sotheby’s International Realty and are located at the Customer Service table in the foyer.


Karin Bliznik, principal trumpet, on Shostakovich’s Concerto No. 1 for Piano, Trumpet, and Strings: “It’s a very playful piece, with a lot of interaction between the piano and the trumpet. The trumpet sounds as if it is replying to, reacting to, and commenting on everything the piano has to say in the first movement, with the idea of the trumpet being like a trickster or jokester. “The second movement is a kind of introverted waltz. The strings are muted; the trumpet is muted. I’ll be using a fiber mute to make the sound more veiled. “This piece is full of excerpts that you play in auditions. The final movement is really something. It calls for a lot from the player, very articulated, staccato and biting with a lot of character. “Shostakovich wrote this when he was in his late 20s. He used to play piano accompaniment to silent movies. You can imagine some Charlie Chaplin or Keystone Kops slapstick for this piece.”

Dmitry Shostakovich



1888 RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Scheherazade, op. 35 Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 premieres in St. Petersburg 1933 SHOSTAKOVICH Concerto No. 1 in C minor for Piano, Trumpet, and Strings, op. 35 Millions starve in the Ukraine due to policies imposed by Soviet leader Josef Stalin 1995 THOMAS ADÈS Dances from Powder Her Face President Bill Clinton and White House intern Monica Lewinsky begin relationship

Music, no less than painting or literature, can take us out of our usually sober and sensible realities and transport us, at least briefly, to a realm of fantasy. And not just to any make-believe world, but often to places where people and events seem strange and distorted, or where magic is true and the impossible commonplace. Most of the music performed this evening does exactly this. Powder Her Face, an opera by the English composer Thomas Adès, tells of an English Duchess whose enormous wealth and lavish lifestyle lead her to a grotesque, booze-anddrug-laden end. It paints a disturbing, tragicomic picture of a woman trapped in a nightmare of her own making. Adès’s remarkable score perfectly captures the surreal quality of this tale, as we hear in three orchestral “dances” the composer adapted from his opera. Surrealism of a very different sort is conveyed by Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov’s symphonic suite Scheherazade. In it, the composer evokes the fantastical atmosphere, persons, and events of Tales of Arabian Nights, the great collection of Arabic fairy tales. Rimsky’s music is extravagantly bold and colorful, as befits a work inspired by distant times and exotic lands, stern sultans and gallant princes, by genies, the legendary sailor Sinbad and, above all, the titular Sultana who spins captivating tales night after night. Between these pieces we hear Dmitry Shostakovich’s youthful Concerto No. 1 for Piano, Trumpet, and Strings. Fantasy is less obvious as an element of this composition. Yet a surreal quality often attends Shostakovich’s work. We hear this in the fleeting references to march music, fanfares, and popular styles in the concerto’s opening movement, in the parodied “rage” of its finale, and in other passages.


THOMAS ADÈS Dances from Powder Her Face It no longer suffices to describe Thomas Adès as the rising star among British composers, nor even as the most distinguished young voice in English music. True, Adès is only in his early 40s, and his sudden emergence, in the early 1990s, as a musician of exceptional skill and creativity seems not so long ago. Since then, however, Adès has made the difficult transition from lauded young talent to mature artist, and done so in impressive fashion. His music for orchestra, voices, chamber groups, and solo instruments has been commissioned and performed throughout the world. (The St. Louis Symphony has, in recent seasons, played his violin concerto Concentric Paths, the orchestra piece Asyla, and the piano concerto In Seven Days.) A second opera, based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, was hugely successful in productions by the Santa Fe Opera, London’s Royal Opera, and New York’s Metropolitan Opera companies. In 2000 he became the youngest composer ever to receive the prestigious Grawemeyer Award. In short, Adès is no youthful prodigy but has firmly established himself as one of the most accomplished composers of the present day. Adès completed the chamber opera Powder Her Face in 1995, and its initial production, in July of that year, caused considerable excitement in England. The work centers on a recent historical figure: Margaret Campbell, Duchess of Argyll, who achieved a special sort of notoriety through a sensational divorce case in 1963. Already she had been living a life that “hedonism” barely begins to describe. She continued to do so, dissipating her health and her finances until she died, wasted and penniless, 30 years later. Like many tales of degeneracy among the upper crust, and more than most, the plot of Powder Her Face has a strong element of surrealism. That quality is heightened by Adès’s score, which ranges from something akin to Kurt Weill to late-modern complexity to coloratura arias in the tradition of Italian opera to skewed imitations of tea dances, tangos, and popular songs from the 1930s. This broad range of stylistic references

