Nashville Symphony Announces 2018/19 Season Lineup

Now available in season ticket packages, concerts include Bernstein Centennial Opening Night, Carmina Burana, performances by Midori, Kristin Chenoweth, Martina McBride & more

Nashville, TN. (January 29, 2018) — The Nashville Symphony has unveiled the lineup for its 2018/19 season, which begins on September 8 and will feature more than 90 classical, pops, jazz and family concerts, along with special events featuring top-name guest artists, film favorites with live orchestral accompaniment, choral showcases and more.

With the Symphony enjoying record fundraising, attendance and ticket sales in recent years — as well as a rising domestic and international profile thanks to a string of GRAMMY® wins and critically acclaimed recordings — the new season boasts diverse programming across a variety of genres, while maintaining the organization’s commitment to American music.

Among the highlights for 2018/19, the orchestra will perform works by Beethoven, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Mahler and more, as well as a blend of established and new works by American composers including Leonard Bernstein, John Adams, John Corigliano and Christopher Rouse. In addition, the Symphony is partnering with the Nashville Ballet on a special multimedia presentation of Carmina Burana, with a newly produced film accompanying a grand-scale performance incorporating orchestra, adult chorus, children’s chorus and ballet dancers, with updated choreography by Nashville Ballet artistic director Paul Vasterling.

A star-studded collection of guest artists and soloists will also perform alongside the orchestra, including pianists Emanuel Ax and Jean-Yves Thibaudet, violinists Midori and Gil Shaham, conductor Robert Spano, country superstar Martina McBride, Tony Award-winner Kristin Chenoweth, Nashville favorites The Mavericks, jazz legend Branford Marsalis, The Late Show pianist Jon Batiste and many more. Sunday classical matinees and a revamped Saturday-morning family series help round out the concert calendar. 

“The Nashville Symphony strives to serve the entire Middle Tennessee community, and our new season promises to deliver world-class performances across a wide array of genres,” said Alan D. Valentine, Nashville Symphony president & CEO. “From our season-opening performance of works by Kenneth Schermerhorn’s mentor, Leonard Bernstein, to our collaboration with partners like Nashville Ballet, with whom we will present a multimedia, multi-sensory production of Carmina Burana like no one has ever seen, the 2018/19 season is chock full of unique, varied and exciting programs. We can’t wait to share all of the great music we have in store next season, and we are deeply grateful for the tremendous support our vibrant community continues to provide the Symphony, enabling all that we do.”

Customers purchasing season ticket packages can access all Nashville Symphony 2018/19 concerts listed below. Tickets to individual concerts go on sale July 20, 2018.

Aegis Sciences Classical Series

Led by Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero, the 2018/19 Aegis Sciences Classical Series consists of 15 concert weekends featuring a wide range of classical repertoire, including one new Nashville Symphony co-commission.

Building on its fruitful partnership with the Franklin-based Naxos label – which has led to 13 GRAMMY® Awards and 24 nominations to date – the Symphony will continue to expand its reputation as one of the most prolific recording orchestras in the United States with four new recording projects.

“Time and again, this orchestra rises to every creative challenge presented to them. These are musicians who bring exciting new energy to beloved classic repertoire while also being able to perform cutting-edge new works by today’s leading composers,” said Guerrero. “Next season’s Classical Series – with epic works such as Messaien’s Turangalîla and Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, along with contemporary masterpieces like John Adams’ Harmonielehre and John Corigliano’s First Symphony – is truly a testament to our musicians’ collective talent and to the unique place this orchestra holds in Nashville’s creative environment.”

Highlights of the 2018/19 Aegis Sciences Classical Series include:

  • Bernstein Centennial Opening Night, September 8, 2018: The season gets started with a full night of Bernstein, headlined by selections from On the Waterfront and West Side Story.
  • Ax Plays Brahms, September 13-15, 2018: GRAMMY®-winning pianist Emanuel Ax returns to perform Brahms’ Second Piano Concerto, and the orchestra performs John Corigliano’s Symphony No. 1, a profoundly moving tribute to the victims of the AIDS epidemic.
  • Midori Plays Beethoven, October 4-6, 2018: Classical superstar Midori joins the orchestra on Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, followed by a live recording of John Adams’ dazzling orchestral showcase
  • Russian Masters, November 2-3, 2018: Guest conductor Victor Yampolsky leads the orchestra on a sampling of works by Russian all-star composers Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich.
  • Cosmos – An HD Odyssey, featuring the “New World” Symphony, January 11-12, 2019: The third installment of the HD Odyssey series features Dvořák’s Ninth Symphony accompanied by images of deep space from NASA; also, Gil Shaham joins the orchestra for Alban Berg’s Violin Concerto.
  • Beethoven’s Seventh, February 21-23, 2019: Beethoven’s beloved Seventh closes a program that also includes American composer Aaron Jay Kernis’ Symphony No. 4, co-commissioned by the Nashville Symphony and the New England Conservatory. 
  • Mahler’s Das Lied, March 8-9, 2019: Two vocalists join the orchestra for what is arguably Mahler’s greatest symphony, a cosmic rumination on life and death overflowing with the composer’s rich musical imagination.
  • Guerrero Conducts Bernstein, April 5-6, 2019: Nashville Symphony & Chorus and Blair Children’s Chorus perform Bernstein’s monumental Symphony No. 3, “Kaddish,” a work of surging emotion dedicated to the memory of John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated just weeks before the work’s premiere.
  • Thibaudet Plays Turangalîla, May 17-18, 2019: The season closes with Messiaen’s large-scale masterpiece, featuring French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet and the ondes Martenot, a rare instrument utilized by Messiaen throughout his career. 

