Nashville Symphony Partners with Naxos to Release World Premiere Recordings of Works by American Composer Steven Paulus

October 10, 2014

Nashville, Tenn. (October 10, 2014) – Naxos of America has released the latest recording by the Nashville Symphony and Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero, featuring three works by composer Stephen Paulus: Three Places of Enlightenment, Veil of Tears and Grand Organ Concerto. One of the leading voices in contemporary American orchestral music, Paulus is a prolific composer whose catalogue totals more than 450 compositions and includes commissions from the New York Philharmonic, The Cleveland Orchestra and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.

Recorded live in concert at Schermerhorn Symphony Center in October of 2012 and 2013, the release features music that Paulus himself has ranked among his most important compositions. Three Places of Enlightenment (world premiere recording) is a concerto for string quartet featuring four soloists from the Nashville Symphony: concertmaster Jun Iwasaki, principal second violinist Carolyn Wann Bailey, principal violist Daniel Reinker and principal cellist Anthony LaMarchina.

“This recording is a testament both to the remarkable talents of Stephen Paulus and of the Nashville Symphony,” Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero says. “Stephen’s writing for orchestra is powerful, moving and deeply probing, and Three Places of Enlightenment, in particular, provides a real journey of discovery. It’s especially challenging to write an orchestral work that features four musicians as the featured soloists, but Stephen does so in a way that proves revelatory for musician and listener alike.

“The Nashville Symphony is tremendously fortunate to count among its membership some of the finest musicians anywhere in the world, and the four soloists on this recording do a tremendous job of exploring the musical and emotional depths of Paulus’ work. Their ability to shine individually, as members of a quartet and as members of a full orchestra comes through vividly in Three Places of Enlightenment.”

The Naxos recording also includes Veil of Tears, a brief, reflective work excerpted from Paulus’ Holocaust oratorio, To Be Certain of the Dawn. Written for string orchestra, the piece has been compared to Barber’s Adagio for Strings as a work that quietly yet powerfully conveys a sentiment of public mourning. The final work on the recording is Paulus’ Grand Organ Concerto (world premiere recording), a showcase for Schermerhorn Symphony Center’s Martin Foundation Concert Organ featuring soloist Nathan Laube.

Produced by Tim Handley and engineered by Nashville Symphony staff audio engineer Gary Call, the Nashville Symphony’s latest recording was funded in part through grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and The Aaron Copland Fund for Music.

Giancarlo Guerrero and the Nashville Symphony have dedicated their latest recording to composer Paulus, who suffered a stroke during production of the recording.

The Paulus album is the 22nd Nashville Symphony recording released by Naxos, the world's leading classical music label. Since 2000, the Symphony and Naxos have enjoyed a very successful partnership, during which time Nashville Symphony recordings have earned a total of 14 GRAMMY® nominations and seven GRAMMY® Awards.

In addition to being an award-winning classical label, Naxos of America is the #1 independent classical music distributor in the U.S. and Canada. Specializing in state-of-the-art distribution, marketing and promotion, Naxos of America distributes nearly 50,000 titles on CD and DVD to traditional brick and mortar retail, as well as offering a comprehensive suite of services tailored to consumer direct fulfillment. Naxos of America is also the largest digital distributor of independent classical music, supplying a catalog of over 50,000 albums to hundreds of digital download and mobile outlets worldwide.