Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony Headlines Nashville Symphony Performances October 5-8

Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony Headlines Nashville Symphony Performances October 5-8

American composer Christopher Rouse’s Symphony No. 5 opens the program and will be orchestra’s first live recording of the season  

Nashville, Tenn. (September 26, 2017) – Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero and the Nashville Symphony return to the Schermerhorn to perform Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 on October 5-8, giving music lovers the opportunity to hear one of the cornerstones of the classical repertoire and to be a part of the orchestra’s first recording of the 2017/18 season. 

The program for the four performances – culminating with a Sunday matinee – opens with another Fifth Symphony, by American composer Christopher Rouse, which will be recorded live for future worldwide release. Also on the program is Benjamin Britten’s Violin Concerto, which will feature Canadian soloist James Ehnes in a return engagement at the Schermerhorn.

Tickets start at $26, and the Symphony’s Soundcheck program offers $10 tickets to students in K-12, college and grad school for the Sunday, October 8 matinee.

Beethoven’s masterful Fifth, which took four years to complete and was written as the composer came to grips with his dwindling hearing, was — surprisingly — not well-received at its December 1808 premiere in Vienna. Since then, it has become one of the most frequently performed symphonies of all time and is considered the pinnacle of the symphonic tradition. The iconic four-note opening motif is firmly entrenched in popular culture, having appeared in everything from rock and disco songs to numerous films and television shows.

A Pulitzer Prize winner who ranks as one of the most frequently performed living American composers, Rouse cites Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 as one of the inspirations for his own Fifth Symphony, a Nashville Symphony co-commission. Though the piece does borrow elements from Beethoven’s masterpiece – including a tribute to the four-note opening and a showcase for the timpani – Rouse’s Fifth is distinctly his own, boasting an imaginative approach to both old and new symphonic themes that he says is designed to “transport the listener through a series of emotional states, from turbulence to serenity.”

Rounding out the program will be British composer Benjamin Britten’s Violin Concerto, which was written on the eve of World War II. While Britten acknowledged the dark and serious nature of the piece, the concerto also contains an array of Spanish rhythmic ideas inspired by the composer’s visit to Barcelona and will be an excellent showcase for the Nashville Symphony and acclaimed soloist James Ehnes. 

A Member of the Order of Canada, Ehnes made his orchestral debut with Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal when he was only 13 years old. He has since appeared at some of the world’s most renowned concert halls, has collaborated with the likes of Yo-Yo Ma and has compiled an extensive discography, earning GRAMMY®, Gramophone and JUNO awards.

Tickets for all four performances may be purchased:

  • Online at
  • Via phone at 615.687.6400
  • At the Schermerhorn Symphony Center Box Office, One Symphony Place in downtown Nashville.

More information and full program notes can be found at:

The GRAMMY® Award-winning Nashville Symphony has earned an international reputation for its innovative programming and its commitment to performing, recording and commissioning works by America’s leading composers. The Nashville Symphony has released 28 recordings on Naxos, which have received 20 GRAMMY® nominations and 11 GRAMMY® Awards, making it one of the most active recording orchestras in the country. With more than 170 performances annually, the orchestra offers a broad range of classical, pops and jazz, and children’s concerts, while its extensive education and community engagement programs reach up to 60,000children and adults each year.

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