Born March 1, 1971, London Now Resides London First Performance June 17, 2007, at the Aldeburgh Festival, Aldeburgh, England; the composer conducted the Philharmonia Orchestra STL Symphony Premiere This week Scoring 3 flutes piccolo 3 oboes 3 clarinets bass clarinet 2 bassoons contrabassoon 4 horns 3 trumpets 3 trombones tuba timpani percussion harp piano strings Performance Time approximately 11 minutes

Born September 25, 1906, St. Petersburg Died August 9, 1975, Moscow First Performance October 15, 1933, in Leningrad (today, as before, St. Petersburg); the composer played the solo part, and Fritz Stiedry conducted the Leningrad Philharmonic STL Symphony Premiere February 7, 1936, Eugene List, piano, with Vladimir Golschmann conducting Most Recent STL Symphony Performance January 26, 2002, Yefim Bronfman, piano, Susan Slaughter, trumpet, with Hans Vonk conducting Scoring solo piano trumpet strings Performance Time approximately 21 minutes

and Adès’s readiness to use and juxtapose them at will places the music squarely in the domain of postmodernism. Adès scored the opera for a small orchestra that emphasized reed and brass instruments, an ensemble whose timbres recalls the dance bands of the 1930s, ‘40s, and ’50s. In 2007 the composer revised and rescored three portions of the opera for symphony orchestra. The resulting Dances from Powder Her Face opens our program. Dance rhythms inform each of the three movements that comprise this work. First comes an overture suggesting tango, foxtrot, and other steps being attempted in an inebriated state, with interjections of mocking laughter. The ensuing waltz has a music-box delicacy about it. But its mechanism seems flawed, the rhythms continually twitching or hiccupping or otherwise going awry. Similar rhythmic dislocations mark the finale, where Adès’s superimposition of figures moving at different speeds seems at once playful and disturbing in a fever-dream sort of way. DMITRY SHOSTAKOVICH Concerto No. 1 in C minor for Piano, Trumpet, and Strings, op. 35 Dmitry Shostakovich wrote his First Piano Concerto in 1933, when he was 27. Although young, the composer was already recognized as one of the most promising and original voices in the still young world of Soviet music, thanks to the strength of such works as his ballet The Golden Age, an opera based on Gogol’s story The Nose, and his first three symphonies. He was also an accomplished pianist, and he played the solo part himself in the concerto’s premiere performance, which he gave with the Leningrad Philharmonic on October 15, 1933. Shostakovich scored this work for an unusual orchestra of strings and one trumpet, the latter entrusted with an important concertante part. It is an ensemble that evokes the Baroque and Classical periods but at the same time offers the possibility of subverting any sense of 18th-century elegance through wit, satire, and bittersweet nostalgia.

