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St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Bernstein and Williams – Cinematic Visions

March 21, 2025 @ 10:30 am
|Recurring Event (See all)

Music Director Stéphane Denève takes us on a cinematic journey. In this program, we climb the Himalayas in music by John Williams. Soloist Akiko Suwanai leads us through the shimmering mist of Guillaume Connesson’s Violin Concerto. Then we venture to the 1950s, gripped by the action and adventure of America’s bustling ports in music by Adolphus Hailstork and Leonard Bernstein’s On the Waterfront.

A few things to know: 

  • The 1997 film Seven Years in Tibet was based on the memoir of an Austrian mountaineer and SS sergeant about his experiences in Tibet between 1944 and 1951. The movie starred Brad Pitt, with the cello solos in John Williams’ score played by Yo-Yo Ma.
  • Connesson’s concerto is based on the 1933 novel Lost Horizon by the English writer James Hilton. The story is set in Shangri-La, a fictional monastery situated high in the mountains of Tibet. The novel became a film, directed by Frank Capra, and later a musical, with music by Burt Bacharach.

Leonard Bernstein wrote of his only film score—for the Academy Award®-winning 1954 On The Waterfront—“I had become so involved in each detail of the score that it seemed to me perhaps the most important part of the picture. I had to keep reminding myself that it really is the least important part.... I repeated this little maxim to myself like a good Coué disciple, as I found myself pleading for a beloved G-flat.”

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