Schermerhorn Symphony Center to open with music, dedication, and celebration events - September 1-11

With the opening of the Schermerhorn Symphony Center quickly approaching, the Nashville Symphony has announced details of the opening week’s events in their new concert hall, located at One Symphony Place , between Third and Fourth Avenues and Demonbreun Street and Broadway.

Student Preview Concerts:  Friday, September 1, at 10:15 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.

Middle-Tennessee high school students will be among the first to hear the Nashville Symphony in its new home, Schermerhorn Symphony Center .  As part of a special school program, students in grades 9-12 are invited to attend a preview concert conducted by National Symphony Music Director Leonard Slatkin, which will include selections from Aaron Copland’s Rodeo and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Cappriccio espagnol. For further information, contact Shelby B. Strickland, Nashville Symphony Director of Education, at 615.687.6551 or at

Ribbon-cutting Ceremony:  Thursday, September 7, at 11:00 a.m.

Mayor Bill Purcell will join Nashville Symphony patrons and Nashville community leaders in a private ribbon-cutting ceremony and building dedication on Thursday, September 7 at 11:00 a.m. on the north entrance stairs of Schermerhorn Symphony Center .  Brief remarks will be made by Mayor Purcell; Nashville Symphony President and CEO Alan D. Valentine; Nashville Advisory Council President, Kevin Lavender; and community leader Cal Turner, son of Laura Turner, for whom the concert hall is named.
Guests will then be invited to explore the Schermerhorn Symphony Center , including the newly dedicated Laura Turner Concert Hall, followed by a reception in the garden courtyard.  Guests of the ribbon-cutting ceremony are by invitation only.

GALA Opening Night:  Saturday, September 9, at 6:30 p.m.

The official white-tie gala opening of Schermerhorn Symphony Center will take place on Saturday, September 9, with red carpet arrivals and cocktails beginning at 5:00 p.m.   
The Nashville Symphony inaugural concert, led by National Symphony Music Director Leonard Slatkin, will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will include a world premiere of Triple Concerto for Banjo, Double Bass and Tabla by Edgar Meyer, Béla Fleck and Zakir Hussain.  Co-commissioned by the Nashville Symphony and Akustiks, Inc., the Triple Concerto is dedicated to the interconnecting musical influences found in Nashville , Music City .
The evening will kick off with Shostakovich’s celebratory Festive Overture.  Other highlights of the gala concert include Samuel Barber’s Essay No. 2, Op. 17, a nod to the Nashville Symphony’s ongoing tribute to American music, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection,” featuring the Nashville Symphony Chorus, mezzo-soprano Frederica Van Stade, and soprano Janice Chandler-Eteme.  
Following the concert, gala opening night dinner guests will move to Hall of Fame Park to enjoy a three-course meal by the “Symphony of Chefs:” Sunset Grill/Cabana/Midtown Cafe chef Brian Uhl, Zola chef/owner Deb Paquette, and Park Cafe chef Willie Thomas.  The selected main course menu will include Snake River Farms beef tenderloin, seared George’s Bank scallops and roasted rack of lamb.  Brief remarks and music will occur under the 130 ft round tent—the same tent Elton John uses for his Oscar parties—designed by Production Designer Jim Mees from Los Angeles and flower arrangements by Joe Smith of Ilex.  Gala opening night chairs are Julie Boehm and Ellen Martin.  

Following dinner, guests will return to the concert hall to enjoy one of the Symphony Center ’s most distinctive features: the convertible flat-floor system.  Conducted by Nashville Symphony Director of Pops Albert-George Schram, post-dinner entertainment will include dancing on the converted parquet floor to Strauss waltzes by the Nashville Symphony, followed by dance music from the 11-piece Craig Duncan Orchestra. Desserts and champagne will be served, and dancing is expected to continue late into the night.
The gala opening night will raise funds for the Nashville Symphony’s future programs and initiatives.  Tickets for the concert and dinner are $2,500 per person.  For more information or to request an invitation, contact Stacy Eaton-Carter at 615-687-6531, or at  Individual concert tickets are $100-500, based on availability.  Please check after August 21 for further updates. Nashville Symphony’s gala opening night is sponsored by Ingram Industries.

Evening with Amy Grant:  Sunday, September 10, at 8:00 p.m.

The Sunday gala concert, with six-time Grammy-award winning recording artist Amy Grant, will begin at 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 10.  Ms. Grant will perform with the Nashville Symphony, led by Guest Conductor David Hamilton, and other surprise pop and country music guests.  

An elegant cocktail reception will begin prior to the concert at 5:30 p.m. , with various food stations relating to five different genres of music that will be performed by Nashville musicians throughout the hall: classical, country, gospel Latin and jazz.  Chairs for this event are Barbara Barton and Judy Foster.
Ticket prices for both the gala dinner and concert are $200-350, and tickets to the concert only are $50-200.  Tickets will go on-sale August 17 and can be purchased by calling the Nashville Symphony box office at 615.687.6565. The Evening with Amy Grant is sponsored by First Tennessee.

Nashville Chamber Orchestra: Music without Boundaries Gala – Monday, September 11, at 8:00 p.m.

Classical, country, jazz, bluegrass, folk and gospel will all share the stage at the Nashville Chamber Orchestra’s Music Without Boundaries Gala, celebrating the ensemble’s first performance as resident orchestra in the new Schermerhorn Symphony Center, on Monday, September 11 at 8 p.m.
Hosted by Marty Stuart, the concert will feature performances by stars from the Grand Ole Opry, the Fisk Jubilee Singers, Turtle Island String Quartet, singer/songwriter Darrell Scott, Stephen Seifert on the mountain dulcimer, David Schnaufer playing the Tennessee music box, and guitar great John Jorgenson.  Led by NCO music director Paul Gambill, the concert will also include the world premiere of Groove in the Louvre by NCO Music Alive Composer-in-Residence David Balakrishnan, Aaron Copland's stirring Appalachian Spring, and the NCO's signature work Blackberry Winter by Conni Ellisor. Desserts will be served for the entire audience at intermission.
The Gala Reception will begin at 5:30 pm in the Hall of Fame Park and will include hors d’oeuvres representing Nashville 's diverse culinary repertory.
Tickets for both the reception and concert are $250 to $350. Tickets for the concert only are $100.  For more information or tickets call the NCO Ticket Office at 615.256.6546 or visit

Other Special Events

The Schermerhorn Symphony Center opening events continue into October with a Free Day of Music on Saturday, October 7, from 10:30 a.m. until midnight , hosted by the Nashville Symphony and AmSouth bank.  The entire Nashville community is invited to enjoy a rich variety of music in the many spaces of the new Symphony Center .  More information, including programming, will be available in late August.
Photo by Tanushree Rao on Unsplash

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