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Music Review: NSO and pianist Olga Kern offer up some ravishing Rachmaninoff

Why on earth would Giancarlo Guerrero and the Nashville Symphony Orchestra devote their entire concert this weekend at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center to the music of that arch-Romantic Sergei Rachmaninoff? Because of that drop-dead gorgeous slow movement in the composer’s Second Symphony, that’s why. And while they were at it on Friday night, Guerrero and […]

Violinist Stephen Miahky makes his debut with the Blair String Quartet

Classical musicians seldom get to feel like rock stars. But violinist Stephen Miahky got that chance while still a doctoral student at Rutgers University. The Dalai Lama was touring the U.S., and Miahky and another doctoral student were invited to perform for him. It became Miahky’s U2 moment, since he performed in a football stadium. “I […]

Music Review: At NSO concert, Yo-Yo Ma shines in the music of Edward Elgar and Matt Walker

The cellist Yo-Yo Ma is one of only two or three classical musicians whose name still elicits a glimmer of recognition from the general public. Not surprisingly, regional orchestras everywhere want to book him. Ma’s fame was readily apparent at his Nashville Symphony Orchestra concert on Wednesday night at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. He was […]

Music Review: Meyer and Thile cut up the stage at Ingram Hall

The hilarious comedy team of Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile brought the house down with their zany antics on Tuesday night at Ingram Hall. Along the way, the duo also performed double bass and mandolin with breathtaking virtuosity, extemporized brilliantly, and even found a kind of folksy sublimity in the music of J.S. Bach. Meyer, […]

Music Review: Choir of Clare College performs at Vanderbilt University

Clare College’s youthful choristers were among kindred spirits during their performance at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music last week. The choirs from both institutions consist entirely of undergraduates. During the performance at Vanderbilt’s Ingram Hall, one could see Blair’s singers cheering enthusiastically for their counterparts from across the pond. The Choir of Clare College, […]

Breaking News: Atlanta Symphony President Stanley Romanstein resigns; interim director appointed

Stanley Romanstein has resigned as president and CEO of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, effective immediately, the latest casualty of the acrimonious relationship between the orchestra musicians and its management, which led to a lockout now more than three weeks long. “I believe that my continued leadership of the ASO would be an impediment to our […]

Music Review: Locked-out Atlanta Symphony musicians take to the stage at Kennesaw State

Locked-out musicians of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, under the moniker “ATL Symphony Musicians,” performed a pair of back-to-back free concerts of music by Beethoven and Dvořák in the Bailey Performance Center’s 620-seat Morgan Hall at Kennesaw State University Friday night. The musicians engaged Michael Palmer to conduct, just as they had for two performances during […]

Music Review: An emotional recital from trombonist Jeremy Wilson

Trombonist Jeremy Wilson almost canceled the terrific recital he presented Sunday night at the Blair School of Music’s Turner Hall. Wilson’s longtime friend and mentor, University of North Texas trombone professor Vern Kagarice, died two weeks ago after a long illness. A celebratory service for the revered trombonist was scheduled for the same day as Wilson’s […]

Nashville composer Daniel Elder shines in the American Prize

Composer Daniel Elder won second place nationally in The American Prize competition, 2014, in the professional choral division, for his work entitled “Three Themes of Life and Love.” Elder was selected from applications reviewed this summer from all across the United States. The American Prize is a series of new, non-profit competitions unique in scope and […]

Bad to the Bone: Trombonist Jeremy Wilson will perform at Blair

As a young graduate student at the University of North Texas, trombonist Jeremy Wilson figured he’d probably become a jazz musician. North Texas, after all, has one of the country’s finest jazz programs. But then one day he got a call from Ian Boussield, principal trombonist of the mighty Vienna Philharmonic. “He had heard an audition […]

Nashville Symphony’s Free Day of Music is Saturday

The Nashville Symphony will welcome more than 20 performers representing a variety of musical genres for its ninth annual Free Day of Music on Saturday, Sept. 27. The full day of music begins at 10:15 a.m. with the 101st Airborne Division Band and will include performances on four different stages throughout Schermerhorn Symphony Center, treating […]

Music Review: Cliburn winner Vadym Kholodenko wows the crowd at Belmont University

Belmont University’s School of Music has forged a fruitful relationship with the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. In recent years, the school has invited finalists from the prestigious Texas-based contest to headline its annual Woods Piano Concert Series. Vadym Kholodenko, the 2013 Cliburn gold medalist, was onstage Thursday night at McAfee Concert Hall. As a personality, […]

Cellist Deidre Emerson will perform at the opening of the Frist Center’s Kandinsky exhibit

Can abstract instrumental music actually be painted? Wasilly Kandinsky, the celebrated Russian artist, was sure of it. In 1911, he attended a concert in Munich featuring some of the newly minted atonal music of Arnold Schoenberg. To Kandinsky, the father of modern abstract painting, Schoenberg’s thorny, dissonant works came across as heartfelt songs without words. […]

Nashville’s Steinway Piano Gallery marks 85 years in business

Pop Schuttler didn’t pick the best year to start a business in the United States. In 1929, as the stock market crashed and the country begin its long descent into the Great Depression, Schuttler left his job at a piano dealership to start his own music business in Indiana. Thanks to hard work and perseverance, […]

Nashville Symphony reaches agreement with its musicians

The musicians of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra have a new contract. On Monday, the NSO announced that it had reached a new, four-year agreement with its musicians that offers three-percent raises during each of the first two years. During the third and fourth years, the NSO will reopen salary negotiations. “We are thrilled that we […]

Music Review: NSO premieres Victor Wooten’s and Conni Ellisor’s ‘The Bass Whisperer’

Some sounds are seldom heard inside a classical concert hall. For instance, one rarely encounters a high-art concerto for electric-bass guitar and orchestra at a symphony concert. More uncommon still is the sound of a fan shrieking (with delight, I might add) at the sight of a bass player. Yet both novelties were witnessed at […]

Music Review: Gateway Chamber Orchestra opens its 2014-15 season with a Mozartean masterpiece

There are undoubtedly times when musicians in a small, local orchestra wonder if there will ever be as many people in the audience as on the stage. At one time, such thoughts must have gone through the minds of musicians in the Gateway Chamber Orchestra. This terrific ensemble had a loyal following in its hometown […]

Gateway Chamber Orchestra opens its 2014-15 season with a little help from Amadeus

CLARKSVILLE – The Gateway Chamber Orchestra is celebrating Mozart’s love affair with the clarinet. For the opening of its 2014-15 season, Gateway will present Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A major, an autumnal work that’s renowned for its symphonic brilliance and lyrical invention. Charles Neidich, one of the world’s foremost clarinetists and a noted Mozart interpreter, […]

Music Review: Huebl and Nies launch their season-long Mozart project at Ingram Hall

Pianist Craig Nies was back in his tuxedo on Friday, engaging once again in his apparent life-long quest to play every piece of music mentioned in the 29-volume New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. For his latest project, Nies is joining violinist Carolyn Huebl to perform all 16 of Mozart’s mature violin sonatas (the […]

Music Review: Beethoven’s bracing ‘Emperor’ Concerto inaugurates Blair’s 50th anniversary season

At 7 p.m. on Saturday, I dragged myself into the Blair School of Music’s Ingram Hall from the pouring rain and was met with an incredible warmth of spirit. Professors, students, alumni, and patrons all embraced one another — a cheerful “Another year!” often served the role usually reserved for “How are you?” or “Good […]