Nashville Symphony Association
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One Symphony Place
Nashville, TN 37201
Organization Details



The Nashville Symphony inspires and engages a diverse and growing community with extraordinary live orchestral music experiences.


Led by music director Giancarlo Guerrero, the Nashville Symphony has been an integral part of the Music City sound since 1946. The ensemble performs more than 150 concerts annually, with a focus on contemporary American orchestral music through collaborations with composers such as Jennifer Higdon, Terry Riley, and Joan Tower. The orchestra is equally renowned for its commissioning and recording projects with Nashville-based artists such as bassist Edgar Meyer, banjoist Bela Fleck, singer-songwriter Ben Folds, and electric bassist Victor Wooten.

An established leader in Nashville's arts and cultural community, the Symphony has facilitated several community collaborations and initiatives. Notably, these include Violins of Hope Nashville, which spotlighted a historic collection of instruments played by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust, and "Jonah People: A Legacy of Struggle and Triumph," Hannibal Lokumbe's epic, fully staged operatic production. Both were community-wide efforts that engaged tens of thousands of Middle Tennesseans through concerts, exhibits, lectures, and more.

The Nashville Symphony remains one of the most prolific recording orchestras in the U.S., with more than 40 releases on Naxos, the world's largest independent classical label. Encompassing a wide range of repertoire, from Beethoven to Bernstein to Joan Tower, these recordings have earned 14 GRAMMY® Awards and 27 nominations, including most recently a 2021 Best Contemporary Classical Composition Award (Christopher Rouse, Symphony No. 5) and a 2022 Best Orchestral Performance nomination (John Adams: My Father Knew Charles Ives and Harmonielehre).

Education and community engagement have been at the core of the Nashville Symphony's mission since its founding. Each year the organization reaches tens of thousands of children and adults through an array of free and low-cost programs, including Young People's Concerts for K-12 students; sectional lessons for band and orchestra students; and "Is It a Fiddle or a Violin?," a collaboration with the Country Music Hall of Fame® & Museum. In 2016, the Nashville Symphony launched Accelerando, an initiative designed to prepare young musicians from underrepresented ethnic communities for collegiate study and professional orchestra careers. Currently, 24 participating students receive individual instrument instruction, performance opportunities, and guidance on applying to colleges and conservatories, all offered free of charge



Nashville Symphony reached 12.75 million listeners internationally through broadcasts, recordings, and digital media and 486,245 individuals through local performances and education initiatives. The Symphony delivered 137 ticketed concerts and 1,355 education and community engagement events. 6,422 families, corporations, and foundations donated to the Nashville Symphony.

The Symphony built on its reputation as one of the most prolific recording orchestras in the United States with four active projects, each performed live at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center: Julia Wolfe's Her Story, featuring the Lorelei Ensemble; Gabriela Lena Frank's Conquest Requiem with Nashville Symphony Chorus; Christopher Rouse's Organ Concerto, featuring organist Paul Jacobs; and Wayne Oquin's Resilience, also featuring Jacobs.

Nashville Symphony co-commissioned Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Julia Wolfe's Her Story as part of a five-orchestra consortium, celebrating the centennial of women's voting rights. Before its passage, suffragists mobilized right here in the state's capital to deliver the key victory in a nationwide fight for voting rights poised at a tipping point. On August 18, 1920, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment, rounding out the majority needed to amend the constitution. Her Story addressed the adversities and successes of the women at the center of this movement, featuring vocalists of the Lorelei Ensemble accompanied by the orchestra.

In our ongoing quest to feature the music of American composers, the Symphony presented thirteen works by American composers, including Hannibal Lokumbe, Brian Raphael Nabors, Joan Tower, Lera Auerbach, and Florence Price, among others.

