The 2016/17 concert season marks two milestones for the Nashville Symphony: the 10th anniversary of Schermerhorn Symphony Center and the 70th anniversary of the orchestra. In the spirit of acknowledging these accomplishments, this year’s Aegis Sciences Classical Series will both celebrate the past and look to the future. Concertgoers can expect a wide range of material performed by Maestro Giancarlo Guerrero and the 83 musicians of the orchestra, several of whom will be featured as soloists, including principal flute Erik Gratton and principal horn Leslie Norton. There will be world-renowned guest artists and conductors, well-known favorites, and brand-new works, making for a diverse 14-concert series.
Starting the celebration on September 22–24 will be Mahler’s transcendent Symphony No. 2 Resurrection, two movements of which were performed at the grand opening of the Schermerhorn in 2006. The weekend will be dedicated to Maestro Kenneth Schermerhorn, the hall’s namesake and music director of the Nashville Symphony from 1983 to 2004. The selection of Mahler is fitting, as Schermerhorn was a devotee of the Austrian composer’s music, and the tribute will be made complete by the inclusion of one of Schermerhorn’s own works, Jubilee: A Tennessee Quilting Party for Orchestra.
From there, Guerrero has planned one of his most dynamic seasons yet, which will have something for everyone, from the first-time symphony attendee to the faithful fan. Notable highlights include:
- Holst’s The Planets paired with HD footage from NASA rovers, satellites, and telescopes that will add a stunning visual element (January 12–15)
- Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, which will feature the orchestra’s new principal bassoonist, Julia Harguindey (February 23–25)
- Ravel’s always thrilling Boléro, which will be featured alongside another Spanish-themed masterwork by a French composer: Debussy’s Iberia (March 16–18)
Fittingly for an orchestra that calls Music City home, the Nashville Symphony has a long history of celebrating American composers. That tradition will continue this season with each Classical Series concert featuring at least once piece by an American composer. These include Gabriella Smith, an up-and-coming talent who was selected through the Nashville Symphony’s ComposerLab program last year; Terry Riley, the celebrated “Father of Minimalism”; Philip Glass, another pioneering minimalist who remains one of this country’s most frequently performed composers; and Edgar Meyer, one of Nashville’s very own, who will double as both composer and soloist in his featured appearance.
In addition to performing the music of American composers, the orchestra will add to its growing discography by initiating or completing five different recording projects throughout the season. These include a disc devoted to showcasing the talents of the orchestra’s principal musicians and a recording of John Harbison’s Requiem, a powerfully moving response to the events of September 11, 2001.
The 2016/17 season will also see the launch of a new Classical Matinee Series, featuring afternoon performances of classical favorites, including Holst’s The Planets, an All-Mozart Matinee and a special appearance by legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman.
More information about the Nashville Symphony’s 2016/17 season is available at www.NashvilleSymphony.org.