Nashville, Tenn. (February 8, 2019) — The Nashville Symphony has announced the lineup for its 2019/20 season, which kicks off in September and features an extensive variety of classical, pops, jazz and family concerts, including top-flight guest artists, film favorites with live orchestral accompaniment, unique speaker events and much more. At the heart of this concert programming, Maestro Giancarlo Guerrero will lead the orchestra in its flagship Classical Series, which includes everything from masterworks by Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Berlioz and Beethoven to boundary-pushing contemporary American works.
The 83-member Nashville Symphony is currently experiencing one of the most prolific and productive periods in its seven-decade history, thanks to a string of GRAMMY®-winning recording projects, continued expansion of its concert programming and its recent leading role in the Violins of Hope Nashville community initiative last spring. The 2019/20 season builds on those successes with programming that invites everyone from the community to experience the full breadth of what the orchestra has to offer.
Highlights of the 2019/20 Classical Series include a celebration of Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday, a live recording of Latin GRAMMY®-winning composer Gabriela Lena Frank’s Conquest Requiem, the return of former Symphony Artistic Advisor Leonard Slatkin and an appearance by Musical America’s 2018 Artist of the Year Daniil Trifonov, as well as works by American composers John Adams, Jennifer Higdon and Brad Warnaar and a special appearance by the NFM Wrocław Philharmonic Orchestra led by Giancarlo Guerrero, who also serves as music director of the Polish ensemble.
The Schermerhorn will host a string of big-name guest artists 2019/20, including country star Trisha Yearwood, classic rock heavyweights Foreigner and a centennial tribute to Nat King Cole, all featuring the Nashville Symphony. The Jazz Series will welcome legendary pianist Ahmad Jamal in his first Nashville appearance in recent memory, and the Symphony’s Saturday-morning sensory friendly Family Series returns with four programs designed to delight and engage young listeners. For the first time ever, the public will be able to purchase season ticket packages for the Nashville Symphony’s popular film screenings with orchestral accompaniment, which this year include Coco and Return of the Jedi.
For a full listing of the Nashville Symphony’s 2019/20 lineup, visit NashvilleSymphony.org/2019-20.
“We are immensely proud of the Nashville Symphony’s growing international profile, but what continues to motivate and inspire all of us is serving our incredible community, for whose generous support we are deeply grateful,” said Alan D. Valentine, Symphony president and CEO. “Our mission is to provide world-class programming for everyone, and our new season delivers just that – with an expansive and creative array of concerts designed to inspire and entertain music lovers, whether they’re fans of classical, country, jazz or pop. And at the heart of everything we do is our belief that music can serve as a transformational force in the life of our community, and in the lives of our listeners. That means when people purchase tickets to the Nashville Symphony, they’re investing in an organization that seeks to make Middle Tennessee a better place.”
Customers purchasing season ticket packages can access all Nashville Symphony 2019/20 concerts listed below. Tickets to individual concerts go on sale July 19, 2019.
Led by Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero, the 2019/20 Classical Series consists of 14 concert weekends blending popular repertoire with the Symphony’s longstanding commitment to contemporary American music. Classical staples by Tchaikovsky, Berlioz, Brahms, Rachmaninoff, Mozart and more will be performed alongside works by leading American composers including Gabriela Lena Frank, whom the Washington Post has called “one of the most significant women composers in history.”
“Championing the music of our time is a fundamental part of the Nashville Symphony’s artistic vision, and we are grateful to have an audience that is always willing to embrace the new, bold and daring,” said Guerrero. “The masters of the classical repertoire will always have their place, but giving a voice to what is happening in the world today through the music of such visionary artists as Gabriela Lena Frank is vital as we continue to invest in the future of classical music.”
The Symphony will also continue its ongoing partnership with the Franklin-based Naxos label, which has garnered 13 GRAMMY® Awards and 24 nominations to date, with five recording projects in the new season planned for future worldwide release. The live recordings begin in October with John Adams’ My Father Knew Charles Ives, part of a program that also features Ives’ own Three Places in New England.
