Nashville Symphony Announces Tenth Anniversary Season at Schermerhorn Symphony Center

February 08, 2016

Subscription Packages for Classical, Pops, Jazz and More Now Available

Nashville, Tenn. (February 8, 2016) – The Nashville Symphony has announced the concert lineup for its tenth anniversary season at Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Kicking off with a gala performance featuring singer-pianist Ben Folds on September 10, the Symphony’s 2016/17 season will celebrate this milestone anniversary with a full year’s worth of concerts and special events.
Highlights include classical masterworks such as Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and Holst’s The Planets, the latter accompanied by breathtaking space footage from NASA; a world premiere by Nashville-based composer Edgar Meyer; a tribute to the late Maestro Kenneth Schermerhorn; Motown legends The Temptations; a St. Patrick’s celebration with Ireland’s The Chieftains; and Prokofiev’s children’s classic Peter and the Wolf, featuring puppets from Nashville Public Library’s Wishing Chair Productions.
“I can think of no better way to mark our first decade at the Schermerhorn,” said Alan D. Valentine, Nashville Symphony president and CEO. “This beautiful concert hall was built with the support of the Middle Tennessee community, which has seen us through great challenges and even greater triumphs. The Nashville Symphony’s 2016/17 season is our chance to say ‘thank you’ the best way we know how – with great music and impactful programs for the community.”
“Here in Nashville, we are amazingly fortunate to have not just one of the world’s finest concert venues,” added music director Giancarlo Guerrero, “but also a top-notch orchestra with some of the finest players anywhere. In addition to honoring the Schermerhorn’s first decade, in 2016/17 we will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Nashville Symphony. Working in collaboration with our musicians, staff and community partners, we have planned a concert season that will showcase what this orchestra stands for: a focus on American music; timeless classical repertoire; the best in pops, jazz and family programming; and education and engagement programs designed to motivate and inspire listeners of all ages and backgrounds.”
Subscription packages are now available for all 2016/17 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. Single tickets for all 2016/17 concerts will go on sale in July 2016.
Aegis Sciences Classical Series
Led by music director Guerrero, the 2016/17 Aegis Sciences Classical Series will honor a memorable decade at the Schermerhorn, during which the Nashville Symphony has commissioned, premiered and recorded numerous contemporary American works, in the process earning GRAMMY® Awards and building a reputation as one of this country’s most adventurous, prolific and forward-thinking orchestras.
The Symphony’s commitment to American music is more evident than ever in the 2016/17 classical lineup, which features at least one piece by an American composer on all 14 series concerts, including works by Leonard Bernstein, Samuel Barber, Terry Riley and John Harbison, among others. Enhancing this focus on American music, the orchestra will record five different projects throughout the season for future worldwide release.
As he has done this concert season, Guerrero will once again spotlight several Nashville Symphony musicians in prominent roles, as concertmaster Jun Iwasaki, principal flute Erik Gratton and principal horn Leslie Norton all appear as featured soloists.
The series opens in September with Mahler’s Second Symphony, which was one of the featured works at the Schermerhorn’s grand inaugural gala concert in 2006. In tribute to the concert hall’s namesake, the opening weekend will also include a work by former music director Kenneth Schermerhorn, titled Jubilee: A Tennessee Quilting Party for Orchestra.
Other classical season highlights:
  • The Nashville Symphony’s inaugural Composer Lab Fellow, Gabriella Smith, will return to town for the performance of her wildly inventive Tumblebird Contrails, which uses the orchestra to evoke the sounds of birds, ocean waves and other natural phenomena. (Oct. 7-8, 2016)
  • Holst’s The Planets will be accompanied by stunning high-definition video of the solar system as captured by NASA rovers, satellites and telescopes. (Jan. 12-15, 2017)
  • Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring will receive its Schermerhorn Symphony Center premiere and will also feature the orchestra’s new principal bassoonist, who opens the piece with one of the most famous solos in the orchestral repertoire. (Feb. 23-25, 2017)
  • Following his acclaimed 2013 Nashville Symphony co-commission Double Concerto for Violin, Double Bass and Orchestra, bassist Edgar Meyer will return to the Schermerhorn for the world premiere of a new orchestral work commissioned by the Nashville Symphony, and he’ll also perform as soloist on Bottesini’s Concerto for Double Bass.
  • Violinist Simone Porter, who wowed Nashville audiences last year, will return for Barber’s fiendishly challenging Violin Concerto (Oct. 28-29, 2016).
The full Classical Series lineup is as follows:
  • Mahler’s Second & A Tribute to Kenneth Schermerhorn, September 22-24, 2016
  • Prokofiev’s Fifth & Grieg’s Piano Concerto, October 7-8, 2016
  • Brahms’ Second, October 28-29, 2016
  • Mozart & Tchaikovsky, November 4-5, 2016
  • Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody & Piano Concerto No. 4, November 17-19, 2016
  • Holst’s The Planets – An HD Odyssey, January 12-15, 2017
  • Respighi’s Pines of Rome, February 10-11, 2017
  • The Rite of Spring, February 23-25, 2017
  • Ravel’s Boléro, March 16-18, 2017
  • Bernstein’s Serenade, March 31-April 1, 2017
  • Beethoven’s Second, April 14-15, 2017
  • Mozart & Rachmaninoff, April 27-29, 2017
  • An American Requiem, May 12-13, 2017
  • Copland’s Third & Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, June 1-3, 2017
