Saint Louis Cathedral Concerts is reemerging from a pandemic hibernation with a robust lineup of performances beginning in September.
One of the major highlights of this season is the Msgr. Telthorst Memorial Concert, scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 18, at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis. The concert will feature tenor Scott Kennebeck, organist John Powel Walsh and flautist Madeline Moylan.
The concert will celebrate the memory of Msgr. James Telthorst, who served as the cathedral basilica’s rector from 1991-2002. He died in March of 2022 at the age of 79. Msgr. Telthorst was inspired to establish the cathedral basilica as an arts center for the St. Louis region with the creation of Saint Louis Cathedral Cathedral Concerts in 1993.
“He was a wonderful man who had the vision to make the cathedral an artistic center for all of St. Louis,” said Kennebeck, executive and artistic director of Cathedral Concerts. “He had a true understanding of the importance of beauty that the Church provided in architecture, art, stained glass and especially music.”
The memorial concert will feature several of Msgr. Telthorst’s favorite hymns, including D. McCargill’s “Servant Song” and “Take Lord Receive” by John Foley.
Cathedral Concerts was established as an independent nonprofit organization that brings internationally renowned musicians to St. Louis, as well as local performers. When Msgr. Telthorst hired John Romeri as the cathedral’s music director in 1992, the priest charged him with growing sacred music concerts and other musical events at the cathedral basilica.
The first season in 1993 included three performances and has since grown to this season’s schedule of 10 concerts from September through April 2023. An international reputation has accompanied the growth, with more than 120 artists from around the world performing at the cathedral basilica, including the Vienna Boys Choir of Austria, Tenebrae Choir from London and the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir. Fifty-nine of those performances were the first time the group had performed live in St. Louis.
The 2022-23 season will include traveling chamber concerts in September at several churches in the archdiocese and featuring members of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, including Kristin Ahlstrom and Eva Kozma on violin, Shannon Farrell Williams on viola and Bjorn Ranheim on cello.
Other concerts include Fauré Requiem, performed by the St. Louis Archdiocesan Choir on Oct. 30; the Kings Singers on Nov. 4; Christmas at the Cathedral, featuring the St. Louis Archdiocesan Choirs and Orchestra on Dec. 11; Luther College Nordic Choir on Jan. 27; the Septura Brass Septet with the Missouri High School All-State Brass Players on Feb. 21; Tenebrae on March 7; and The Tallis Scholars on April 19.
During the pandemic, Cathedral Concerts continued to offer a much scaled-back lineup of concerts, with several livestreamed offerings, including several performances benefiting Catholic Charities of St. Louis. In late summer and fall 2021, Cathedral Concerts offered several chamber concerts, followed by a small lineup with several touring groups in spring 2022.
“If COVID has taught us anything, it’s to be flexible,” Kennebeck said.
Chamber music concerts
• Friday, Sept. 2 at 7 p.m., St. Monica Church, 12140 Olive Blvd. in Creve Coeur
• Saturday, Sept. 10 at 7 p.m., Epiphany of Our Lord Church, 6596 Smiley Avenue in St. Louis
• Sunday, Sept. 11 at 4:30 p.m., St. Joseph Church, 1355 Motherhead Road in Cottleville
• Msgr. James T. Telthorst Memorial Concert, Sunday, Sept. 18 at 2:30 p.m.
• Sunday, Oct. 30 at 2:30 p.m., Fauré Requiem with the St. Louis Archdiocesan Choir
• Friday, Nov. 4 at 8 p.m., The King’s Singers
• Sunday, Dec. 11 at 2:30 p.m., Christmas at the Cathedral with the St. Louis Archdiocesan Choirs & Orchestra
• Friday, Jan. 27, at 8 p.m., Luther College Nordic Choir
• Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 8 p.m., Septura Brass Septet with the Missouri High School All-State Brass Players
• Tuesday, March 7 at 8 p.m., Tenebrae
• Wednesday, April 19 at 8 p.m., The Tallis Scholars
For tickets, visit cathedralconcerts.org