Nashville, Tenn. (August 26, 2014) – The Nashville Symphony has been awarded a $35,000 grant by the Flora Family Foundation. The funding will support the organization’s efforts to promote, preserve and expand American orchestral music during the 2014/15 concert season.
The grant will help support seven performances of American music over the next year, as well as the Symphony’s season-opening performance of West Side Story on September 5-6. The Symphony is also using the contribution as a challenge grant to raise additional funds for its work in American music. The challenge will raise two dollars for every dollar contributed by the Flora Family Foundation, resulting in over $100,000 to support recordings, commissions and performances of American music.
“This generous grant makes it possible for the Nashville Symphony to carry out its commitment to making American orchestral music a significant part of our classical repertoire,” said Alan Valentine, Symphony president and CEO. “As Nashville’s resident orchestra, our mission is to promote this country’s greatest composers and to keep orchestral music fresh, exciting and relevant for today’s audiences. We are truly honored that an inspiring organization like the Flora Family Foundation has chosen to help the Symphony continue serving the people of Middle Tennessee in a meaningful way.”
“The Nashville Symphony is an integral part of the cultural life in Music City, and Schermerhorn Symphony Center is one of the finest concert venues in the nation,” said Steve Toben, president of the Flora Family Foundation. “We are happy to support the Symphony’s ongoing work to bring great programs of American music to the public.”
During the upcoming season, the Nashville Symphony will showcase works by American composers from all eras, and nearly one-quarter of the 2014/15 Aegis Sciences Classical Series will consist of American music. In addition, the Symphony will commission three new works by American composers: Richard Danielpour’s “Whitman Songs” and Michael Daugherty’s Cello Concerto, as well as the premiere of Conni Ellisor and Victor Wooten’s groundbreaking The Bass Whisperer: Concerto for Electric Bass and Orchestra.
The continued commitment to American music will also be a cornerstone of the Symphony’s education and community engagement programs throughout 2014/15, an initiative that annually serves more than 100,000 children and adults each year.
The California-based Flora Family Foundation was established in 1998 by the family of William R. Hewlett (co-founder of Hewlett-Packard Company) and his late wife, Flora Lamson Hewlett. The foundation supports public benefit organizations working throughout the world in education, health, arts and culture, the environment, global security, civic engagement and the advancement of women.