The first movement opens with a flourish from the piano and trumpet that introduces a theme of almost Mozartian grace, begun by the solo piano and passed to the violins. After some consideration of this idea, Shostakovich turns to a second subject. Initially heard in the low register of the piano, this is a wry march tune, a type of melody the composer would favor throughout his career. The development of these ideas involves a succession of fanfares, glittering piano passages, and episodes redolent of the music hall, all contributing to an almost circus-like atmosphere that continues until the first theme returns in the piano. The ensuing Lento is a waltz, but with a rather bitter edge to it. It begins quietly, with a melody given out by the muted first violins, but soon builds in intensity, reaching a thundering climax. The initial melody returns in the trumpet rather than in the violins, gaining unexpected poignancy as a result. What is nominally the third movement is really, in effect, a brief interlude leading to the finale. It begins with a prelude in neo-Bach style for the piano alone; the violins add an expressive melody, but the keyboard music returns to transit into the finale proper. This concluding movement proves a spirited affair offering a succession of diverse melodic ideas. Near the end, Shostakovich indulges the soloist with a virtuosic cadenza that parodies and transforms the theme of Beethoven’s piano rondo Rage over a Lost Penny, op. 129. A fast-paced coda passage then brings the concerto to a close, with the trumpet again prominent near the end. NIKOLAY RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Scheherazade, op. 35 TELLER OF TALES The Sultan Shakriar, convinced of the falsehood and infidelity of all women, had sworn an oath to put to death each of his wives after the first night. But the Sultana Scheherazade saved her life by arousing his interest in the wonderful tales she told for a thousand and one nights. She spun miraculous stories, borrowing verses from the poets and words from folk songs, fairy tales, and accounts of strange adventures. Driven by curiosity, the Sultan postponed her execution from day to day and finally abandoned his wicked plan. The rich compendium of folk tales known as the Tales of Arabian Nights is one of the great collective art works of Islamic culture, and one of the world’s literary treasures. It has inspired a number of musical treatments.  Maurice Ravel and Karol Szymanowski are two of the better-known composers who have based scores on this subject. But the most famous musical treatment of these marvelous stories and the cunning woman who tells them is the symphonic suite Scheherazade by the Russian composer Nicolay Rimsky-Korsakov.  A KALEIDOSCOPE OF FAIRY-TALE IMAGES Composed in 1888, this work is famous for its colorful instrumentation, a characteristic of much of RimskyKorsakov’s music. Although Rimsky-Korsakov had certain scenes from the tales in mind as he wrote the four movements that comprise his Scheherazade, the music does not present a linear narrative of any of the stories. As the composer explained in his autobiography:

The program I had been guided by in composing Scheherazade consisted of separate, unconnected episodes from the Tales of Arabian Nights scattered through all four movements of my suite: the sea and Sinbad’s ship, the fantastic narrative of Prince Kalander, the Prince and Princess, the Baghdad festival, the ship dashing itself against the rock ... yet presenting, as it were, a kaleidoscope of fairytale images. Born March 18, 1844, Tikhvin, near the Russian city of Novgorod Died June 21, 1908, Lyubensk, Russia First Performance October 28, 1888, in St. Petersburg, Rimsky-Korsakov conducting STL Symphony Premiere March 11, 1910, Max Zach conducting Most Recent STL Symphony Performance November 13, 2010, David Robertson conducting Scoring 2 flutes 2 piccolos 2 oboes English horn 2 clarinets 2 bassoons 4 horns 2 trumpets 3 trombones tuba timpani percussion harp strings Performance Time approximately 42 minutes

He added, “All I had desired was that the hearer ... should carry away the impression that it is beyond doubt an Oriental narrative of some numerous and varied fairytale wonders.” In other words, it is the general mood and tenor of the Arabian tales that the composer hoped to convey in this music, along with occasional suggestions of certain narrative details experienced as “a kaleidoscope of fairy-tale images.” Rimsky-Korsakov did admit one detail: the sinuous melody of the solo violin heard in each of the four movements “delineates Scheherazade herself as telling her wondrous tales to her stern Sultan.” Even so, the composition can be enjoyed as much for its purely musical qualities—its vivid melodic ideas and brilliant orchestration—as for its evocation of oriental mystery and exotic tales.

Program notes © 2013 by Paul Schiavo




Peter Oundjian is celebrating a very successful first season as Music Director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. As well as concerts in and around Scotland, his inaugural season included a tour to China and culminated in his debut at the BBC Proms, and a concert at the Edinburgh International Festival. Alongside this position, Oundjian has been Music Director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra since 2004. In Toronto he has created the annual Mozart Festival, as well as the hugely successful New Creations Festival, celebrating the best in contemporary orchestral music as well as showcasing and premiering commissioned works. His previous positions include Principal Guest Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Originally trained as a violinist, Toronto-born Oundjian was educated in England, attending the Royal College of Music in London before studying at the Juilliard School in New York. He was the longest-serving first violinist of the renowned Tokyo String Quartet, a position he held for 14 years. Oundjian is now in his 32nd year as a visiting professor at the Yale School of Music. STEWART GOODYEAR

Sian Richards

Peter Oundjian most recently conducted the St. Louis Symphony in May 2012.


