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Nashville Symphony Receives National Endowment for the Arts Grant

April 23, 2014

Nashville Symphony Receives National Endowment for the Arts Grant
Funding Will Support Public Performances and Recording of Works
by American Composer Richard Danielpour


Nashville, Tenn. (April 23, 2014) – The Nashville Symphony today proudly announced that it has been awarded an Art Works grant by the National Endowment for the Arts. The orchestra is one of more than 800 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive funding for creative and outstanding arts programs that positively impact local communities. 

The $20,000 grant will be used to support public performances and recordings of two works – Walt Whitman Songs and Songs of Solitude – by American composer Richard Danielpour, who will visit Music City during a Symphony-sponsored trip in March 2015.

“One of the most gifted and prolific American composers of our time, Richard Danielpour has made an enormous impact on the contemporary music scene while earning a reputation as a devoted mentor and educator as well,” said Alan D. Valentine, Symphony president and CEO. “We are very appreciative of this generous grant, which makes it possible for us to showcase and record this fine composer’s beautiful work, and to share his unique talent and perspective with a diverse cross-section of the Middle Tennessee community.” 

Commissioned by the Nashville Symphony, Walt Whitman Songs sets five Whitman poems from 1865 to music. The piece will make its world premiere alongside performances of Songs of Solitude on March 12-14, 2015, as part of the Nashville Symphony’s Aegis Sciences Classical Series at Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Both works will be recorded live for a forthcoming international release on Naxos, the world’s leading classical music record label. This will be the Nashville Symphony’s second recording of Danielpour’s work on Naxos, following the release of Darkness in the Ancient Valley in 2013.

Danielpour will be on hand to assist and participate in rehearsals, performances and the recording process, and renowned baritone soloist Thomas Hampson will join the Nashville Symphony for both pieces.

Danielpour’s visit to Nashville will also include a number of educational and community events, including master classes at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music; participation in “Classical Conversations,” free pre-concert talks hosted by Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero; and a number of local speaking engagements. Additionally, he will appear at an open dress rehearsal and question-and-answer session for local high school students on March 12, 2015.

Art Works grants support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts and enhancement of the livability of communities through the arts. The National Endowment for the Arts received 1,515 eligible applications under the Art Works category, requesting more than $76 million in funding. Of those applications, 886 are recommended for grants totaling $25.8 million.

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