top of page
  • Writer's pictureMary Ann

Legendary Violinist Pinchas Zukerman Returns to Music City for Nashville Symphony Performances

The Nashville Symphony welcomes acclaimed violinist Pinchas Zukerman to the Schermerhorn – his first Nashville appearance in two decades – for the orchestra’s Aegis Sciences Classical Series performances of Bach, Mozart & Elgar on April 12-14. These concerts are part of the ongoing Violins of Hope Nashville initiative, in which music, performances and exhibits provide a platform for exploring the history of the Holocaust, genocide and social injustice.

Zukerman will serve as both performer and conductor for the weekend, soloing alongside Nashville Symphony concertmaster Jun Iwasaki on Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins and soloing on Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5. Three works by English composer Edward Elgar, including his beloved Enigma Variations, round out the program.

Great seats starting at $26 are still available, and the Symphony’s Soundcheck program offers $10 tickets to students in K-12, college and grad school. Date night packages – which include two tickets, two glasses of wine and Goo Goo chocolates – are available starting at $68.

Born in Tel Aviv in 1948, Zukerman came to the U.S. in 1962 to study at The Juilliard School and has since established himself as a phenomenon in the world of classical music, thanks to his prodigious technique and unwavering artistic standards. A highly respected violinist, violist, pedagogue and chamber musician, he is equally lauded as a conductor and has led orchestras around the world in some of the repertoire’s most demanding works. Zukerman is also a longtime associate of Amnon Weinstein, the Tel Aviv-based luthier who restored the Violins of Hope.

Zukerman’s extensive discography of more than 100 titles has earned him two GRAMMY® Awards and 21 nominations, and he is also a devoted and innovative educator. He currently chairs the Pinchas Zukerman Performance Program at the Manhattan School of Music, where he pioneered the use of distance-learning technology in the arts over two decades ago. 

About the Program

Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins is one of only three surviving violin concertos written by the composer, though no original score for the piece exists. Only parts for individual instruments remain, which have been reverse-engineered to create an orchestral score.

This work is particularly fitting for performances during Violins of Hope Nashville, as it is often associated with violinist Alma Rosé, composer Gustav Mahler’s niece. Rosé, who made her public debut performing the Bach concerto with her father, was later interned at Auschwitz during the Holocaust and served as conductor of the women’s orchestra in the camp. She died at Auschwitz of an undetermined illness in 1944.

Though best known as a keyboardist, Mozart studied the violin at a young age at the behest of his father, who was an acclaimed master violin teacher and the author of a widely circulated textbook on the instrument. He completed Violin Concerto No. 5 in 1775, one of the most productive years of Mozart’s early career, during which he completed four of his five violin concertos. Nicknamed “Turkish” because of the exotic-sounding passages in its finale, the work draws from Hungarian sources as well as from one of the composer’s early operas. 

Elgar’s quintessential and most enduring work, the Enigma Variations catapulted the composer to international fame. The piece is comprised of 14 variations, each of which represents individuals from Elgar’s life, including his wife and his close friend, August Jaeger. Zukerman and the orchestra will also perform Elgar’s Chanson de matin and Chanson de nuit, two brief, intimately crafted portraits of day and night.

Tickets for Bach, Mozart & Elgar may be purchased:

Additional information, including program notes, a Spotify playlist and Pinchas Zukerman’s full biography 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 29 recordings on Naxos, which have received 24 GRAMMY® nominations and 13 GRAMMY® Awards, making it one of the most active recording orchestras in the country. The orchestra has also released recordings on Decca, Deutsche Grammophon and New West Records, among other labels. With more than 140 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 60,000 children and adults each year.


bottom of page