The following is a press release:
Featuring more than 85 performances covering a range of genres and styles, the Nashville Symphony has announced its 2023/24 season. Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero will conduct 11 of 14 Classical Series programs, offering seminal works to showcase the virtuosity and versatility of the Orchestra’s musicians, including Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations, Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet Suite, Carl Orff’s Carmina burana, and Gustav Mahler’s Tenth Symphony. In addition to beloved staples of the classical repertoire, he will also give voice to underrepresented composers, with works including Julia Perry’s Short Piece for Orchestra, William Dawson’s Negro Folk Symphony, Florence Price’s Dances in the Canebreaks (arranged by William Grant Still), Jessie Montgomery’s Rounds for Piano and String Orchestra, Antonio Estevez’s Cantata Criolla, and Anna Clyne’s In the Midnight Hour.
“Here in Music City, the Nashville Symphony audience is among the most adventurous in the world. This means we can put our own Nashville stamp on every program by elevating under-represented voices and championing the American composers of our time,” said Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero. “Placing these works in the context of well-known repertoire refreshes the classics and helps us hear them in a whole new light.”
Guest artists include pianist and longtime Symphony collaborator Garrick Ohlsson performing Brahms’ First Piano Concerto (Sep. 14 to 16), Janice Carissa performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 17 (Feb. 2 & 3), Jennifer Koh performing Barber’s Violin Concerto (Feb. 22 to 24), Zuill Bailey performing Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1 (Apr. 5 & 6), and Gil Shaham performing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto (May 2 to 4).
The Classical Series culminates with two profound performances: Guerrero conducts Mahler’s Symphony No. 10 (May 16 to 18), completing his multi-year survey of all ten Mahler symphonies. And the centerpiece of the final concert in the Classical Series is Carmina burana with the Nashville Symphony Chorus, and Blair Children’s Chorus (May 30 to Jun. 2).
“Over the past few years, the world around us has changed in profound ways, and the Nashville Symphony has created a new strategic framework to address the challenges and opportunities ahead,” said Chief Operating Officer Tonya Robles. “The Symphony is now, more than ever, committed to serving the entirety of Nashville and Middle Tennessee both onstage and off, and we’re confident that the 23/24 season will inspire and engage our diverse community with extraordinary live orchestral music.”
RHAPSODY IN BLUE CENTENNIAL
The Nashville Symphony will also observe the 100th anniversary of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and its innovative spirit this season with versions that span three genres.
On opening night, Nashville superstar and long-time Symphony friend and collaborator Béla Fleck will recreate the fiendishly difficult piano concerto on banjo. Fleck began working on the Gershwin as a high school student, and now, at the height of his artistry, the Orchestra will present the world premiere of his country rendition (Sep. 9). Pianist Tony DeSare will perform a jazzier take on the Pops Series with conductor Byron Stripling (Jan. 11 to 13), and the original will be part of the Classical series performed by pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, who will do double duty by performing Gershwin’s Concerto in F on the same concert (Apr. 12 to 14).
LIVE RECORDINGS With 14 GRAMMY Awards and 27 nominations, the Nashville Symphony is one of the country’s most prolific recording orchestras, championing American composers and giving definitive performances of their music — and the Orchestra — to a global audience. This season, Guerrero and the Symphony will be live recording four works for future commercial release. Written for (and with) the guest soloist, New York Philharmonic Principal Trombone Joseph Alessi, Guerrero brings the late jazz legend Chick Corea’s Trombone Concerto. (Nov. 2 to 4). Guerrero and Alessi gave the world premiere in August of 2021 with the São Paulo Symphony, and Alessi has since been performing the concerto all over the world to great critical and audience acclaim. Antonio Estevez’s Cantata Criolla (Nov. 17 & 18) will be recorded with tenor Aquiles Machado baritone Juan Tomás Martínez, based on a Venezuelan mythic poem about a singing contest between Florentino and the Devil.
The Nashville Symphony will also perform and record for commercial release two works by John Corigliano, considered by many to be the dean of American composers. When they first met in 2000, Corigliano had just won an Oscar for The Red Violin, and Guerrero was a last-minute substitute conducting the Minnesota Orchestra’s world premiere of Phantasmagoria. It was an immediate bond and the beginning of a friendship that has since yielded three additional premieres together. This season, the Symphony celebrates Corigliano’s 85th birthday twice: in October, Guerrero and saxophonist Timothy McAllister bring Triathlon for three saxophones to Nashville, which they premiered with the San Francisco Symphony to rave reviews (Oct. 27 & 28). And in January, mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke sings One Sweet Morning, a poignant song cycle written to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11 (Jan. 5 to 7).
The Nashville Symphony presents the Nashville debut of Ruth Reinhardt, who conducts a program of Grażyna Bacewicz, Johannes Brahms, J.S. Bach and Jessie Montgomery, featuring pianist Awadagin Pratt (Sep. 30, Oct. 1).
The phenomenally gifted conductor, pianist, and organist Wayne Marshall performs and conducts from the Schermerhorn’s world-renowned Martin Foundation Concert Organ for Poulenc’s Organ Concerto, performs and conducts George Gershwin’s Second Rhapsody in F from the piano, and takes to the podium to conduct Duke Ellington’s Harlem and “Symphonic Dances” from Bernstein’s West Side Story (Mar. 7 to 9).
