Music: Halfway in St. Louis

Nineteen years ago. when Vladimir Golschmann first picked up the baton of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, he hardly seemed the man St. Louisans would choose for a permanent conductor. He was Parisian to his tapering fingertips; St. Louis was used to a rich German accent in its music. In Paris, Golschmann had been a champion of the upstart modernists known as the French Six.* hardly a recommendation for a post in a city devoted to Mozart, Wagner and Brahms.

And he was only 37, almost an unripe youngster to be conducting one of the oldest orchestras in the U.S.*

Yet somehow Conductor...