A capacity crowd at New York’s Carnegie Hall greeted the ST. LOUIS SYMPHONY’s performance of Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes last month, on what would have been the composer’s 100th birthday. The Nov. 22 program featured music director DAVID ROBERTSON; the Symphony chorus, under the director of AMY KAISER; and tenor ANTHONY DEAN GRIFFEY as Peter Grimes, and soprano SUSANNA PHILLIPS as Ellen Orford. The performance received an extended standing ovation, as well as praise from critics, including The New York Times. The Carnegie program was previewed at Powell Hall Nov. 16.
St. Louis attorney JERRY SCHLICHTER is this year’s recipient of The St. Louis Award. Schlichter, a senior partner at Schlichter Bogard & Denton, is being recognized for his outstanding commitment to the region, specifically for the vision to develop Arch Grants. Arch Grants offers funding for startup businesses in an effort to create a more robust startup culture and infrastructure in St. Louis. The St. Louis Award, established in 1931, honors an individual for contributing ‘the most outstanding service’ for the development of St. Louis.
When West Side Story returns to the Fox Theatre for a limited weekend run next month, look for a trio of cast members with St. Louis ties. RICARDO RIQUE-SANCHEZ (Pepe) grew up in St. Louis and attended Central Visual & Performing Arts H.S. This is his second season as Pepe (and understudy Bernardo) in the production. ALEJANDRO FONSECA is making this touring debut as Shark Boy. He currently is pursuing a BFA from Lindenwood University. And KRISTIN YANCY, a Washington University alum, is performing in her first national tour as Shark Girl. West Side Story runs Jan. 3 through 5.
Television icon REGIS PHILBIN has signed on to narrate a short documentary on THE JACK AND J.T. SNOW SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH FOUNDATION, a St. Louis-based organization that raises awareness and funding for Wolfram syndrome research. Philbin, who worked for KMOV in the 1970s, was a fan of the late NFL great Jack Snow, whose granddaughter, Raquel (J.T.’s niece), was diagnosed with the disease in 2010. To see the documentary, visit thesnowfoundation.org.
It’s beginning to look a lot like…St. Louis at Christmastime is the subject of a new book by a local folklorist and professor. JOHN OLDANI’s Christmas in St. Louis: Traditions, Displays, and Celebrations looks at how traditions developed and shifted throughout the decades, from nostalgic downtown department store windows to neighborhood light displays. The ‘living album of Christmas wonders’ features photography by MARK ABELN.
The CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM will benefit from a portion of the proceeds at NEIMAN MARCUS this holiday season. The store is donating 10 percent of sales generated from items in the Ken Downing Gift Collection through Dec. 24. Downing, Neiman Marcus’ fashion director, has curated an exclusive gift collection of 37 designer items with names like Chanel, Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney for the campaign.