Mark Wait, dean of the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University, will chair the committee, which is made up of 12 musicians, board members, and orchestra staff. Wait is also a concert pianist who has performed with the orchestra in the past.
"The committee is a superb group of outstanding musicians and leading citizens," Wait said. "I am convinced the search will produce a music director who will be an artistic leader of the highest quality and an exciting personality the entire city will be proud of."
After Schermerhorn's death, the orchestra announced it would not conduct a public application process for the position, but would hold private conversations with possible candidates.
Alan D. Valentine, orchestra president and CEO, said, "Because we'll be considering such high-caliber musicians for this position—including many who currently hold similar positions with other orchestras—it is critical that each step of the process be safeguarded. This means that while we may provide periodic progress reports, we will not publicly identify or discuss specific candidates."
Valentine attributed the high quality of the potential candidates to the work Schermerhorn did with the orchestra. "Because of the quality of the orchestra Kenneth built," he said, "because of its growing national and international reputation, because of its multi-disc recording contract with Naxos, because of the world-class concert hall rising in downtown Nashville, we are in an excellent position to select our next music director from among the best of today's rising stars, as well as from a list of established conductors both in the U.S. and abroad."