Nashville Symphony Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero Signs Five-Year Contract Extension, Committing to the Orchestra Through 2024-25 Season

Giancarlo Guerrero
Nashville Symphony

The Nashville Symphony today announced that music director Giancarlo Guerrero has agreed to a five-year contract extension to continue his leadership of the orchestra through the 2024-25 season. This would make Guerrero – who has served the orchestra in this capacity since 2009 – the second-longest-serving conductor in the orchestra’s history. The Symphony also adds its 26th, 27th and 28th recordings on Naxos to its award-winning discography with collections devoted to composers Michael Daugherty (released September 9), Richard Danielpour (due October 14) and Jennifer Higdon (due spring 2017). 

The seventh music director in the Nashville Symphony’s 70-year history, Guerrero has overseen a period of remarkable success for the organization. Under Guerrero’s leadership, the orchestra has garnered five of its eight GRAMMY® Awards and presented eight world premieres, while also recording nine critically acclaimed albums, to cement the Nashville Symphony’s reputation as one of the most active recording orchestras in the country. 

His extended commitment to the orchestra is rare in the classical music industry and will play a key role in helping the Nashville Symphony sustain its mission of artistic excellence, fostering new American repertoire and serving the Middle Tennessee community. Since Guerrero’s appointment, the Nashville Symphony has gained increasing national and international attention for its prolific recording output and for forward-thinking collaborations with Nashville-based artists including Ben Folds, Béla Fleck, Edgar Meyer and others. 

“Giancarlo Guerrero is the embodiment of a true 21st-century music director,” said Mark Peacock, Nashville Symphony board chair. “Not only has he established incredibly high artistic standards for the orchestra, he has also forged a deep and enduring connection with Middle Tennessee audiences. Giancarlo fervently believes in the Nashville Symphony’s mission of providing great music and education programs for everyone, and he unfailingly demonstrates his commitment through his willingness to devote so much of his time and energy on behalf of this organization.”

“I am deeply grateful to this community for embracing my family and me so warmly,” Guerrero said, “I am fiercely proud of all that we have accomplished together and so excited about what we will dream up next. Over the next few years, I look forward to building on the Nashville Symphony’s well-earned reputation for artistic excellence and adventurous programming with new creative projects that will continue our unique commitment to American orchestral music.”

“Maestro Guerrero has enthusiastically and expertly executed an artistic mission worthy of Music City,” said Alan D. Valentine, Nashville Symphony president and CEO. “He has played a critical role in helping our orchestra build a legacy of excellence and innovation, while establishing an exciting vision for our future. He is ever-mindful of the importance of keeping orchestral music relevant to today’s audiences, and he has selflessly devoted his time, talent and expertise to the Symphony’s education and community engagement programs, extending his impact on our community well beyond the stage. I am excited about our work together and look forward to seeing Giancarlo take our phenomenal musicians on tour to share their incredible sound with audiences outside of Nashville.” 

New Recordings on Naxos devoted to Michael Daugherty and Richard Danielpour

As the Nashville Symphony marks its 10th anniversary at Schermerhorn Symphony Center this season, the orchestra will add to its GRAMMY® Award-winning discography with its 26th, 27th and 28th recordings on Naxos. Michael Daugherty’s Tales of Hemingway, featuring cellist Zuill Bailey, was released September 9. The recording also features two additional Daugherty works: American Gothic, a concerto for orchestra reflecting on the creative world of Iowa artist Grant Wood, and Once Upon a Castle, a showcase for GRAMMY®-winning organist Paul Jacobs inspired by William Randolph Heart’s California castle. “With a sound that is distinctly and uniquely American,” says Guerrero, “Michael Daugherty’s work has always been an outstanding showcase for our orchestra. As only he can, Michael pays tribute here to three national icons, displaying the same virtuosity and accessibility that have earned him a GRAMMY® Award and a reputation as one of our country’s most important composers.”

An album of world premieres by Richard Danielpour including Songs of Solitude and War Songs, both with baritone Thomas Hampson, is due out October 14.  Danielpour wrote Songs of Solitude – a set of six orchestral songs set to poetry by W.B. Yeats – as a response to the events of 9/11. The motivating force for War Songs was a series of photographs of the young men and women killed in the Iraq War. The song cycle, with its texts by Walt Whitman, was written for the Nashville Symphony to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. Also included on the recording, Toward the Splendid City is a portrait of New York City, Danielpour’s hometown. “The Nashville Symphony’s partnership with Richard Danielpour has produced a series of recordings that showcase his unique ability to bring classic texts to life,” says Giancarlo Guerrero. “Songs of Solitude and War Songs represent Richard at his very best – an honest examination of the brutality of war and the crushing toll it takes on all humanity, themes that are as true today as ever.” 

Spring 2017 will bring the release of an album by the Nashville Symphony and Guerrero exploring works of Jennifer Higdon.  

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 25 recordings on Naxos, which have received 17 GRAMMY® nominations and eight GRAMMY® Awards, making NSO one of the most active recording orchestras in the country. 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 up to 80,000 children and adults each year.