Classical Music Day Declared in Nashville
August 23, 2017, Nashville, TN – Founded in 1806, Nashville, TN has been a musical city since its first settlers played fiddle tunes and buck danced on the shores of the Cumberland. Now over 200 years later, Nashville is known internationally as Music City, not just for Appalachian folk tunes, country music, or even indie rock, but the city has also become a hub for award-winning classical music. It seems appropriate then, that Nashville Mayor Megan Barry has proclaimed that Friday, September 15, 2017 will be #ClassicalMusicDayNashville.
Nashville is the songwriting capital of the world for many genres of music and classical music is no exception. The Nashville Symphony commissions and premieres many pieces every season and often records them as well. As a result, the orchestra, soloists, conductors, and engineers on those recordings have won 11 GRAMMY® Awards since the ensemble’s founding in 1946.
“Nashville’s music community is special not just because of the sheer breadth of talent here, but also because of the incredible spirit of creativity and collaboration that runs through everything we do,” said Giancarlo Guerrero, Nashville Symphony music director. “Because of this, artists of all kinds can take chances, break down barriers and make their own contributions to the Nashville Sound. That has resulted in genre-smashing collaborations between our own orchestra and artists like Ben Folds, Victor Wooten and Kip Winger — and it’s all possible because of the incredible support we receive from the entire community,” said Nashville Symphony Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero.
Nashville Opera has also commissioned and premiered three operas since its inception in 1981. Most recently the opera offered the 2017 world premiere of Three Way, a contemporary three-act opera by Robert Paterson and David Cote, and remounted the piece at the Brooklyn Academy of Music this past June. Under the artistic direction of John Hoomes, Nashville Opera continues to grow its repertoire and audiences through the presentation of new works and creative collaborations. In 2014, Nashville Opera took advantage of its city’s diverse musical community and teamed up with Carly Simon to perform and record a new edition of her opera Romulus Hunt at the iconic Ocean Way Studios. In addition to this recording, the company recorded and released Michael Nyman’s The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat on Naxos in September 2016.
The classical music community in Nashville continues to grow and includes a variety of instrumental and vocal ensembles and organizations, including the Nashville Philharmonic, Portara Ensemble, ALIAS Chamber Ensemble, Intersection, and Chatterbird. ALIAS and Portara have recorded and released albums on the Naxos label, whose North American distribution subsidiary operates out of Franklin, TN and which distributes more classical music than any other company of its kind on the continent.
Nashville radio heritage has the privilege of boasting the world longest running radio show with WSM’s Grand Ole Opry, but only 37 years later the city’s first public radio station, WPLN, was created by the public library in 1962 as a means of sharing classical music with the entire community. With Nashville Public Radio's full-time classical service on WFCL and regular classical programming on WXNA, there are now more 170 hours of classical music on the radio in Nashville each week. WFCL will dedicate its programming on September 15 to Classical Music Day in Nashville by playing recordings from local musicians and other content online inspired by Nashville’s classical music community.
#ClassicalMusicDayNashville will begin at 1:00pm on September 15th with a public proclamation and performances by local musicians on the steps of the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Nashville Opera CEO and Artistic Director John Hoomes will host the ceremony which will also include remarks by Nashville transplant, classical composer, and ex-Winger front man Kip Winger. Winger’s piece Conversations with Nijinsky will be performed by the Nashville Symphony during concerts on September 14, 15, and 16.