Arts & Culture: Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra

Director of communications Adam Crane and president and executive director Dr. Fred Bronstein. Photo by Bryan Schraier

Look for the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra to be an even bigger player in town, according to  its new president and executive director. Dr. Fred Bronstein, who previously served in the same capacity at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, officially took over in St. Louis in March. He says one of his primary goals is to build an audience. “I’d like to really put the orchestra on the radar screen of a broader range of people throughout the region,” he says. “It’s clearly one of the leading cultural institutions in town and holds a very special place in the music world. We’re in our 129th season as the second-oldest orchestra in the United States, ours is one with a rich, deep history.”

    For starters, Bronstein says he wants Powell Hall to become one of the city’s top destinations. “I want to create a sense that Powell Hall is the place to be.” He says the symphony has been moving toward that direction by presenting performances that reach more people. “Our Casual Classics series, for example, is more pop-oriented, 30 percent of those who attended have never been to a performance before,” he notes. “We also recently had the Lord of the Rings symphony (two sold-out shows) at which more than half of the audience had never been inside Powell Hall.” Bronstein says future offerings such as ‘Oz with Orchestra,’ a live performance of the legendary movie’s score, and a concert by New Orleans’ Preservation Hall Jazz Band will further the goal of attracting a wider audience. “I want people to be really excited when they see something from the symphony,” he says. “There really is something here for everyone.”

    Also new to the symphony this year is St. Louis native Adam Crane (Ladue High ‘93), who began his post as director of communications in August. Crane grew up with music, attending Powell Hall concerts and learning to play the cello as a young boy. “I started coming to concerts when I was 7, when Leonard Slatkin was conductor and I haven’t stopped since. I love the orchestra and watching the cellists play.” After high school, Crane decided he did not want to become a professional musician; instead, he pursued a degree in music business from New York University.

    Crane, who previously served as director of public relations and communications for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, says coming home to work for SLSO is a dream come true. “This is the orchestra I grew up with, it’s the reason I’m in this business,” he says. “You’ll see and hear from me a lot, I’m a great cheerleader, especially when it comes to an organization that I’m passionate about.”