St. Louis Symphony Orchestra October concerts span genres, with U.S. premiere, classical favorites, film presentation, and concert for families

Led by Jason Seber, the SLSO performs the Danny Elfman score to Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, October 6 and 8, at Stifel Theatre

On October 13 and 15, frequent guest conductor Cristian Măcelaru leads the orchestra at the Touhill Performing Arts Center at UMSL in the U.S. premiere of Hannah Eisendle’s heliosis and Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 2; violinist Benjamin Beilman makes his SLSO debut on W.A. Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5

On October 20-21, conductor Elim Chan returns to lead the orchestra at the Touhill Performing Arts Center at UMSL in Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with Ingrid Fliter, part of a season-long cycle of all five Beethoven piano concertos; concerts open with the first SLSO performances of Elizabeth Ogonek’s Moondog and conclude with Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3, “Scottish”

On October 22, the SLSO introduces children to music through terrestrial creatures in a Family Concert: A Zoo Called Earth at the Touhill Performing Arts Center at UMSL

The SLSO performs music by Jewish composers at a free community concert at the Jewish Community Center (The J), October 27

(September 7, 2023, St. Louis, MO) – Today, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra announced details of its October 2023 concerts, which includes classical favorites by Johannes Brahms, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Felix Mendelssohn; the U.S. premiere of a new work by Hannah Eisendle; the first of five film score presentations, Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas; and a Family Concert that explores Earth’s creatures.

Tickets start at $15 for classical and Family concerts, and $47 for The Nightmare Before Christmas, and are on sale now. Tickets may be purchased at or by calling the Box Office at 314-534-1700. A full concert calendar is available at or on the SLSO’s mobile app available for iOS or Android. Classical concerts will be broadcast on October 14 and 21 on 90.7 FM KWMU St. Louis Public Radio, Classic 107.3, and online. Audiences can attend a Pre-Concert Conversation, an engaging discussion about the music and artists on the program, one hour prior to each classical concert.

While the expansion and renovation of Powell Hall continues, the SLSO will perform October concerts at two landmark performance venues: Stifel Theatre in downtown St. Louis (October 6 & 8) and the Touhill Performing Arts Center at the University of Missouri–St. Louis (October 13, 15, 20-22). Shuttle service will be available for all classical concerts starting at $15 per seat. There will be two shuttle pick-up locations for performances at Stifel Theatre: Plaza Frontenac and St. Louis Community College–Forest Park. Shuttles for performances at the Touhill Performing Arts Center at UMSL will depart from Plaza Frontenac and free parking is available on the UMSL campus.

The Nightmare Before Christmas in Concert

Friday, October 6, 7:00pm CDT
Sunday, October 8, 2:00pm CDT
Stifel Theatre
1400 Market Street, St. Louis, Missouri, 63103

Jason Seber, conductor

Danny Elfman Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas

The SLSO revisits one of Tim Burton’s most adored films, The Nightmare Before Christmas, bringing Danny Elfman’s hauntingly charming score to life as the movie plays on Stifel Theatre’s big screen. The Nightmare Before Christmas follows Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, on his quest to seize Christmas with the help of some mischievous trick-or-treaters. Popular with SLSO audiences since 2010, film concerts are an immersive way to experience beloved films. Additional SLSO film presentations in the 23/24 season include Home AloneBack to the FutureEncanto, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Mozart and Brahms

Friday, October 13, 7:30pm CDT
Sunday, October 15, 3:00pm CDT
Touhill Performing Arts Center at the University of Missouri–St. Louis
1 Touhill Circle, St. Louis, Missouri, 63121

Cristian Măcelaru, conductor
Benjamin Beilman, violin (SLSO debut)

Hannah Eisendle heliosis (U.S. Premiere)
W.A. Mozart Violin Concerto No. 5, K.219
Johannes Brahms Symphony No. 2

The October 13 and 15 program combines the familiar with the new, both in artists and music. Leading the program is Cristian Măcelaru in his sixth program with the SLSO since 2014. The frequent guest conductor opens the program with music new to the orchestra—and to the country: heliosis by Austrian composer Hannah Eisendle. Titled after a term related to sunstroke, heliosis is a virtuosic tour through the orchestra with clattery percussion, brass calls, and a rare solo for contrabassoon. Next is another pairing of familiar and new: W.A. Mozart’s oft-performed Violin Concerto No. 5 with Benjamin Beilman, who makes his SLSO debut in this program. An up-and-coming soloist, Beilman plays “with rich sound and plenty of brilliance” (The New York Times). Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 2, with its folk-tinged melodies and bucolic atmosphere, concludes the program.

Beethoven’s Piano Cycle: Ingrid Fliter Plays the Third

Friday, October 20, 10:30am CDT*
Saturday, October 21, 7:30pm CDT
Touhill Performing Arts Center at the University of Missouri–St. Louis
1 Touhill Circle, St. Louis, Missouri, 63121

Elim Chan, conductor
Ingrid Fliter, piano

Elizabeth Ogonek Moondog (First SLSO performances)
Ludwig van Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 3
Felix Mendelssohn Symphony No. 3, “Scottish”

*Refreshments courtesy of Kaldi’s Coffee and Eddie’s Southtown Donuts.

