Mahler’s Grand Fifth Symphony Headlines Nashville Symphony Performances on March 8-10
Violinist Jennifer Koh Returns to Perform Salonen's Violin Concerto
The Nashville Symphony’s Aegis Sciences Classical Series resumes at Schermerhorn Symphony Center on March 8-10 with a showcase of Gustav Mahler’s epic Fifth Symphony. Violinist Jennifer Koh also makes her first Schermerhorn appearance in five years, opening the concerts as the featured soloist on Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Violin Concerto.
Mahler is one of music director Giancarlo Guerrero’s personal favorites, and the Austrian composer’s symphonies have been a regular inclusion in the Symphony’s classical programming over the past decade.
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. All March 9 ticket purchases include admittance to Happy Hour at the ’Horn, a pre-concert event with live music, discounts on select wine and beers, and more.
About the Program
One of the foremost conductors of his generation, as well as a highly productive composer, Mahler penned nine complete symphonies, but his Fifth represents a major turning point in both his career and personal life. It was directly influenced by two significant events – a near-fatal hemorrhage that Mahler experienced just months before he began work on the piece, and his courtship with Alma Schindler, a young Viennese beauty from a prominent artistic family, whom Mahler would marry just months before completing the Fifth in the summer of 1902.
Like most of Mahler’s symphonies, the Fifth is an expansive piece with large orchestration. But unlike his previous contributions to the genre, which incorporate voices or text to address programmatic elements, the Fifth is a purely instrumental work that exhibits Mahler’s development in writing for an orchestra. By choosing to start the Fifth in C-sharp minor and to conclude it in D major, Mahler gave the piece an even more defined thematic progression of darkness-to-light, and his innovations throughout further solidified his stature as a bridge between the 19thcentury Austro-German Romantic tradition and the Modernist movement of the 20th century.
Esa-Pekka Salonen is part of the pioneering generation of contemporary composers in his native Finland, where he studied at the prestigious Sibelius Academy. Like Mahler, he has also enjoyed a high-profile career as a conductor, including a 17-year run as music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Though his Violin Concerto ranks as one of his most frequently performed works, these concerts mark the first time the piece has ever been performed by the Nashville Symphony.
Named the 2016 Instrumentalist of the Year by Musical America and a recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant, soloist Jennifer Koh made her debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at age 11 and has since performed with leading orchestras around the globe. Hailed by The New York Times as “one of our most thoughtful and intense musicians,” Koh is renowned for her collaborations with artists of multiple disciplines and her curation of projects that connect music of all eras, from traditional to contemporary.
Koh is also a committed educator. She serves as artistic director of arco collaborative – an artist-driven nonprofit that cultivates artist-citizens in partnership with educational organizations – and she has earned praise for her performances in classrooms around the country through her innovative “Music Messenger” outreach program.
Tickets for Mahler’s Fifth may be purchased:
Online at NashvilleSymphony.org/Mahler5
Via phone at 615.687.6400
At the Schermerhorn Symphony Center Box Office, One Symphony Place in downtown Nashville
Additional information including program notes, a Spotify playlist and Jennifer Koh’s biography can be found at: https://www.nashvillesymphony.org/mahler5.
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.