Gateway Festival Orchestra to present free summer concerts in Brookings Quadrangle

Series will open July 10 with Various Variations

James Richards will conduct the Gateway Festival Orchestra in its 48th season of free Sunday concerts. Download hires image.

The Gateway Festival Orchestra will launch its 48th season of free Sunday-evening concerts July 10 with Various Variations, a program exploring the use of variations by a handful of composers from the Baroque period through the 20th century.

James Richards, dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, will conduct the performance, which will open with Johann Pachelbel’s famous Canon in D.

Scored for three violins and basso continuo, the piece consists of a simple, instantly recognizable melody — which has been widely adapted for film, television and popular music — played in 28 variations over a short repeated bass figure.

The program will continue with “Andante” from Symphony No. 104 by Franz Joseph Haydn and “Theme and Variations” from Orchestral Suite No. 4, “Mozartiana,” by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. John Sorsen, a student at Pattonville High School, will serve as euphonium soloist for Variations on Carnival of Venice by Jean-Baptiste Arban.

Next will be “Allegretto” from Symphony No. 7 by Ludwig van Beethoven and “Theme and Variations” from Karel Husa’s Vier Kleine Stucke. Concluding the concert will be “Allegro energico e passionate” from Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 4.

Performances will continue July 17, 24 and 31. All concerts are free and open to the public and begin at 7:30 p.m. in Brookings Quadrangle, located just west of Brookings Hall, near the intersection of Brookings and Hoyt drives. The public is encouraged to bring lawn seating.

For further information, call (314) 569-0371 or visit

Concert in G Minor (July 17)

The season will continue July 17 with Concert in G Minor. The program will open with Fugue in G minor (“Little G minor”) by Johann Sebastian Bach, followed by “Air” from Edward Grieg’s Holberg Suite.

David Gillham, associate professor of music at the University of Missouri—St. Louis and member of the Arianna Quartet, will be soloist for Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor.

Concluding the program will by “Sentimental Sarabande” from Simple Symphony by Benjamin Britten and Symphony No. 40 in G minor by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Classical Collection (July 24)

The July 24 program, titled Classical Collection, will begin with Beethoven’s Egmont Overture. Natalie Ferree, a 2011 graduate of Lafayette High School, will be soloist for Bassoon Concerto in F, Op. 75, by Carl Maria von Weber.

The program will continue with “Overture and Excerpts” from Beethoven’s ballet Creatures of Prometheus. Concluding the program will be Sergei Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 1, “Classical.”

West by Northwest (July 31)

The season will conclude July 31 with West by Northwest, featuring works inspired by the music of Turkey, Rumania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Austria.

The program will open with the overture to Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio, a comic opera written in the written in the Turkish “janissary” style. Next will be Rumanian Folk Dances by Béla Bartók, followed by Brahms’ Hungarian Dances No. 1, 4 and 5, and Strauss’ “On the Beautiful Blue Danube.”

Concluding the program will by Symphony No. 8 in G Major by Antonín Dvořák.

Gateway Festival Orchestra

The Gateway Festival Orchestra was established in 1964 by conductor William Schatzkamer, professor emeritus in piano in Washington University’s Department of Music in Arts & Sciences, and other local musicians, in part to provide summer employment to members of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.

Gateway was the first integrated professional orchestra in the St. Louis area and its formation ultimately led to the merger of the Black Musicians’ Association with the Musicians’ Association of St. Louis (now Local 2-197 of the American Federation of Musicians). The group originally performed on the downtown riverfront but relocated to Washington University in 1970.

Gateway Festival Orchestra concerts are supported by the Roland Quest Memorial Fund of the Greater St. Louis Community Foundation, the Regional Arts Commission, the Missouri Arts Council, the Music Performance Fund of the American Federation of Musicians, the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Washington University.


WHO: Gateway Festival Orchestra

WHAT: Summer concert series

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Sunday, July 10, 17, 24 and 31

WHERE: Washington University’s Brookings Quadrangle, near the intersection of Brookings and Hoyt drives.

COST: Free and open to the public

INFORMATION: (314) 569-0371 or