Nashville's Schermerhorn Symphony Center - One Of The World's Finest
Visitors to Nashville have their pick of a long list of legendary music venues to experience during their trip, all of which are at the heart of its reputation as Music City. Schermerhorn Symphony Center, though barely a decade old, has earned its place on that list of iconic landmarks.
Nestled in the rapidly growing SoBro neighborhood in downtown Nashville, and home of the eight-time GRAMMY® Award-winning Nashville Symphony, the Schermerhorn has earned a reputation as one of the world’s finest concert halls thanks to its distinctive design and top-notch acoustics. Named for the Nashville Symphony’s late music director Kenneth Schermerhorn, the building is a can’t-miss attraction for serious music lovers, playing host to more than 140 concerts every year, ranging from classical and jazz to pop and rock performances by top-flight entertainers.
Walking through the Schermerhorn – whether on a concert night or during a free public tour (offered most Wednesdays and Saturdays) – it’s hard to believe the building was only completed in 2006. The stately design, strongly influenced by classical Greek and Roman architecture, brings to mind such majestic European concert halls as the Musikverein in Vienna or the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
Lobbies with intricately designed floors made of imported marble and dozens of massive columns inspired by Egyptian Revival architecture create a tangible sense of grandeur and elegance. Designers also took great care to incorporate musical elements and subtle nods to local history and culture throughout the building. Visitors will notice the lyre – a stringed instrument dating back to the ancient Greeks – featured prominently both inside and on the exterior, as well as Tennessee’s state flower, the iris, showcased extensively on everything from elevator doors to stairway railings to fabrics.
Once you enter the centerpiece of the facility – the 1,830-seat Laura Turner Concert Hall – you really understand what attracts such great artistic talent and tens of thousands of concertgoers annually.
Adorned with stunning chandeliers and 30 soundproof windows, the hall boasts a number of innovative features that cater to the sound of natural instruments. The “shoebox” design provides vivid clarity, warmth and reverberation for an intimate setting, while an automated system of movable banners and panels can adjust the acoustics to accommodate a variety of musical genres—crucial for a venue that may showcase three nights of Beethoven and Mozart, then welcome artists like Willie Nelson and Aretha Franklin — sometimes all within the same week.
There is not a bad seat in the entire house. Concertgoers can choose from three levels of seating or get a unique perspective from the choral loft behind the stage. Also directly behind the stage is one of the hall’s most distinct features – the massive, custom-built Martin Foundation Concert Organ. Comprised of 3,568 total pipes, this breathtaking instrument delivers a sound so powerful that it literally shakes the seats!
If you appreciate music, you owe it to yourself to witness how this magical concert hall comes to life once the 83-member Nashville Symphony takes the stage. And with a variety of programming options – including relaxed Friday-morning classical performances and Saturday-morning family concerts – there’s something for every music lover at the Schermerhorn.
Visit NashvilleSymphony.org to learn more about the Schermerhorn and the Nashville Symphony concerts taking place during your next Music City visit.