For the first time in its history, the Nashville Symphony has turned to crowdfunding to raise money for a recording. The Kickstarter campaign was launched last week to raise money for a new recording of American composer Joan Tower’s music on the Naxos label. The orchestra plans to record three works – Stroke, Chamber Dance and Violin Concerto (with noted violinist Cho-Liang Lin) – in concert during the months of October and November. The goal of the Kickstarter campaign is $15,500, and so far the symphony has raised $2,935 from eight backers.
“Given all of the financial challenges the orchestra has faced over the past year, we were concerned that this recording might not become a reality,” NSO spokeswoman Laurie Davis says. “So we decided to turn to the public to raise money.”
The NSO spent much of its 2012-13 season struggling to settle a nearly $100-million debt on its Schermerhorn Symphony Center. After months of tense negotiations, the orchestra reached an agreement with its lenders in June, thereby avoiding a foreclosure on its acoustically marvelous hall. Earlier this month, the orchestra announced that it reached a tentative agreement with its musicians on a new contract. The new collective bargaining agreement is now waiting ratification by the musicians.
The new Tower recording has been proposed to honor the composer on her 75th birthday. It would be a fitting present from the NSO. The orchestra under the direction of Leonard Slatkin recorded Tower’s Made in America in 2006, for which the NSO won its first three Grammy Awards.