Highlights of the 2019/20 Classical Series lineup include:
- Tchaikovsky’s Fifth, September 12-14, 2019: The season opens with one of Tchaikovsky’s most celebrated works and Samuel Barber’s Piano Concerto, featuring soloist Garrick Ohlsson.
- Beyond the Score: Shostakovich’s Fourth, September 27-28, 2019: Actors, visual projections and music clips are combined in this interactive, multimedia experience exploring the social and political impact of Shostakovich’s Fourth Symphony, culminating in the performance of the full work.
- Symphonie Fantastique, November 7-9, 2019: Hector Berlioz’s masterpiece was described by Leonard Bernstein as the first musical expedition into psychedelia.
- Romantic Rhapsodies, January 30-February 1, 2020: Works by Brahms, Bartók and Enescu fill this program of lyrical selections, with Nashville Symphony concertmaster Jun Iwasaki as soloist.
- Beethoven’s Birthday Bash, February 20-23, 2020: The Nashville Symphony commemorates Beethoven’s 250th birthday with some of his most beloved works, including the Piano Concerto No. 1 and Symphony No. 3, “Eroica.”
- Appalachian Spring, March 6-7, 2020: Along with Copland’s celebrated work, this concert will showcase the Nashville Symphony’s brass players on live recordings of works by Brad Warnaar and Jennifer Higdon.
- Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony, March 19-21, 2020: This concert will also feature the live recording of Gabriela Lena Frank’s acclaimed Conquest Requiem, which explores the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire.
- Mahler’s Tenth, April 9-11, 2020: Guerrero spotlights one of his favorite composers with Mahler’s final work, his unfinished Tenth Symphony, which was later completed by musicologist Deryck Cooke.
- Slatkin, the Sorcerer & the Sea, May 15-17, 2020: Renowned conductor Leonard Slatkin returns to the Schermerhorn to lead a maritime-inspired program featuring Haydn’s Symphony No. 70 and Debussy’s La Mer.
- Guerrero Conducts Bruckner, May 29-30, 2020: The season culminates with Musical America’s Artist of the Year Daniil Trifonov joining the orchestra on Mosolov’s Piano Concerto, and the final symphony of Austrian composer Anton Bruckner.
FirstBank Pops Series
This eight-weekend series features legendary artists and popular themed programs, all accompanied by the Nashville Symphony. Some highlights include:
- Trisha Yearwood, October 3-5, 2019: The country superstar makes her first appearance with the Nashville Symphony at the Schermerhorn to perform knockout renditions of hits like “How Do I Live,” “She’s in Love with the Boy” and “The Song Remembers When,” along with new material and selections from her new tribute to Frank Sinatra.
- Don Williams: Music & Memories of The Gentle Giant, October 31-November 2, 2019: Take a musical journey through historical video performance of Don Williams, plus special guest singers live onstage, all accompanied by Don’s touring band and the Nashville Symphony. Featuring No. 1 hits including “I Believe In You,” “It Must Be Love,” “Lord I Hope This Day Is Good” and “Tulsa Time.”
- Foreigner, January 16-18, 2020: Founding member Mick Jones and his bandmates make their American orchestral debut playing a string of hits including “Cold as Ice,” “Waiting for a Girl Like You,” “Feels Like the First Time,” “Juke Box Hero” and the global smash “I Want to Know What Love Is.”
- Celtic Journey, March 12-14, 2020: Take a musical trip to the Emerald Isle with Irish singing, dancing and storytelling. Thrill to the authentic sounds of fiddle, uilleann pipes and accordion with full orchestra in Irish jigs, reels and ballads including “Galway Bay,” “The Last Rose of Summer” and “Danny Boy.”
- Celebrating Nat King Cole at 100, April 16-18, 2020: This celebration of Nat King Cole’s legacy will feature a special guest vocalist performing hits like “Unforgettable,” “Route 66,” “Mona Lisa,” “When I Fall in Love,” “Embraceable You,” “L-O-V-E,” “Ramblin’ Rose” and more.