Known for imagination, a graceful, elegant style and exquisite technique, Stewart Goodyear is an accomplished young artist whose career spans many genres—concerto soloist, chamber musician, recitalist, and composer. Goodyear has performed with many of the major orchestras of the world—including 10 separate appearances to date with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Goodyear performed the complete Beethoven sonatas in one day, in June 2012, as part of the Luminato Festival and Royal Conservatory Concert Season in Toronto, and at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton this past June. He will perform the Beethoven Sonatathon again at Mondavi Center in Davis, California.

Stewart Goodyear most recently performed with the St. Louis Symphony in May 2008.

In addition to his talents as a pianist, Goodyear is a composer and has performed his own works in recital. His fanfare “Count Up” has been performed by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra under Paavo Jarvi, and will be performed this season by several orchestras. His composition “Eclipse” was co-commissioned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra and was performed November 2011. He has written by commission for the Toronto Youth Symphony for its 25th anniversary, as well as for the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. His piano concerto was premiered in August 2010 at the Peninsula Music Festival. KARIN BLIZNIK Karin Bliznik joined the St. Louis Symphony as Principal Trumpet in September 2013. Prior to St. Louis Bliznik was Associate Principal with the Atlanta Symphony. She has held principal positions with the Charlotte Symphony and the Charleston Symphony. Bliznik is also Principal Trumpet with the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra. During the 2012-13 season, she was invited as Guest Principal Trumpet in both the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Bliznik received her Master of Music from Northwestern University and her Bachelor of Music from Boston University. She also spent a semester abroad at London’s Royal College of Music and has performed in many music festivals. Karin Bliznik has spent two summers as a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. While in Atlanta, she was on the faculty of Kennesaw State University, and regularly taught for the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra and Talent Development Program.

Karin Bliznik makes her solo debut with the St. Louis Symphony this week.


You don’t need to know what “andante” means or what a glockenspiel is to enjoy a St. Louis Symphony concert, but it’s always fun to know stuff. For example, what is “Lento”? Lento: the second movement of the Shostakovich concerto is “Lento.” Program notes author Paul Schiavo describes this as a waltz, and since it is marked “Lento,” it is a slow waltz.

“My duties started in the summer, assigning all the different parts to the members of the section. I want to do this in a way so that everyone is excited to come to work every day. We’ve already divided in pairs: I play with Carrie Schafer and Tom Drake plays with Mike Walk. “I’m also responsible for making sure that everyone is on the same page in terms of sound production. What’s awesome is that since I’ve come here we haven’t had to talk about it. The section was already very solid. “I make sure that everyone gets along, which was already true when I came here. But everyone has been over to my place to just hang out, and we’re already playing duets together.”

Karin Bliznik


If these concerts have inspired you to learn more, here are suggested source materials with which to continue your explorations. The website of composer Thomas Adès A short video of scenes from Powder Her Face (Note: “Adult content,” as television advisories put it) Wendy Lesser, Music for Silenced Voices: Shostakovich and His Fifteen Quartets Yale University Press An inspired look into the works that were “the story of his soul” An NPR web-page devoted to Shostakovich, with links to many audio clips Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, My Musical Life Faber & Faber The composer’s autobiography

Read the program notes online at Keep up with the backstage life of the St. Louis Symphony, as chronicled by Symphony staffer Eddie Silva, via The St. Louis Symphony is on


October 27, 2013 Live at Powell Hall
Eric Conley, vocalist

The Barry White Experience
The program will be announced from the stage.

There will be one 20-minute intermission.


ERIC CONLEY While still a teenager, Eric Conley was inspired by his musical hero, the great Barry White. Conley worked harder on becoming a confident musician. At the University of Maryland, where he majored in business, he refused a sports scholarship in order to better concentrate on his studies. After college, Conley was stationed in Germany with the U.S. Army, receiving an honorable discharge in 1987. Once out of the Army, Conley took on his new persona as Central Europe’s hottest soul singer. After performing hundreds of concerts singing the R&B Soul classics of the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, Conley decided to hang his hat on what he does best—sing the music of the legendary Barry White. With Conley’s unique voice, he quickly discovered that there was no other vocalist in the world capable of so faithfully emulating Barry White’s “Voice of Love.”
Eric Conley keeps the Barry White legacy alive.


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