Speaking at a press conference January 11 at Carnegie Hall, Alan. D. Valentine, president of the Nashville Symphony, and Martha R. Ingram, the orchestra's board chair, discussed the progress being made on construction and fundraising for the 1,872-seat concert hall.
The orchestra has raised $117 million of a total budget of $120 million, the officials said. Construction is also on schedule: the building's structural frame was completed in April 2005, and seats and flooring will be installed by May.
Designed by architect David M. Schwarz, the new hall will blend neo-classicical columns and a limestone exterior, in keeping with Nashville's grand civic buildings, with contemporary details.
The Laura Turner Concert Hall will be one of the few halls nationwide to feature natural interior light, which will enter through 30 soundproof windows. The hall will also feature a custom-built organ.
The hall will open with a gala concert on September 9, conducted by National Symphony music director Leonard Slatkin and featuring the world premiere of a new work composed by bassist Edgar Meyer, banjo player B_la Fleck, and tabla player Zakir Hussain. The opening weekend will also include a pops gala starring country and gospel singer Amy Grant. The Nashville Symphony will perform more than 100 classical, pops and special events concerts in the hall each season. The venue will also host recitals, choral concerts, cabaret, jazz, and world music concerts.
Schermerhorn Symphony Center was named in honor of the late Kenneth Schermerhorn, who led the orchestra for 22 years and died in April 2005. A search is currently underway to find a new music director.
The Nashville Symphony was founded in 1946 and made its Carnegie Hall debut in 2000.