Nashville Symphony goes virtual with online entertainment and education resources

Schermerhorn Symphony Center front entrance

Orchestra musician performances, conductor lectures, demonstrations, teaching tools, at-home activities and more.

Connect with Nashville Symphony's online resources.

Connect with Nashville Symphony’s online resources.

With all ticketed concerts and education and community programs suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nashville Symphony has expanded its presence online with a diverse array of entertainment and music education offerings.

These online resources – which include performances by orchestra musicians from their homes, lectures and demonstrations by Symphony conductors, teaching tools, at-home education activities, archived concerts and more – are enabling the organization to continue its service to the Middle Tennessee community.

“This pandemic has forced all of us to adapt and find innovative ways to stay connected with each other until we can resume public activity,” said Alan D. Valentine, Symphony president and CEO. “Present circumstances prevent us from performing in our concert hall, but thanks to the resilience and creativity of our staff and musicians, these dynamic resources enable us to continue offering our programming to music lovers in our own community and around the world.”

Expanding the Symphony’s virtual entertainment and music education offerings has been a collaborative effort, with input and contributions from the orchestra’s 80-plus musicians, Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero, Principal Pops Conductor Enrico Lopez-Yañez, and Nashville Symphony Chorus Director Tucker Biddlecombe, as well as Symphony staff, board members and volunteers, and the general public.

The Symphony’s website serves as the centerpiece of the virtual experience, with content added regularly to a trio of dedicated landing pages:

NashvilleSymphony.org/MusiciansAtHome

Get to know the gifted and versatile musicians of the Nashville Symphony as they perform from their homes, both individually and collectively. Highlights include:

  • Amazing Grace by members of the orchestra’s viola section;
  • Richard Strauss’ Don Quixote by trumpeter Alec Blazek;
  • Duets by some of the orchestra’s married couples;
  • Symphony violist Clare Yang’s foray into learning the banjo.

NashvilleSymphony.org/GiancarloAtHome

Spend time with Maestro Guerrero and enjoy archives of his twice-weekly social media videos, where he dives into classical repertoire and shares his own perspectives as a musician and conductor, featuring:

  • “Beethoven Explained” lecture series, in which Guerrero explores each of the master’s nine symphonies in celebration of the composer’s 250th birthday;
  • An exploration of the Tenth Symphony of one Guerrero’s favorite conductors – Gustav Mahler – modeled around the Music Director’s traditional pre-concert lectures;
  • Previews of upcoming Nashville Symphony album releases, with special guests including composers and Nashville Symphony musicians;
  • A fun and interactive conducting class for all ages.

NashvilleSymphony.org/HomeResources 

To help parents at home with school-age children, the Symphony’s Education and Community Engagement team has compiled music education resources and activities that families can engage in together, including:

  • Full lesson plans on various instrument families, with flash cards, engaging questions, musical listening assignments and more;
  • Instructions on how to make instruments like pan flutes, hand drums, banjos and oboes with simple household objects;
  • A curriculum packet exploring the history and role of women in classical music, with accompanying videos featuring members of the orchestra.
  • Supplementing the offerings on NashvilleSymphony.org is an array of fun and engaging content on the organization’s social networks, which reach thousands each week.

Leading the way are numerous posts and stories each day on Instagram, including Symphony musician videos, educational presentations by Lopez-Yañez, a classical music trivia game each Thursday, and more.

On the Symphony’s Facebook page, visitors can watch Guerrero’s twice-weekly Facebook Live sessions, performances by Nashville Symphony musicians, archived Nashville Symphony recordings and weekly at-home educational activities featuring musicians and conductors, as well as videos featuring students from the Symphony’s Accelerando program. And the Symphony’s YouTube page continues offers numerous hours of video content, from newly published features to archived clips.

The Symphony is also partnering with WFCL/91 Classical to present broadcasts of Classical Series concerts from past seasons, airing on the station and 91Classical.org at 8 p.m. Central on Saturday evenings through the middle of May. The upcoming program schedule is:

May 9 – Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins, Elgar’s Chansons & Enigma Variations and Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5, featuring soloist Jun Iwasaki

May 16 – Tchaikovsky’s Winter Dreams and Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2, featuring soloist Emanuel Ax

New content will continue to be added to the Nashville Symphony’s website and social media accounts on a regular basis.