Symphony taking concerts to patrons’ homes, businesses

The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra can’t give concerts in Powell Symphony Hall due to coronavirus restrictions, so musicians are taking performances straight to patrons — even to their homes.

The symphony recently began its “On the Go” series that involves outdoor chamber music performances for crowds of 50 or less, as well as one-on-one performances in which symphony musicians visit and perform for individuals or families at their homes.

The chamber music performances will be at various places, including health care facilities around St. Louis to show support for the work that medical professionals have done in the fight against COVID-19, symphony spokesman Eric Dundon said Monday.

The St. Louis region has been hit harder by the coronavirus than any other area of the state. While Republican Gov. Mike Parson allowed Missouri to reopen for business in mid-June, St. Louis city and county continue to have strict regulations aimed at slowing the spread of the virus, including limits on in-person gatherings. Powell Symphony Hall has not hosted a concert since March.

The symphony’s 2020-2021 season will include digital performances, concert broadcasts and educational outreach in addition to the small-gathering live performances, Dundon said.

Plans call for the “On the Go” performances several times each week through early October. In addition to health care facilities, concerts will be at places like senior centers and libraries, and some will be in public spaces in places like Forest Park. The concerts are free and masks are mandatory.

“There is no replacement for the joy of making and sharing music in person with audiences, and we are thrilled to once again bring live music, safely, to our community,” Stephane Deneve, music director for the symphony, said in a news release.

The symphony said the concerts at homes will “connect individuals to the power of music through intimate, 20-minute experiences.” Those concerts also are free.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services on Monday reported 1,463 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus, and 12 additional deaths. The state has reported 114,307 confirmed cases and 1,807 deaths since the pandemic began.

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