Your Nashville Symphony has been inspiring, educating and serving Music City since 1946. Every day, we strive to create an orchestra that reflects the richness of the community we serve. With the support of people like you, we’re making a difference in the mid-state region and working to build an exciting future for classical music.
Read below to learn why more than 5,000 people each year choose to make a gift to the Nashville Symphony.
At the heart of our work is the 83-member Nashville Symphony. These remarkable musicians are among the finest players anywhere, and their artistry knows no bounds, from classical and jazz, to country, pop and R&B. Performing an astonishing 155 concerts every year, they’re active members of our community who provide daily inspiration as artists, teachers, volunteers and citizens. These are the musicians of your Nashville Symphony.
The Nashville Symphony is one of the most active recording orchestras in the United States, with a focus on promoting new, groundbreaking American music. Just like our friends and neighbors on Lower Broadway and in clubs and recording studios across town, our commitment is to creating the sound and the soul of music’s greatest city.
Since 2000, the Symphony has released 39 internationally distributed recordings on Naxos, a Middle Tennessee-based label that has become the world’s largest distributor of classical music. Our discography encompasses a wide range of repertoire, from Beethoven and Bernstein, to Ben Folds and Jennifer Higdon — to name just two renowned artists with strong ties to Tennessee. And the music world is taking notice: our recordings have earned a total of 14 GRAMMY® Awards and 26 nominations.
As a leader in our field, the Nashville Symphony has been a champion of new music, working with celebrated composers right here in Middle Tennessee and across the country. Our orchestra has presented over 35 world premieres and has commissioned over 30 new pieces of music — because we believe that classical music has the power to move and inspire listeners in the 21st century.
America has changed dramatically over the last 30 years, and it continues to evolve at an astonishing pace. To remain relevant to our increasingly diverse audience, we have a responsibility to ensure that the orchestras of the future reflect the communities they serve. That’s why we started the Accelerando initiative.
One of just a few programs of its kind in the United States, Accelerando prepares gifted young students of diverse ethnic backgrounds to pursue music at the collegiate level and beyond. Through intensive training with Nashville Symphony musicians, participation in youth orchestras, masterclasses and much more, these students work tirelessly year-round so that they can become the next generation of great American musicians.
Accelerando has helped shape me into the person and musician I am today. It has pushed and challenged me to grow as a musician, and my playing is at a level that 10-year-old me would have never imagined. I now am working toward my future in music. —Emily Martinez-Perez, Accelerando student
Each year, the Nashville Symphony serves tens of thousands of children and families from the 41-county Middle Tennessee region, both at Schermerhorn Symphony Center and in local schools and community gathering spaces across the region. Through an array of free and low-cost programs, we seek to inspire joy, enrich young people’s lives and connect people of all ages with opportunities to listen and learn.
Here are just a few of the 20 programs we offer year-round:
Music brings people together. It transcends languages, borders and cultural differences. Music matters. And through the life-transforming power of music, the Nashville Symphony seeks to make Middle Tennessee a more vibrant, connected and culturally rich place. Each year, we collaborate with partner organizations to create unique opportunities for people to gather in celebration of art, culture, history and community.
Recent efforts include partnering with Casa de la Cultura and other local organizations to present México en el Corazón, a free mariachi celebration at Schermerhorn Symphony Center. In 2018, with the Jewish Federation of Nashville, the Nashville Symphony presented Violins of Hope Nashville, a community-wide initiative with 27 partners and 60 events, all revolving around a collection of restored instruments played by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust.
We look forward to even more exciting projects ahead, including a very special performance in 2020 commemorating the centennial of the 19th Amendment, which granted women’s suffrage.
With the community’s support — with your support — all of this and so much more is possible.