The Nashville Symphony announced that Nathan Aspinall has been named the organization’s new Assistant Conductor, effective at the start of the 2019/20 season.
Aspinall will lead the GRAMMY®-winning orchestra on numerous music education programs, including Young People’s Concerts for local students, as well as select Movie Series and Family Series concerts and special events. A native of Australia, Aspinall comes to Music City from the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra in Florida, where he served as Associate Conductor since 2015.
“Nathan is a rising star in the conducting world, with passion, versatility, creativity and a nuanced understanding of repertoire,” said Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero. “His enthusiasm for working with our orchestra and serving the community was evident from the start. I believe he will be an outstanding addition to our talented team and the perfect choice to lead the Nashville Symphony in our diverse artistic and educational programs.”
In Jacksonville, Aspinall made multiple series appearances each season, leading performances of works by Shostakovich, Mendelssohn, Ravel and Strauss, and collaborating with guest artists such as Behzod Abduraimov and Cameron Carpenter. He also conducted the orchestra’s annual tour appearances at West Palm Beach’s Kravis Center.
Prior to Jacksonville, Aspinall served as Assistant Conductor of the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra (2013-15) and Young Artist/Assistant Conductor of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra (2011-12). He has made numerous guest-conducting appearances with orchestras in North America and Australia, and has served as a conducting fellow at prestigious music festivals including Tanglewood, Aspen and the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. Aspinall holds a master’s in music (Orchestral Conducting) from the New England Conservatory, and a bachelor’s of music (Performance) from the University of Queensland. More information is available on his website.
2019/20 Young People’s Concerts Lineup Released
Concurrent with the news of Aspinall’s appointment, the Symphony has unveiled the lineup for its 2019/20 Young People’s Concerts. This annual series of performances, free to students in grades K-12 ($10 for teachers and chaperones), is open to public, private and home schools and offers a comprehensive educational experience that enriches classroom learning.
Participating teachers receive downloadable curriculum that includes lesson plans, music selections and other resources. The content of each concert is geared toward a specific grade level, and meets both fine arts and academic standards in Tennessee.
The 2019/20 edition of the series includes a program in October celebrating the important role of female composers in classical music history, and another in January featuring the second-ever public performance of composer Margaret Bonds’ Montgomery Variations.
Bonds, one of the first African-American composers to gain notoriety in the United States, wrote the piece in 1965 as the Freedom March from Selma to Montgomery was getting under way, and she dedicated it to Martin Luther King, Jr. Montgomery Variations, along with several other compositions by Bond, was only recently discovered and has been performed just once before, by the University of Connecticut Symphony Orchestra in December 2018.
Details, dates and times for the 2019/20 Young People’s Concerts are as follows:
Composing a Movement: Women in Classical Music
10:15 a.m. and 11:45 a.m., Wednesday, October 2
10:15 a.m. and 11:45 a.m., Tuesday, October 8
Learn about the vital but often forgotten histories of female composers in classical music, with works by Clara Schumann, Fanny Mendelssohn, Amy Beach, Lili Boulanger and Florence Price. Join the Nashville Symphony in celebrating the legacy these women created and path they forged for composers and musicians today
10:15 a.m. and 11:45 a.m., Thursday, January 23
10:15 a.m. and 11:45 a.m., Friday, January 24
Held during the week of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, this concert celebrating black composers will feature Margaret Bonds’ piece written in 1965 during the Selma-to-Montgomery Freedom March and dedicated to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The program will include works by Florence Price, William Grant Still and W.C. Handy, along with pieces by living composers Adolphus Hailstork and Jessie Montgomery
The Conductor’s Spellbook
10:15 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. Wednesday, February 26
10:15 a.m. and 11:45 a.m., Thursday, February 27
Young Tony Stradivarius has found a book of spells — what will Tony and the orchestra discover when they open it? Learn all about the instruments of the orchestra, the conductor and the musical magic they create in this interactive and exciting concert!
Registration for all 2019/20 Young People’s Concerts opens on July 29 at 10 a.m. For more information, including participation requirements, past lesson plans and FAQs, click here.
The GRAMMY® Award-winning Nashville Symphony has earned an international reputation for its innovative programming and its commitment to performing, recording and commissioning works by America’s leading composers. The Nashville Symphony has released more than 30 recordings on Naxos, which have received 24 GRAMMY® nominations and 13 GRAMMY® Awards, making it one of the most active recording orchestras in the country. The orchestra has also released recordings on Decca, Deutsche Grammophon and New West Records, among other labels. With more than 140 performances annually, the orchestra offers a broad range of classical, pops and jazz, and children’s concerts, while its extensive education and community engagement programs reach 60,000 children and adults each year.