Known for his visionary storytelling and heartfelt interpretations, Stéphane Denève, The Joseph and Emily Rauh Pulitzer Music Director, began his tenure with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in September 2019. Since his first visit to St. Louis in 2003, he has charmed audiences with his wit and genuine warmth, and has since shared many memorable musical moments with the St. Louis community, introduced new ideas like SLSO Crafted concerts, and made music more accessible with new ticket pricing and free tickets for community partners through Stéphane’s Seats.
In 2021, his directorship was extended through the conclusion of the 2025/2026 season. Now in his fifth season as the 13th Music Director of the SLSO, Stéphane has shaped his time at the SLSO around creating thrilling musical experiences that give an authentic voice to music across genre and time. He maintains his commitment to composers and music of today through thoughtful and innovative programming. He also remains committed to listening and learning, as well as nurturing the SLSO’s reputation as a creative hub for St. Louis and for making orchestral music accessible to all.
He sold out Powell Hall for concerts including Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (February 2020) and a night of movie music, sharing the podium with acclaimed composer John Williams (November 2019). His concerts have been described as “near perfect,” “revelatory,” “Olympian in its grandeur,” and “stunning” by critics.