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St Louis Symphony Appoints New Assistant Conductor

Samuel Hollister will become the assistant to Music Director Stéphane Denève


The St Louis Symphony Orchestra (SLSO) recently announced that Samuel Hollister will serve as its new Assistant Conductor. As part of the position, he will also lead the SLSO's Fred M. Saigh Youth Orchestra, a role that was recently endowed in perpetuity.

During his time with the SLSO, Hollister will make his St Louis debut conducting the orchestra at its "Concert for Kids: Wild Symphony" performance on October 5, 2024. He will also lead the orchestra in several education concerts throughout the season — and in performances at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and at the annual reading of new music by student composers at the University of Missouri.

Alongside his role at the SLSO, Samuel Hollister is presently Music Director of the Civic Orchestra of New Haven, Connecticut, and is also a doctoral candidate at the Yale School of Music. He is the founder of Aurora Collaborative, a Rhode Island non-profit community organization blending music with art and writing, where he advocated for new music and innovative concert experiences.

Hollister holds degrees from the Peabody Institute and Yale University.

"From the first moment I heard the SLSO live in January, I knew that this was an astonishingly special orchestra," Hollister said. "Working with this orchestra has already been a blessing, not only because of its extraordinary level of musical excellence, but also because of its warmth and its sense of family."

"I am also deeply grateful that this position will allow me to work with the talented members of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra. To me, working with young musicians is about much more than just fostering musical excellence and passion: it’s about mentorship, too. I have always relished that opportunity to get to know young musicians personally and to help them navigate their musical lives."

"In Samuel Hollister, I believe that our SLSO has once again found an exceptional young conductor who will follow our impressive lineage of talented and promising assistants," said Stéphane Denève, SLSO Music Director. "During his audition with the orchestra, Samuel showed a very sophisticated and mature understanding of the symphonic repertoire, a vivid imagination, and inspiring musicality."

"I am looking forward to getting to know him more and see him grow also in the position of Music Director of our precious St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra."

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