Entertainment, On A High Note

A Music City Newcomer experiences the Nashville Symphony


The Nashville Symphony is one of the most beloved institutions in Music City. With its top notch musicians and creative events perfect for the whole family, our local symphony has garnered a reputation  that is respected across the country.

My first concert experience at the stunning Schermerhorn Symphony Center was a viewing of the 1925 silent film, “The Phantom of the Opera,” accompanied by a live organist, Peter Krasinsky. I had never been to a show of this format, or even heard of the concept, so I was intrigued by the idea of watching a film accompanied by a live musician. As a devout “Phantom” fan, I was thoroughly excited when I found out the film would be screening in Nashville and on the most perfect day, Halloween.

Fans entered the hallowed concert hall that is the Schermerhorn Symphony Center dressed in their most festive and phantom-inspired costumes. The presence of a fun photo booth and fake fire flames to greet you as you made your way down to the floor, as if you’re entering the phantom’s lair, made the night so much more than a typical concert experience.

The Nashville Symphony celebrated 10 years at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in 2016. PHOTO COURTESY OF NASHVILLE SYMPHONY

Krasinsky certainly did not disappoint, as he opened the show with a 20-minute solo performance, showing off his impressive skills. I was also surprised when he revealed that he had not prepared a composition for the evening – the score he produced and every note he played were completely improvised based on what was happening in the film. The Schermerhorn’s Martin Foundation Concert Organ filled the room with its incredible sound, bringing the film to life in a way another instrument couldn’t have. Krasinsky did an impeccable job of perfectly matching the film’s scenes with his haunting music, uniquely telling the intriguing story of this revered musical story.

I was lucky enough to experience a similar event when the Schermerhorn hosted a screening of the classic film, “Jurassic Park,” this time with the incredible Symphony performing the film’s score live. There’s nothing quite like watching a film as amazing as “Jurassic Park” accompanied by a symphony as incredible as Nashville’s, who manage to make the experience that much more enrapturing.

You don’t realize how prominent the score is until hearing it live – it gave me a new appreciation for John Williams’ widely admired music. But the excitement didn’t take place just inside the concert hall. The Symphony pulled out all the stops with a replica of the film’s signature jeep parked outside the concert hall. The bold red, yellow and green car donning the iconic “Jurassic Park” logo was instantly recognizable and had fans lining up to take photos with it (I’d be lying if I said we were not one of those people).

A replica of the signature jeep from “Jurassic Park” outside of the Schermerhorn Symphony Center at a showing of the film accompanied by the Symphony playing the live score. PHOTO COURTESY OF NASHVILLE SYMPHONY

The Symphony provides not only amazing music, but also a memorable experience. The organization goes above and beyond to bring the excitement of a film or piece of art to life not just through the music, but also by highlighting particular elements that make it special. Both events just go to show how lucky Nashville is to not only have such a gifted and exquisite symphony in our midst, but also have so many rich artistic experiences at our fingertips.