Founded in 1880 by Joseph Otten as the St. Louis Choral Society, the St. Louis Symphony is the second-oldest symphony orchestra in the United States.
Before moving to its current home in Powell Hall, St Louis, Missouri, the SLSO performed for many years at the Kiel Opera House. The orchestra has given concerts regularly at Carnegie Hall and has made overseas tours to Europe and to Japan. The St. Louis Symphony has recorded for the Columbia, RCA Victor, Red Seal, Telarc, Vox/Turnabout, Angel EMI, and Nonesuch labels. It has also issued CD recordings on its own label, Arch Media, and has received seven Grammy Awards and 58 nominations.
For Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, the St. Louis Symphony has been the resident orchestra since 1978, divided into two ensembles, each performing two of the operas in the season.
Also associated with the orchestra is the St. Louis Symphony Chorus, which was founded in 1977. Its first director was Thomas Peck. Since 1995, Amy Kaiser has served as the chorus director.
Their Instrument Playground is a traveling “hands-on” kit of musical instruments sponsored by the Symphony Volunteer Association (SVA). Members of the SVA provide a short presentation about instrument families and assist students in producing a sound from one instrument in each family.
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