The Ann & Monroe Carell Family Trust Family Series
Created especially for children ages 10 and under, Family Series concerts also offer a relaxed, sensory-friendly atmosphere and resources for patrons with autism and other disabilities that cause sensory sensitives. Family-friendly activities, including the Symphony’s Instrument Petting Zoo, begin one hour before all performances:
- Halloween at Hogwarts, October 5, 2019: All aboard the Hogwarts Express! Join the Nashville Symphony for your favorite music from the Harry Potter films plus more magical music. Wizards, witches and muggles are all invited to come in costume for this concert treat.
- Holiday Spectacular & Sing-Along, December 7, 2019: Get in the spirit of the season with a concert of holiday favorites. Frosty, Rudolph and Santa’s elves are preparing a festive morning for kids of all ages where everyone can join in the fun and sing along!
- The Gold Rush: An American Musical Adventure, March 14, 2020: Race across America with Rico the Roughrider and stake a claim for gold in the Wild West! Outwit outlaws and befriend buffalo as you discover the sounds of American music by Copland, Sousa, Grofé, Elmer Bernstein and more.
- Symphony in Space, April 18, 2020: Blast off with Cadet Enrico and the Nashville Symphony’s Sonic Spaceship on a mission to save the galaxy! Set a course for adventure with selections from The Planets, The Firebird, Star Wars and more out-of-this-world music.
Movies at the Schermerhorn Series
Movie lovers of all ages can experience some of their favorite films as never before, with the Nashville Symphony providing live accompaniment to beloved movies screened in high-definition above the stage:
- Disney in Concert: Coco, October 10 -11, 2019: Experience this Academy Award-winning animated film with the Nashville Symphony performing Michael Giacchino’s beautiful score, as aspiring young musician Miguel encounters unexpected adventures in the Land of the Dead.
- Home Alone in Concert, December 12-13, 2019: The Nashville Symphony Chorus joins the orchestra to perform John Williams’ delightful score in this hilarious holiday favorite starring Macaulay Culkin as the precocious Kevin McAllister.
- Star Wars in Concert: Return of the Jedi, February 6-9, 2020: The Symphony’s Star Wars film series continues as Leia, Han Solo and the rest of the rebel alliance fight to topple the Empire, while Luke tries to bring Darth Vader back from the dark side, all with the orchestra performing the iconic music of John Williams.
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince™ in Concert, May 21-24, 2020: As Lord Voldemort tightens his grip on both the Muggle and Wizarding Worlds™, Dumbledore is more intent upon preparing Harry for the battle fast approaching. Even as the showdown looms, romance blossoms for Harry, Ron, Hermione and their classmates. Love is in the air, but danger lies ahead, and Hogwarts may never be the same again.
- Batman (1989) Live in Concert, July 2-3, 2020: For the first time ever, Warner Bros. Pictures presents the iconic 1989 film Batman, with the Nashville Symphony performing Danny Elfman’s GRAMMY®-winning score live. Starring Michael Keaton in the title role and Jack Nicholson as the Joker, Tim Burton’s dark and stylish film will come to life in a whole new way.
HARRY POTTER characters, names and related indicia are ©️ & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights ©️ JKR. (s19)
Blakeford Jazz Series
The Schermerhorn remains a top destination for jazz lovers, and this four-concert series offers the chance to hear world-class artists in a sparkling acoustical setting:
- Ahmad Jamal, October 18, 2019: The NEA Jazz Master, a Kennedy Center Living Jazz Legend and GRAMMY® Lifetime Achievement Award winner makes his first Nashville appearance in recent memory. With a career spanning seven decades, this phenomenal pianist will explore the full breadth of his remarkable influence.
- DeeDee Bridgewater & Bill Charlap, February 28, 2020: GRAMMY® and Tony Award-winning vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater puts her unique spin on standards and jazz classics. This fearless voyager, explorer, pioneer and keeper of tradition will be joined by Bill Charlap, one of today’s leading jazz pianists.
