All performances by NPO are free and open to the public. Join us for our 15th season!
The Nashville Philharmonic Orchestra is excited to announce another ambitious and challenging season of bringing classical orchestral music to a wide range of audiences free of charge. In this 15th season of the orchestra, the NPO will traverse a wide variety of musical eras. Symphonies by Beethoven, Shostakovich, and Prokofiev join classics by Bach, Brahms, Vaughn Williams, Holst, and Albeniz. To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the NPO and the 10th anniversary of conductor and musical director, Dr. Christopher Norton, the orchestra is also commissioning a new work this season. Once again, the final concert pair of the season will feature a new work by the winner of the annual Composition Competition.
FEBRUARY 20 and 27, 2018
BACH & PROKOFIEV
William Walton – Fanfare for a Great Occasion
John Williams (arr. Custer) – Summon the Heroes
Franz Krommer – Partita in F
IV. Alla Polacca
J.S. Bach – Brandenburg Concerto No. 2
Soloists: Elisabeth Small, violin, Joel Treybig, trumpet, Carolyn Treybig, flute, Grace Woodworth, oboe, Richard Shadinger, harpsichord
Sergei Prokofiev – Symphony No. 5
Tuesday, February 20, 7:30 PM
John Overton High School
4820 Franklin Road
Nashville, TN 37220
Tuesday, February 27, 7:30 PM
Apollo Middle School
631 Richards Road
Nashville, TN 32013
All concerts by the NPO are free and open to the public.
The Winter Olympics is upon us, and the Nashville Philharmonic celebrates the human spirit and the rarefied abilities inherent in the games with a musical Olympics of its own.
Under the direction of Christopher Norton, the two free concerts spotlight different sections of the orchestra and prominent local artists. The string section and virtuoso soloists show off their skills in J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2. Woodwinds shine in a movement from Franz Krommer’s Partita in F. Brass and percussion get their turn in William Walton’s Fanfare for a Great Occasion. The magnificent Symphony No. 5 by Sergei Prokofiev, written to glorify the strength and beauty of the human spirit, is a fitting capstone.
The rousing Fanfare for a Great Occasion by English composer William Walton opens the concert on a celebratory note. One of its more notable performances was on the occasion of the opening of the Chunnel. Another celebration of the human spirit, Summon the Heroes, a piece for full orchestra by John Williams, opened the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.
Late Classical Czech composer Franz Krommer provides an intimate interlude with a movement of one of his nine nonets for woodwinds originally published as Harmonie, Op. 57 in 1806.
The Brandenburg Concertos of J.S. Bach are well known for their ferocious technical demands on both soloists and orchestra. Joining the NPO in the Concerto No. 2 are soloists Elisabeth Small, violin, Joel Treybig, trumpet, Carolyn Treybig, flute, Grace Woodworth, oboe, Richard Shadinger, harpsichord, all faculty members of Belmont University. The NPO will reprise this work in the annual Christ Church Cathedral’s BACHanalia on March 16 which runs from 4PM to 10PM.
Equally challenging musically is the monumental Symphony No. 5 of Sergei Prokofiev. The composer writes: “In the Fifth Symphony I wanted to sing the praises of the free and happy man — his strength, his generosity and the purity of his soul.” Written in a brief spurt in 1944, it projects a positive, uplifting ethos reflective of Prokofiev’s personal commitment to the duty of artists to “beautify human life and point the way to a radiant future.” The opening movement thrilled the audience at the premiere. The movement is capped by a majestic coda that grows from the low summons of the trombones and tuba, buttressed by the rumbling of the bass drum and timpani, to an overwhelming wave of sound in its final measures. The composer’s biographer Israel Nestyev writes, “This is perhaps the most impressive episode of the entire Symphony for it embodies with the greatest clarity the work’s highest purpose — glorification of the strength and beauty of the human spirit.”
In keeping with the orchestra’s commitment to bring great music out of the concert hall and into neighborhoods, two Metro Nashville Public Schools host the free performances of this program. Under the direction of Conducting Fellow Shreyas Patel, the orchestra is helping teachers develop a curriculum to prepare students and their families to enjoy the concerts.
DECEMBER 10 and 19, 2017
Serenade to Music:
Brahms, Vaughan Williams, Marquez
Dan Goeller – A Christmas Festival of Carols
Johannes Brahms – Double Concerto for Violin and Cello
Michael Samis, cello and Denise Baker, violin
Ralph Vaughan Williams – Serenade to Music
Jessica Blackwell, violin
NPO Festival Chorus
Amy Grant – Breath of Heaven
Arturo Marquez – Danzón, No. 2
Dan Goeller – Christmas Fantasy
All concerts by the NPO are free and open to the public.
Praised by the eminent English conductor Nicholas McGegan for his “strong and impassioned, yet exquisitely sensitive” solo playing, Michael Samis joins us as guest cellist in Brahms’ final orchestral work, the majestic Double Concerto for Cello and Violin. Nashville Symphony Orchestra member and co-concertmaster of the NPO, Denise Baker, joins him in this virtuosic work demanding two equally matched, brilliant soloists. Initially shunned as “modern” music, the Double Concerto makes the orchestra an equal partner with the solo instruments, an approach that was both conservative and groundbreaking for its time. It rejected the Romantic era indulgence of solo virtuosos and makes for a musical joining of three soloists: violin, cello and orchestra. Pairing violin and cello was also unusual. Brahms uses this combination to create a virtual “super-instrument” with a doubly wide range with passages that extend from the lowest cello note to the top of the violin range. These innovations along with passion and fire of this music make it an exciting work for modern ears.
Ralph Vaughan Williams in his pastoral choral work Serenade to Music sets words from Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice discussing earthly music and the music of the spheres. Originally composed for 16 solo voices and orchestra, this version will feature violinist Jessica Blackwell, a quartet of singers and the NPO Festival Chorus. Among the more memorable passages to be sung is this apt section:
“The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not mov’d with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night
And his affections dark as Erebus:
Let no such man be trusted.”
Arturo Marquez’ Danzón No. 2 is one of the most popular and most frequently performed orchestral Mexican contemporary classical compositions. Born into a long line of Mexican folk and mariachi musicians, Marquez incorporates musical forms and styles of his native Mexico into his concert works. This fiery Danzón No. 2 draws its inspiration from the music of the Veracruz region. This dance form still thrives in Mexico today, and Marquez described it as “a genre that old Mexican people continue to dance with a touch of nostalgia and a jubilant escape towards their own emotional world.” For him this composition is “…a very personal way of paying my respects and expressing my emotions towards truly popular music.”
We salute the season by opening and closing with contemporary medleys of Christmas carols by Dan Goeller. His colorful orchestrations and accessible compositional style have delighted audiences and performers around the world. A Christmas Festival of Carols is composed in a variety of “classical” styles while Christmas Fantasy is arranged in an epic, film-score style. The NPO Festival Chorus will also perform Breath of Heaven (Mary’s Song) from the triple-platinum album Home for Christmas by Christian and pop artist extraordinaire Amy Grant.
Read more background in Walter Bitner’s informative blogpost.
Join us for this seasonal spirit-lifter!!
These concerts are generously sponsored by Suntrust Bank and Stites & Harbison, PLLC, Attorneys