A New Season in Music City

The 2019-2020 season opened this past Friday in Nashville with a spectacular concert by the Nashville Symphony at Schermerhorn Hall. The concert featured world renowned pianist Garrick Ohlsson performing Samuel Barber’s fiery Piano Concerto as well as Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony and contemporary composer Adolphus Hailstork’s sparkling composition The American Port of Call.  As I walked across the pedestrian bridge at the golden hour, I thought about how lucky we are here in the Music City.

The Nashville Symphony’s season, tied to the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, has prepared a classical line up this year in which chestnuts from the standard repertoire will be recontextualized by their presentation alongside works of living composers. This evening, for example, the program featured composers “…whose search for a voice is bound up with issues of cultural identity.” In the current political climate of the United States, certainly, cultural identity is a very important issue and one imagines relevance will never be far from center.

Obviously, the symphony isn’t the only game in town. Nashville Ballet is bringing out a production of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet next weekend and Nashville Opera will present Puccini’s Madame Butterfly on October 10 and 12. Meanwhile, on October 5th contemporary music ensemble Intersection will present Renewal in which they will partner with the vocal ensemble Portara to present a concert that privileges the conservation of our planet’s beauty. Gateway Chamber Orchestra, who have a remarkable season planned, will be present Schubert’s 4th Symphony on the 29th and virtuosa flutist Lorna McGhee playing Reinecke’s Concerto. Alongside all of the other things happening this month around town, it’s going to be a very busy time for MCR’s intrepid reviewers. Interested in joining the team? We are always looking for new writers!

As I often like to do, after the concert at the Schermerhorn on Friday, I stopped over at Rudy’s Jazz Room for a late night snack on the way home.  There I was extremely lucky to catch a set from the New York based Jonathan Kreisberg Quartet. Their interpretation of standards like Wayne Shorter’s “Fee Fi Fo Fum” or Vernon Duke’s “Autumn in New York” were both transcendent and intimate—Kreisberg’s back phrasing on the latter channeled Billie Holiday. This autumn Rudy’s will feature a wonderful collection of local and visiting names. Coupled with the daily jazz available at Skull’s Rainbow Room, the Jazz Workshop or even the City Winery where the Tennessee Jazz and Blues Society’s Great Albums Series continues with a performance of Thelonious Monk’s classic LP Misterioso on Sunday, jazz too continues to thrive in the Music City.

In all we are seeking to expand the MCR’s coverage of things going on in and around Nashville. If you have a concert you would like to review, or would like to submit a review for publication please contact us! We are always looking for new, local voices. Finally, if you like what you read and see here and wish it to continue, perhaps you might consider a monetary donation? The scene deserves so much more attention and a little help can go a long way. Also, maybe we could hire a real photographer.

Anyway, leave a comment below if you’d like and here’s to a great season!

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