Home » Posts tagged 'Onstage'
Tag Archives: Onstage
The Memorial Day Weekend is behind us now – summer is just around the corner! Soon we will enter the last stage of the season – our annual Community Concerts series of “symphony under the stars” parks concerts which begin on Thursday, June 8 at Centennial Park. But first, let’s pause to look back on our activities in the department of Education & Community Engagement at the Nashville Symphony since January.
It’s been an eventful spring for our department at the Nashville Symphony. This post is a summary of what we’ve been up to since I posted my review of 2016 fall EDCE programming. For many of the events and programs described here, I have already written dedicated articles: for more details, follow the links! (Click photos to enlarge them.)
I was thrilled this week to be a part of this season’s Jazz OnStage: an exciting part of the OnStage series of free chamber music concerts at the Nashville Symphony.
The OnStage series is a longstanding part of the Nashville Symphony’s community engagement programming – I’ve written about these programs in a number of previous posts here on Off The Podium. The concept behind OnStage is simple: on selected weeknights throughout the season, Nashville Symphony musicians present an early evening chamber music concert in which the audience is seated on the stage with the musicians, and the program includes the opportunity for dialogue between the musicians and the audience.
Once again December is here. Thanksgiving is past and the headlong rush to the end of the year has begun. Over the last unseasonably warm months as we waited for fall to come, the Nashville Symphony has continued to fulfill our mission to bring music to the community through our education and community engagement programs, in addition to our multitude of concert offerings. It’s a veritable musical banquet for Music City here at Schermerhorn Symphony Center!
Let’s look back on the activities of our department this fall:
Next week the Nashville Philharmonic Orchestra will give world premiere performances of a new violin concerto by Nashville composer Christopher Farrell on the program of their upcoming “Royal Coronation” concerts on December 6 & December 11. Among Nashville’s (now several) volunteer community orchestras, the NPO is the most well-established and performs the most demanding and developed series of concerts each year. These performances will be led by NPO Music Director Christopher Norton and feature NPO Concertmaster Jessica Blackwell as soloist, for whom Farrell wrote the concerto.
Both Chris and Jessica are longstanding members of the Nashville Symphony. I first met them both years ago when I was directing Music City Youth Orchestra: Jessica led sectional rehearsals for our violinists, and Chris taught private lessons to some of our students. I’ve had the great pleasure of collaborating with them on a number of projects here at the symphony over the last couple of years, and was excited to get together with them to talk about the new concerto.
After an unusually cool spring for Nashville, the weather is starting to heat up just in time for our annual “symphony under the stars” parks concerts which begin on Thursday, June 2 at Centennial Park (for the full schedule of Community Concerts click here).
So this is a good place for a brief pause to look back on our activities in the department of Education & Community Engagement at the Nashville Symphony since January. A lot has happened since I posted my review of our fall 2015 activities: it’s been a very busy spring! This post is a summary of what we’ve been up to ~ in many cases I have already written articles about specific programs or events mentioned here: for more details, follow the links:
Last night I had the great fortune to be a part of a fine ensemble of musicians performing our very first Jazz OnStage: part of the OnStage series of free chamber music concerts at the Nashville Symphony.
The OnStage series has been a part of the Nashville Symphony’s community engagement programming for many years now, and I’ve written about these programs in a number of previous posts here on Off The Podium. The concept of the program is simple: on selected weeknights throughout the season, Nashville Symphony musicians present an early evening chamber music concert in which the audience is seated on the stage with the musicians, and the program includes the opportunity for dialogue between the musicians and the audience.
December is here and the holidays are upon us. Having made it through Thanksgiving already and fearing that Christmas and New Year’s may arrive before I do this, I am dedicating this post to a look back on the activities of our department this fall.
As I wrote this post, I became astounded at the ground we have covered in just the last four months – the depth of the Nashville Symphony’s engagement in our community and the wide range of educational activities we offer is truly remarkable. I am so proud to be able to come to work every day and participate in all of this!
“I just adore it.” says Roger Wiesmeyer, speaking of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, K. 491. “I’ve never played it on piano before. I’ve sat in the orchestra for performances of this concerto three or four times and every time it just completely captures my imagination, for at least the week after – I’ll have at least two weeks of living with it and thinking about it all the time. There is this incredible mood that Mozart casts with this piece.”
A few days ago Roger and I sat down after a rehearsal to talk about this piece, which we will be collaborating together to perform this week. Roger will be performing the solo piano part – the part originally played by Amadeus himself – and I am playing a reduction of the orchestra’s part on second piano for the first and third movements. The second movement – a slow Larghetto – will be performed by Roger joined by Nashville Symphony musicians Kate Ladner, flute; Jeremy Williams, violin; and Keith Nicholas, cello in a quartet arrangement by Johann Nepomunk Hummel, an Austrian composer and pianist who was a contemporary of Beethoven.
Or, Making Lemonade at the Symphony
When the ice storm hit Nashville in February 2015, schools were closed for more than a week. Two weeks later – at the beginning of March – schools were closed again for a snow storm. As a result, the Nashville Symphony had to cancel three mornings of Young People’s Concerts at Schermerhorn and a run-out concert to a local high school: we missed 7 performances, which would have put the orchestra in front of around 10,000 students total.
When the weather had passed and all the staff were able to get back in the hall at the same time we held a meeting to comb the calendar for the possibility of making up these canceled events – our Young People’s Concerts (YPCs) are the symphony’s flagship education program, an important component in the execution of our education mission. Usually these concerts are scheduled more than a year in advance, due to the difficulty in finding times when the availability of the orchestra, the conductor, scheduled guest artists, the MNPS school calendar, and the hall all line up and allow time not only for performances but rehearsals also. Young People’s Concerts are written into the initial schedule for the orchestra each year for this reason – it’s nearly impossible to find adequate dates and times when all these elements align mid-season.
And so it proved.
Nashville Symphony musicians are in the process of performing in three programs featuring the music of the German Romantic composer Felix Mendelssohn. Beginning last Friday through Sunday, the symphony accompanied the Nashville Ballet in Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at TPAC’s Jackson Hall.
Then (TONIGHT) Wednesday evening, April 29, symphony violinist Jessica Blackwell leads two string ensembles in performances of Mendelssohn’s famous Octet, as well as the Prelude and Scherzo, Op. 11 for string octet by Dmitri Shostakovich, as part of our ongoing Onstage series of free chamber music performances at Schermerhorn Symphony Center.
Finally, beginning (TOMORROW) Thursday, April 30 with performances following on Friday, May 1 and Saturday May 2, the symphony will perform Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with guest soloist Benjamin Pasternack in a program that also includes music by contemporary composer Frank Tichelli and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 “Pathetique”.