R.E.M. co-founder Mike Mills, violinist Robert McDuffie, and a rock band join the orchestra for performances of Mills’ Concerto for Violin, Rock Band, and Orchestra; concert opens with symphonic arrangements of R.E.M. hits

The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra has announced a one-night-only symphonic tribute to the music of R.E.M., the award-winning American rock band. Mike Mills, R.E.M. co-founder and bassist, joins the orchestra in the second half of the concert for a performance of his new Concerto for Violin, Rock Band, and Orchestra, with celebrated violinist Robert McDuffie, who collaborates with the SLSO for the first time in more than 20 years. The concert is 7:30pm, Friday, April 5, at the Stifel Theatre in downtown St. Louis.

Tickets starting at $45 are on sale now and may be purchased at slso.org or by calling the Box Office at 314-534-1700.

R.E.M. Explored
Friday, April 5, 2024, 7:30 pm
Stifel Theatre 
1400 Market Street, St. Louis, Missouri, 63103 

Ward Stare, conductor
Mike Mills | bass, piano, and guitar
Robert McDuffie, violin
Gerry Hansen, drums
John Neff, guitar
William Tonks, guitar
Note: This concert does not feature vocalists.

R.E.M. Co-Founder Mike Mills and Robert McDuffie in “R.E.M. Explored” with Winston-Salem Symphony. J Farley Photography

The SLSO explores some of the greatest hits of R.E.M.—the Grammy Award-winning American rock band hailing from Georgia—in newly reimagined orchestrations of the band’s legendary catalogue. The orchestra performs many of R.E.M.’s chart toppers including “It’s the End of the World As We Know It,” “Man on the Moon,” and “Everybody Hurts.” Then, Mike Mills—R.E.M. co-founder, singer-songwriter, and bassist—joins the SLSO for performances of his eponymous Concerto for Violin, Rock Band, and Orchestra, a synthesis of his rock background fused with symphonic form that also draws partially from the band’s catalogue, including the 1993 song “Nightswimming.” Grammy-nominated violinist Robert McDuffie joins Mills and a rock band for the St. Louis premiere of this concerto.

About the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

Celebrated as one of today’s most exciting and enduring orchestras, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra is the second-oldest orchestra in the country, marking its 144th year with the 2023/2024 season and its fifth with Stéphane Denève, The Joseph and Emily Rauh Pulitzer Music Director. Widely considered one of the leading American orchestras, the Grammy® Award-winning SLSO maintains its commitment to artistic excellence, educational impact, and community collaborations—all in service to its mission of enriching lives through the power of music. 

The transformational expansion and renovation of its historic home, Powell Hall, slated to be completed in 2025, builds on the institution’s momentum as a civic leader in convening individuals, creators, and ideas, while fostering a culture welcoming to all. Committed to building community through compelling and inclusive musical experiences, the SLSO continues its longstanding focus on equity, diversity, inclusion, and access, embracing its strengths as a responsive, nimble organization, while investing in partnerships locally and elevating its presence globally. For more information, visit slso.org

Concerto for Violin and Rock Band. Photo J. Farley Photography