The Nashville Symphony welcomes two longtime friends for one-night-only appearances. Arguably the world’s foremost banjo player Béla Fleck, a longtime collaborator, joins the Orchestra for Opening Night with the world premiere of his own arrangement of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue (Sep. 9). And, cellist and global citizen Yo-Yo Ma returns for a command performance (Feb. 27).
The Orchestra’s annual performances of Handel’s Messiah with Nashville Symphony Chorus will be conducted by their director, Tucker Biddlecomb (Dec. 15 to 17). Other holiday offerings include “Merry Christmas, Love” with Joss Stone (Nov 29); The Holidays with Boyz II Men (Dec. 5 & 6); and, A Very Dave Barnes Christmas (Dec. 8).
Additionally, there will be An Intimate Evening with David Foster and Katherine McFee (Nov. 5), and The Irish Tenors will join the Orchestra for a pre-St. Patrick’s Day concert (Mar. 14).
FIRSTBANK POPS SERIES
Principal Pops Conductor Enrico Lopez-Yañez leads five of the Orchestra’s seven FirstBank Pops Series concerts representing a wide range of artists, genres, and styles. The series begins with country music legend Trisha Yearwood (Oct. 19 to 21) and runs the gamut from psychedelic rockers Jefferson Starship (Nov. 9 to 11) to the Godmother of Soul, the R&B legend Patti LaBelle (Feb. 8 to 10) just before Valentine’s Day, and ends with an evening with Broadway, television, and film star Tituss Burgess (Jun. 13 to 15).
Fresh from his 2022 appearance in Sinatra and Beyond with the Nashville Symphony, guest vocalist and pianist Tony DeSare teams up with trumpeter and conductor Byron Stripling for Great Gershwin! Among other Gershwin favorites, DeSare performs Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue for the second installment of the Orchestra’s season-long tribute to the iconic work. (Jan. 11 to 13). And, Amos Lee returns to the Schermerhorn (May 9 to 11).
AMAZON MOVIE SERIES
The Nashville Symphony’s hugely popular Movie Series returns for five full-length classic and hit movies with the Orchestra performing the scores live-to-film. Two of the presentations feature iconic scores by the legendary John Williams: Home Alone in Concert, which has become a Nashville holiday tradition (Dec. 1 to 3), and E.T. The Extra Terrestrial in Concert (May 25 & 26). Hocus Pocus in Concert was composed by Hollywood film and television composer John Debney (Oct. 14 & 15). Encanto in Concert features eight songs written by Broadway sensation Lin-Manuel Miranda and a score by Germaine Franco (Mar. 16 & 17), and the score for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 in Concert was composed by Alexandre Desplat (Apr. 27 & 28).
Featuring concerts both with and without the Nashville Symphony, the Jazz Series welcomes many of the world’s leading jazz artists. The forthcoming season will include an evening with Esperanza Spalding (Sep. 26). After winning the 2011 GRAMMY® Award for Best New Artist, the bassist and singer has won four more GRAMMY® Awards, including Best Jazz Vocal in 2020.
Next up is National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Master Kenny Barron who brings his trio for a one-night-only appearance (Oct. 29). The iconic Duke Ellington Orchestra celebrates its 100th anniversary with a worldwide tour. First formed as the Washingtonians, the band later moved to New York and took up residence at the famed Cotton Club and the rest, from “Satin Doll” to “It Don’t Mean a Thing,” is history. (Mar. 1). The Jazz Series culminates with a special performance with saxophonist, composer, improviser, and educator Marcus Miller with the Nashville Symphony, conducted by Enrico Lopez-Yañez (May 22).
ANN & MONROE CARELL FAMILY TRUST FAMILY SERIES
The Family Series returns with four Sunday morning programs designed to introduce young listeners to the orchestra. Enrico Lopez-Yañez and Associate Conductor Nathan Aspinall conduct concerts that feature symphonic music based on childhood books and promoting literacy. In Pirates: The Quest for Blackbeard’s Treasure, young audiences will learn about melody, dynamics, and rhythm through the music of Dvorák, Mendelssohn, and Wagner (Oct. 22). Philharmonia Fantastique, with a score by the GRAMMY Award-winning composer Mason Bates, features animation and a story that helps the families of instruments in the orchestra overcome adversity together in the spirit of unity. (Jan. 28), Sleepover at the Museum by author and composer Karen LeFrak chronicles a young boy’s overnight adventure at the Museum of Natural History, tracing young Mason’s journey as he encounters Monarch butterflies, the giant T-Rex in the Great Hall of Dinosaurs, and other wonders (Mar. 24). And The Unicorn’s Birthday, created by Bob Singleton, features on-stage activity, animation, and audience participation. (May 12).
Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero illuminates the stories behind the music at special pre-concert conversations held in the Schermerhorn’s Balcony Lobby one hour prior to each concert he conducts. These events are free with admission to the concert.
SUBSCRIPTION AND TICKET INFORMATION
Classical, Pops, Movie, Jazz and Family Series subscriptions are on sale now, with packages ranging from 4 to 14 concerts. Season ticket holders save up to 25% off regular prices and receive a variety of benefits, including priority parking options (to be unveiled in the summer), free ticket exchanges for most concerts (up 72 hours before the performance), flexible payment plans, presale access to newly added concerts, and more. Single tickets to individual concerts and programs will be available for sale in the summer.
To subscribe, visit NashvilleSymphony.org/SeasonTickets or call (615) 687-6400 Monday through Friday, 10 am to 6 pm.