Gateway Chamber Orchestra expands its new season to include regular performances in Nashville

gatewayCLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – The Clarksville-based Gateway Chamber Orchestra is about to become a touring ensemble. Starting in September, the orchestra will present most of its concerts in both Clarksville and Nashville. Performances in Nashville will take place at various venues.

“We always experience a buildup of excitement for our Clarksville concerts, so we decided to keep that feeling going with a second concert,” says Greg Wolynec, the orchestra’s music director. “By repeating our Clarksville program in Nashville, we hope to greatly expand our audience.”

The Gateway Chamber Orchestra got its start in 2008, when music faculty at Austin Peay State University decided to celebrate the age of musical modernism with a performance of Arnold Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony No. 1. That performance was a success, and the musicians decided to establish Gateway as a permanent ensemble with a regular subscription series in Clarksville.

In the years since, the orchestra has developed a small but loyal following for its programs, which usually include a mix of masterworks, lost treasures and the music of living composers. The group has released two critically acclaimed CDs – Chamber Symphonies, featuring the music of Enescu, Schreker and Schoenberg, and Wind Serenades, which includes Mozart’s magnificent Gran Partita.

Anxious to expand its audience, Gateway tested the waters in Nashville for the first time last spring, performing Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde at Second Presbyterian Church in Green Hills. The overwhelmingly positive response convinced the orchestra to expand its annual subscription series to include concerts in Nashville.

Gateway’s 2013-14 season opens Sept. 15 at the George and Sharon Mabry Concert Hall on the campus of Austin Peay State University, with a program that mixes contemporary American music with works from the First Viennese School. The program repeats Sept. 16 at East End United Methodist Church in Nashville. The concerts will include Haydn’s rarely heard Overture to La Vera Costanza along with his Symphony No. 63 and Mozart’s Symphony No. 33. Troy Peters’ Between Hills Briefly Green rounds out the evening.

The season continues Oct. 27 at Austin Peay and Oct. 28 at Nashville’s Downtown Presbyterian Church with performances of Schreker’s Intermezzo for Strings, Copland’s Clarinet Concerto (with clarinetist Mingzhe Wang), Mahler’s magnificent Adagietto form the Symphony No. 5 and Britten’s Simple Symphony, which Wolynec assures is anything but easy.

The Chamber Orchestra will present its two holiday-season concerts in Clarksville only. A family concert featuring Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the Animals takes place Nov. 3 at Austin Peay, and a “Winter Baroque” concert – including Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 and Vivaldi’s Gloria – is Dec. 8 at Clarksville’s Madison Street United Methodist Church.

The highlight of Gateway’s season may well come Feb. 9 at Austin Peay and Feb. 10 at Nashville’s Second Presbyterian Church of Green Hills with performances of Mozart’s mighty Gran Partita. The concert also features American composer John Marvin’s Octet and Strauss’ Suite for Winds in B flat.

Gateway’s season concludes March 30, 2014 at Austin Peay and March 31, 2014 in Nashville (location to be announced) with performances of Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony No. 2 and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2.

For tickets and additional information about the Gateway Chamber Orchestra, click here.

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About John Pitcher

John Pitcher is the chief classical music, jazz and dance critic as well as co-founder of ArtsNash. He has been a classical music critic for the Washington Post, the Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle, National Public Radio’s Performance Today (NPR), ArtNowNashville.com and the Nashville Scene. His writings about music and the arts have also appeared in Symphony Magazine, American Record Guide and Stagebill Magazine, among other publications. Pitcher earned his master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where he studied arts writing with Judith Crist and Phyllis Garland. His work has received the New York State Associated Press award for outstanding classical music criticism.