Nashville Symphony was proud to present the inaugural "Music in My Neighborhood" program in the Edgehill community. Music in My Neighborhood is an annually-rotating residency that brings free ensemble performances, educational activities, and unique collaborations to celebrate the diversity, vibrancy, and unique arts & cultures scenes of Nashville communities. A culminating Community Celebration invited Edgehill residents to gather for food, performances, artwork, and interactive activities.

The Nashville Symphony's Accelerando program completed its eighth season. Accelerando prepares students of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds in grades 5-12 to pursue professional careers in orchestral music. Students receive performance opportunities, mentorship, and educational resources that are unique to a major American orchestra. Accelerando's five graduating students from spring 2023 received a combined $572,204 in college scholarship to attend Vanderbilt, University of Louisville, Yale, Eastman School of Music, and Montclair State University, where they will continue their musical studies in orchestral performance.


In order to ensure a successful future, the Nashville Symphony needs to: Sustain annual fundraising efforts, which reached $9.84 million in FY 23; build a loyal audience for ticketed concerts through varied musical offerings of the highest quality; continue building the artistic excellence of the orchestra by attracting and hiring top-quality musicians to fill open positions in the ensemble; serve as an educational resource and partner for students and teachers, providing programs that meet the evolving needs of schools throughout Middle Tennessee; and make its programming accessible to everyone in the community through free and affordable performances and fruitful community partnerships.

Achieving these goals will require broad community investment from dedicated partners and philanthropists to promote and preserve the Nashville Symphony's indispensable cultural mission.

CEO Statement

We are thrilled to present a new Strategic Framework to guide the work of the Nashville Symphony for 2023-2025. The document reflects six months of hard work and input from our staff, musicians, board, patrons and partners. We want to extend our sincere gratitude to everyone who contributed ideas and feedback throughout this process.

We learned a lot during the process and we came to recognize the deep commitment to the core work of the Symphony as a cultural institution in Middle Tennessee. That work led us to articulate more clearly our core mission and the most important priorities for our continued emergence from the pandemic closures.

As we develop detailed strategies to accomplish the goals and objectives in this plan we will deepen our commitment to performing a robust portfolio of music. We will grow our partnerships and engagement efforts to share the magic of orchestral music broadly. And we will continue to challenge ourselves to reflect our diverse community in all of our work.

Board Chair Statement

The following pillars will guide the Nashville Symphony's strategic vision across 2023-2025:

OBJECTIVE: The Nashville Symphony will be a financially robust, leading orchestra fully supported and embraced by the community it serves and recognized by its peers for its innovation and excellence.


GOAL 1: Entertain and educate audiences with varied opportunities to engage with orchestral music.
GOAL 2: Be recognized as a leading arts organization defined by performing an innovative and excellent portfolio distinguished by a commitment to American music, including underrepresented voices.
GOAL 3: Build a diverse, welcoming, and effective organization that is a great place to work and is reflective of the Middle Tennessee community.
GOAL 4: Strengthen diversified revenue streams in order to routinely deliver a balanced operating budget and meet goals for endowment contributions.

Service Categories

Primary Category: Arts, Culture & Humanities  - Symphony Orchestras 
Secondary Category: Arts, Culture & Humanities  - Arts Education 
Tertiary Category: -

Areas Served

In a typical season, the Nashville Symphony sells more than 120,000 tickets to performances in the concert hall, purchased by Middle Tennesseans as well as visitors from around the world. Over 90% of ticket purchases are made by Tennesseans from across the state. Visitors from across the United States and more than 20 international countries also attend Nashville Symphony performances, an indication of the Nashville Symphony's stature as a performing arts organization on a global scale.

TN - Bedford
TN - Cheatham
TN - Cumberland
TN - Davidson
TN - Dickson
TN - Franklin
TN - Giles
TN - Houston
TN - Humphreys
TN - Lawrence
TN - Marshall
TN - Maury
TN - Montgomery
TN - Putnam
TN - Robertson
TN - Rutherford
TN - Sumner
TN - Warren
TN - Williamson
TN - Wilson