- The Hot Sardines, April 24, 2020: New York City’s The Hot Sardines bring a contemporary flair to classic jazz. This vivacious ensemble offers a singular mix of standards and modern-day hits, all brought to life with brassy horn arrangements, rollicking piano melodies and the lilting vocals of chanteuse Elizabeth Bougerol.
- Gregory Porter, June 5, 2020: Porter and his band return to the Schermerhorn following their sold-out engagement in 2015. With his captivating baritone voice, this soulful singer and musical storyteller expertly captures the emotions and intellect of every lyric he delivers, while his poignant songwriting transforms the personal into the universal.
National Geographic Live Speakers Series
These one-of-a-kind, family-friendly events bring National Geographic adventurers to the Schermerhorn to share their experiences exploring every corner of the globe and beyond, accompanied by dramatic imagery and video footage:
- Bryan Smith – Capturing the Impossible, September 10, 2019: Join filmmaker Smith on the edge of what’s possible in extreme filmmaking. Descend the deepest canyon in the South Pacific, traverse the length of the Alaska Range by paraglider, and climb the ice of Niagara Falls. Smith’s passion for storytelling and his reputation for capturing the impossible will make for an unforgettable presentation.
- David Doubilet & Jennifer Hayes – Coral Kingdoms and Empires of Ice, January 14, 2020: Explore rarely seen undersea worlds with legendary photographer David Doubilet and his wife and underwater partner, photojournalist Jennifer Hayes. Together, they’ll go beyond the published stories to share the reality of “behind-the-camera” adventures.
- Terry Virts – View From Above, April 7, 2020: Gain a deeper understanding of our planet’s beauty, climate and place in the universe from former International Space Station Commander Terry Virts, who took hours of video and hundreds of thousands of still images from the station’s 360-degree viewing module.
Special Events & Presentations
- Michael W. Smith: Christmas with the Nashville Symphony, December 10, 2019: One of Christian music’s biggest stars returns to ring in the holiday season with your Nashville Symphony. Bring the family for this sure-to-sell-out evening of holiday favorites and original tunes.
- Guerrero Conducts Handel’s Messiah with the Nashville Symphony & Chorus, December 19-22, 2019: Featuring the resounding Hallelujah Chorus, it’s Nashville's grandest Messiah – full of passion, drama and stunning beauty. Celebrate the season with one of the most inspiring works of music ever written.
- Guerrero Conducts NFM Wrocław Philharmonic Orchestra, January 21, 2020: Led by the Nashville Symphony’s own Giancarlo Guerrero, the NFM Wrocław Philharmonic is at the heart of Poland’s musical scene. This phenomenal orchestra has a growing international presence, thanks to its commitment to presenting Classical and Romantic masterworks, as well as 20th and 21st century repertoire and contemporary Polish composers.
- Voctave: The Corner of Broadway and Main Street, January 24, 2020: Enjoy a night of your favorite Broadway and Disney tunes with these a cappella sensations. The 11 singers of Voctave bring together years of experience performing a wide array of genres, and their fresh sounds have yielded four hit albums, multiple chart-topping songs and an astonishing 100 million views on Facebook and YouTube.
Season ticket packages are now available for all 2019/20 concerts and may be purchased at NashvilleSymphony.org/2019-20, by phone at 615.687.6400, or in person at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center Box Office. Season ticket holders enjoy a long list of benefits, including priority seating, bonus tickets, free unlimited ticket exchanges, discounted parking and much more.
A digital press kit with the full 2019/20 Nashville Symphony season lineup and high-resolution photos for download is available on Dropbox here.
The GRAMMY® Award-winning Nashville Symphony has earned an international reputation for its innovative programming and its commitment to performing, recording and commissioning works by America’s leading composers. The Nashville Symphony has released 29 recordings on Naxos, which have received 24 GRAMMY® nominations and 13 GRAMMY® Awards, making it one of the most active recording orchestras in the country. The orchestra has also released recordings on Decca, Deutsche Grammophon and New West Records, among other labels. With more than 140 performances annually, the orchestra offers a broad range of classical, pops and jazz, and children’s concerts, while its extensive education and community engagement programs reach 60,000 children and adults each year.