FirstBank Pops Series
The 2016/17 FirstBank Pops Series will welcome a full range of artists performing everything from Motown to classic country to Broadway, joined by the Nashville Symphony:
  • Peter Cetera, Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 2016: With his instantly recognizable voice, the former Chicago singer will perform hits including “Glory of Love,” “If You Leave Me Now,” “The Next Time I Fall” and more.
  • The Nashville Songbook with Mandy Barnett, Nov. 10-12, 2016: The celebrated star of Always…Patsy Cline revisits some of the greatest songs to come out of Music City, including hits by Tammy Wynette, Brenda Lee, Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline and Roy Orbison.
  • A Very Merry Pops with Jeff Tyzik & Broadway stars Lisa Vroman & Doug LaBrecque, Dec. 1-3, 2016: It’s a holiday celebration, Broadway style, featuring one of today’s leading pops conductors, two vocalists, and the musicians of your Nashville Symphony.
  • Michael Feinstein: The Best of the American Songbook – Gershwin, Berlin & Porter, Feb. 2-4, 2017: The phenomenal jazz singer returns to celebrate classic American pop tunes as only he can deliver them.
  • The Temptations, February 16-18, 2017: The Motown legends perform their nonstop string of hits, including “My Girl,” “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” “I Can’t Get Next to You” and more.
  • The Chieftains – A St. Patrick’s Pops, March 9-11, 2017: Still going strong, Ireland’s most beloved group will get Nashville ready for St. Patrick’s Day with a weekend of spirited jigs and reels.
  • Matthew Morrison Sings Broadway & Standards, April 6-8, 2017: The star of Glee and Finding Neverland makes his Nashville Symphony debut performing classic tunes from the Great White Way and more.  
  • Classical Mystery Tour, May 4-6, 2017: Today’s best orchestral tribute to the Beatles revisits ageless tunes like “St. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “A Day in the Life,” “Michelle” and many more.
Jazz Series
With its intimate setting and magnificent acoustics, the Schermerhorn remains one of Tennessee’s premier venues for jazz in 2016/17:
  • The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, December 9, 2016: The jazz legend and ensemble return to the Schermerhorn for a special holiday performance featuring guest vocalist Catherine Russell.
  • Boney James, April 21, 2017: Renowned for his gritty sound and lively performances, the saxophonist with more than 3 million albums sold worldwide makes his first-ever Schermerhorn appearance.
  • A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong with the Nashville Symphony, May 26, 2017: Trumpeter Byron Stripling and vocalist Marva Hicks join the orchestra to pay tribute to two of jazz’s most beloved performers, with songs like “A Tisket, A Tasket,” “Ain’t Misbehavin’ ” and “What a Wonderful World.”
Blakeford Coffee & Classics Series
The popular Friday-morning series returns with four concerts:
  • Brahms’ Second, October 28, 2016
  • Respighi’s Pines of Rome & Barber’s First, February 10, 2017
  • New American Classics featuring Nashville Symphony Soloists, April 14, 2017
  • Copland’s Third, featuring “Fanfare for the Common Man,” June 2, 2017
The Ann & Monroe Carell Family Trust Pied Piper Children’s Series
Designed to introduce children to the fun and excitement of live orchestral music, the Pied Piper Series will offer four Saturday-morning performances. All Pied Piper concerts are preceded by family-friendly activities, including crafts and the Symphony’s popular Instrument Petting Zoo.
  • Peter and the Wolf, October 1, 2016: Prokofiev’s classic tale will come to life with specially made puppets from the Nashville Public Library’s Wishing Chair Productions.
  • Holiday Sing-Along, December 3, 2016: This all-new kid-friendly program will invite families to kick off their holiday season at the Schermerhorn.
  • Around the World with the Nashville Symphony, February 4, 2017: Journey with us as we explore music from the diverse cultures of Asia, Africa and other lands.
  • Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham, April 8, 2017: We celebrate classic stories and tales through music, including Dr. Seuss’ timeless children’s favorite.
Special Events
The Nashville Symphony will also perform a number of special events in 2016/17, highlighted by a Gala Performance of Ben Folds’ Piano Concerto (September 10, 2016), which premiered in March 2014 to three sold-out performances at the Schermerhorn. Other special events include Michael W. Smith: Spirit of Christmas (December 7, 2016) and four performances of Handel’s Messiah, a Nashville holiday tradition featuring the Nashville Symphony and Chorus. More special events and presentations without the orchestra will be added to the concert calendar throughout the year.
Education Programs
The 2016/17 season will also feature more of the free education and community engagement programs that have been a cornerstone of the orchestra’s mission since its founding in 1946. This fall, the Symphony will officially launch its Accelerando education initiative, which is designed to facilitate the musical development of gifted students from diverse backgrounds and prepare them for careers as musicians. Open by audition, the program will offer intensive training, mentorship, performance opportunities, guidance, and more for students in grades 5-12 who are pursuing serious music study.
Other free student programs offered throughout the year include Young People’s Concerts, which invite school groups to experience a Nashville Symphony concert at the Schermerhorn; One on a Part, which introduces young listeners to chamber music; Sectionals and Master Classes for high-school music students; and Is It a Fiddle or a Violin?, a collaborative educational partnership with the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum.
For a full listing of 2016/17 concerts, along with subscription packages and benefits, visit