“An impressive young conductor” (The New York Times), Elim Chan returns to lead the SLSO in a program that evokes a sense of atmosphere. Inspired by an 1829 trip to Britain, Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3, “Scottish” conjures the Scottish Highlands, from the toe-tapping second movement reminiscent of folk music to the hymnlike-turned-majestic finale. By contrast, Elizabeth Ogonek’s Moondog, which opens the concert, evokes the sky, the third in a triptych by the composer inspired by skyward phenomena. The piece will receive its SLSO premiere in this program. Pianist Ingrid Fliter returns for her sixth program with the SLSO in Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3, the second of five Beethoven piano concertos performed by the orchestra this season.

Family Concert: A Zoo Called Earth

Sunday, October 22, 3:00pm CDT
Touhill Performing Arts Center at the University of Missouri–St. Louis
1 Touhill Circle, St. Louis, Missouri, 63121

Jason Seber, conductor
Emily Bowling, host

John Williams Flying Theme from E.T.
Jessie Montgomery Starburst
Peter Schickele A Zoo Called Earth
Albert Roussel “Danse du Papillon” from The Spider’s Feast
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov “Flight of the Bumblebee” from Tale of the Tsar Saltan
Camille Saint-Saëns “Tortoises” from Carnival of the Animals
Jacques Offenbach (arr. Binder) “Can-Can” from Gaite parisienne

SLSO education programs are presented by Steward Family Foundation and World Wide Technology.

The SLSO’s Family Concerts capture the imaginations of young listeners while making orchestral concerts accessible to families with young children. Through Peter Schickele’s A Zoo Called Earth, the orchestra introduces creatures ranging from fish and dinosaurs to kangaroos and elephants through the perspective of an extraterrestrial tourist. Audiences are encouraged to dress up for Halloween and arrive early to join in pre-concert activities including a scavenger hunt with the musicians of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Community Concert: Citywide Symphony Shabbat at The J

Friday, October 27, 5:30pm CDT
JCC Staenberg Family Complex in Creve Coeur – Gymnasium
2 Millstone Campus Drive, St. Louis, Missouri 63146

Kevin McBeth, conductor
Rabbi Amy Feder, vocalist

Presented by Michael Staenberg and the Staenberg Family Foundation, in partnership with the Harris-Newman Fund of Women’s Auxiliary Foundation for Jewish Aged, a supporting foundation of Jewish Federation of St. Louis.

SLSO IN UNISON Chorus Director Kevin McBeth leads an SLSO string orchestra in performance of music by Jewish composers including George Gershwin, Ben Steinberg, and Ernest Bloch. Guest singers Rabbi Amy Feder (Congregation Temple Israel) and Cantor Ronald Eichaker, Rabbi (United Hebrew Congregation) join the SLSO musicians to perform both sacred and secular selections. This hour-long concert is free, but RSVPs are requested. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors for the concert open at 5:00pm.

The SLSO’s 144th season runs through May 2024. For more information, visit

About the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

Celebrated as one of today’s most exciting and enduring orchestras, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra is the second-oldest orchestra in the country, marking its 144th year with the 2023/2024 season and its fifth with Music Director Stéphane Denève. Widely considered one of the leading American orchestras, the Grammy® Award-winning SLSO maintains its commitment to artistic excellence, educational impact, and community collaborations—all in service to its mission of enriching lives through the power of music.

The transformational expansion and renovation of its historic home, Powell Hall, slated to be completed in 2025, builds on the institution’s momentum as a civic leader in convening individuals, creators, and ideas, while fostering a culture welcoming to all. Committed to building community through compelling and inclusive musical experiences, the SLSO continues its longstanding focus on equity, diversity, inclusion, and access, embracing its strengths as a responsive, nimble organization, while investing in partnerships locally and elevating its presence globally. For more information, visit

About the University of Missouri–St. Louis Touhill Performing Arts Center

Designed by the renowned architectural firm I.M. Pei, Cobb, Freed and Partners, the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center is a landmark performance facility on the campus of the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL). The Center hosts an average of 120 events, 200 performances, and 90,000 visitors per year.

The Touhill staff manages several collaborative relationships and programs that, along with campus and community partners, to bring together a diverse season of dance, theatre, music, festivals, and special events.

About Stifel Theatre

Stifel Theatre is a historic, 3,100 seat theatre in the heart of downtown St. Louis. Originally opened in 1934, Stifel Theatre’s stage has welcomed some of entertainment’s greatest performers and was the primary venue for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra from 1934-1968. Following a $78.7 million restoration, this historical gem has been restored to its original splendor and undergone state-of-the-art upgrades.

Stifel Theatre plays host to a wide variety of events, including concerts, comedies, theatricals, family shows, holiday productions and more.

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Eric Dundon

Public Relations Director