FirstBank Pops Series

Consisting of eight concert weekends, this popular series brings legendary artists to the Schermerhorn to perform with the Nashville Symphony, with gorgeous arrangements specifically designed for a unique live orchestral experience. Highlights include:

  • Kristen Chenoweth, September 27-29, 2018: The star of Wicked, Glee and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown returns with her powerhouse vocals and delightful stage presence for a night of Broadway and classic tunes.
  • The Mavericks, November 8-10, 2018: Nashville’s genre-defying group, who blend classic country and pop sounds with a contemporary flair, perform their first-ever orchestra show.
  • Martina McBride: The Joy of Christmas, November 29-December 1, 2018: One of country music’s most beloved entertainers brings her magical holiday concert to the Schermerhorn to perform Christmas favorites and some of her biggest hits.
  • The Music of John Williams, February 7-9, 2019:  A family-friendly celebration of America’s greatest film composer, with unforgettable music from Superman, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, Far and Away, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Cowboys and more.
  • Dennis DeYoung & the Music of Styx, March 28-30, 2019: A symphonic rock spectacular featuring the dynamic STYX founding member and front man, who will perform STYX favorites and highlights from his solo career.
  • ABBA The Concert, May 9-11, 2019:  Featuring two original members from ABBA’s band, the world’s top ABBA tribute makes a very special Nashville stop to perform some of the most iconic songs ever written.

Jazz Series

The Schermerhorn continues to be one of Middle Tennessee’s top venues for jazz, and this four-concert series features world-class artists in an intimate setting:

  • Jon Batiste: SOLO, October 19, 2018: The soulful, stylish bandleader for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert makes a rare solo appearance showcasing his wide-ranging influences and his mastery at the piano.
  • Brubeck Brothers Quartet, November 25, 2018: The sons of bandleader Dave Brubeck, drummer Dan Brubeck and bassist/trombonist Chris Brubeck perform in a quartet that celebrates their straight-ahead jazz roots while incorporating influences from funk, blues and world music.
  • Pink Martini with the Nashville Symphony, March 1, 2019: Pink Martini returns for one night only to perform their singular blend of vintage pop, jazz, classical and global styles with their trademark heart, humor and cosmopolitan flair.
  • An Evening with Branford Marsalis Quartet, April 26, 2019: The legendary, GRAMMY®-winning saxophonist leads his quartet known for its telepathic communication, depth of original repertoire, expressive melodies and unrivaled spirit.

The Ann & Monroe Carell Family Trust Family Series (formerly Pied Piper Series)

New for 2018/19, all Saturday-morning Family Series concerts are sensory friendly, offering a relaxed atmosphere for patrons of all ages and accommodating those with autism and other disabilities that cause sensory sensitivities. Family-friendly activities, including the Symphony’s Instrument Petting Zoo, begin one hour before all performances.

  • Pirates! The Quest for Blackbeard’s Treasure, September 29, 2018
  • The Grinch & Christmas Sing-Along, December 1, 2018
  • Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Missing Melody, February 9, 2019
  • Once Upon a Time...A Symphonic Fairytale, April 20, 2019

Sunday Matinee Series

These Sunday-afternoon concerts with the Nashville Symphony are perfect for classical music lovers of all ages:

  • Midori Plays Beethoven, October 7, 2018
  • Handel’s Messiah, December 16, 2018
  • Cosmos – An HD Odyssey, January 13, 2019
  • Igudesman & Joo: A Hilarious Concert of Classical Favorites, February 17, 2019
  • Carmina Burana, June 2, 2019

Blakeford Coffee & Classics Series

The Symphony’s Friday-morning series offers classical favorites in a relaxed setting and free coffee and pastries before the concert.

  • Haydn’s London Symphony, October 12, 2018
  • Cosmos – An HD Odyssey, January 11, 2019
  • Spanish Nights, March 22, 2019

Special Events featuring the Nashville Symphony

  • Home Alone In Concert, December 5-6, 2018: A Nashville holiday tradition featuring John Williams’ beloved score performed live as the film is screened in HD.
  • Handel’s Messiah, December 13-16, 2018: The annual performances of Handel’s masterpiece, featuring the orchestra, Nashville Symphony Chorus and vocal soloists, conducted by Guerrero.
  • Valentine’s with Chris Botti, February 14-15, 2019: The GRAMMY®-winning trumpeter returns for two nights of romantic music in the warm acoustics of Laura Turner Concert Hall, led by Guerrero.
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix™ In Concert, May 23-26, 2019: When Professor Umbridge™ takes over Hogwarts™ School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, what else can Harry do to resist her terrible rule? Find out in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix™ — in Concert, accompanied by a live symphony orchestra.
  • Carmina Burana, May 31, June 1-3, 2019: The bawdy medieval text comes to life vividly in this multimedia sensation, with choreography by the Nashville Ballet and an original film.

HARRY POTTER characters, names and related indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. J.K. ROWLING`S WIZARDING WORLD™ J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Publishing Rights © JKR. (s18)


  • Halloween Movie Night: Phantom of the Opera, October 30, 2018
  • Béla Fleck, Edgar Meyer & Zakir Hussain, November 4, 2018
  • Oak Ridge Boys Christmas, December 23, 2018

For a full listing of the Nashville Symphony’s 2018/19 lineup, please visit:

Season ticket packages are now available for all 2018/19 concerts and may be purchased at, by phone at 615.687.6400, or in person at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center Box Office. Subscribers enjoy a long list of benefits, including priority seating, bonus tickets, free unlimited ticket exchanges, discounted parking, and much more.

A digital press kit for the Nashville Symphony’s 2018/19 season, with the full concert lineup and photos, is available on Dropbox here.