Nashville Symphony’s 75 years of music history

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The Nashville Symphony making music at the Schermerhorn | Photo courtesy of Nashville Symphony

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The Nashville Symphony’s 18-month hiatus is not the only thing that made its return to Schermerhorn Symphony Center this fall so dynamic — this year also marks the ensemble’s 75th anniversary.

The Grammy Award-winning orchestra was established in 1946 when Nashville native Walter Sharp returned home from World War II insisting that Middle Tennessee needed a symphony.

Led by its first conductor William Strickland, the newly-formed musical group performed at downtown’s War Memorial Auditorium before relocating to the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in 1980.

In 1983, Kenneth Schermerhorn became the symphony’s Music Director and Principal Conductor — a role in which he remained until his death in 2005. The $123.5 million Schermerhorn Symphony Center was named after Kenneth and his impact on the symphony’s nationally renowned career + became the symphony’s most current home in 2006.

Want to celebrate the Nashville Symphony’s rich music history? Check out these special events. ⬇️

  • 75th Anniversary Concert | Sat., Dec. 11 | 8 p.m. | Schermerhorn Symphony Center | $150+ | The Symphony Ball fundraising event will feature violinist Itzhak Perlman, conductor Enrico Lopez-Yañez, and the Nashville Symphony with a reception to follow.
  • Beethoven’s Ninth | Thurs., June 2-Sun., June 5 | Times vary | Schermerhorn Symphony Center | $25+ | This performance will round out the 75th anniversary celebration + include newly commissioned work by Nashville Symphony violist Christopher Farrell and others.

Additionally, the symphony has a full 2021-2022 season lineup as well as historical exhibits throughout the Schermerhorn.


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