Nashville Symphony Association
One Symphony Place
Nashville TN 37201-2031
Nashville Symphony Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero
Mission Statement
The Nashville Symphony is dedicated to achieving the highest standard for excellence in musical performance and educational programs, while engaging the community, enriching audiences and shaping cultural life.
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Alan D. Valentine
Board Chair Mr. James C. Seabury III
Board Chair Company Affiliation Enterprise Electric
History & Background
Year of Incorporation 1946
Organization's type of tax exempt status 501-C3
Financial Summary
Projected Expenses $21,286,583.00
Projected Annual Revenue $21,286,583.00 (2015)
Mission The Nashville Symphony is dedicated to achieving the highest standard for excellence in musical performance and educational programs, while engaging the community, enriching audiences and shaping cultural life.

Founded in 1946, the Nashville Symphony is Tennessee’s largest professional performing arts organization. Over the past decade, NSO has built an international reputation as a first-rate professional orchestra and one of the country's most innovative orchestral institutions. The NSO presents more than 160 performances annually, offering classical, pops, jazz, and family concert series as well as a variety of special events, a Free Day of Music, free concerts in local parks and outlying communities, and comprehensive music education programs. The NSO also performs for Nashville Ballet and Nashville Opera productions and, in partnership with Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music, supports a 60-member youth orchestra.

As part of its artistic vision, the orchestra is dedicated to the creation, preservation, and performance of a distinctly American repertoire. In 2000, concluding a successful East Coast tour, the orchestra made its debut at Carnegie Hall in a performance that was described by The New York Times as “youthful and fresh…a knockout.” In the years since, the Symphony has gained national and international attention through its growing discography and widespread coverage on public radio and television.

Over the past decade, the Symphony has released 21 recordings, most in partnership with the leading classical label Naxos, in the process earning fourteen GRAMMY® nominations, seven GRAMMY® Awards and a reputation as one of the nation’s most active recording orchestras.

The NSO built, owns, and operates the world-class Schermerhorn Symphony Center, which opened in September 2006. During the 2006/07 season, the Symphony was selected to host the League of American Orchestras’s National Conference, which is a rare honor for a city the size of Nashville. Since then, the Schermerhorn has emerged as a premier venue for a wide variety of special events, from weddings to awards presentations to corporate gatherings.

From 1983 until his death in 2005, conductor Kenneth Schermerhorn served as the orchestra’s music director, helping to shape it into the institution it has become today. In 2006, the Symphony attracted Leonard Slatkin, one of America’s most renowned conductors, to serve as interim Music Advisor. Giancarlo Guerrero, who has had a meteoric rise on the international conducting scene, assumed the post of music director in September 2009, continuing the Symphony’s tradition of artistic excellence and innovative programming.




 2013/14 Accomplishments:

1. The Nashville Symphony collaborated with Nashville Ballet and the Minnesota Orchestra to commission a brand-new Concerto for Piano and Orchestra by Ben Folds. The orchestra presented the world premiere performances on March 13-15, 2014.  

2. The Nashville Symphony pursued its commitment to performing works by contemporary American composers: Stephen Paulus’s Grand Concerto for Organ and Orchestra; Joan Tower’s “Chamber Dance,” “Stroke,” and Violin Concerto; Ben Folds’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (world premiere); John Adams’s “City Noir;” and John Williams’s “Escapades.”
3. The orchestra completed recording for forthcoming albums featuring work by contemporary American composers Joan Tower and Stephen Paulus. Both records will be released by Naxos, the world's leading distributor of classical music. During 2013/14, the orchestra also released two additional albums of music by American composers Richard Danielpour and Roberto Sierra, also on the Naxos label.
4. In recognition of the Nashville Symphony's commitment to programming and promoting American orchestral repertoire, the orchestra and Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero received a 2013 ASCAP Award for Programming of Contemporary Music.
5. The Nashville Symphony's education programs have provided high quality music learning to over 50,000 students across Middle Tennessee through diverse initiatives at no cost to schools, including Young People's Concerts, Ensembles in the Schools, Instrument Petting Zoos, our after-school partnership with the Nashville After Zone Alliance, and free music lessons in collaboration with the W.O. Smith Music School. 
2014/15 Priorities 
1. The Nashville Symphony will expand the American orchestral repertoire by commissioning new works by American composers: Conni Ellisor and Victor Wooten's Concerto for Orchestra and Electric Bass, Richard Danielpour's "Walt Whitman Songs," and Michael Daugherty's Cello Concerto.
2. The orchestra will preserve and promote the American repertoire by recording the newly commissioned pieces by Richard Danielpour and Michael Daugherty.
3. The Nashville Symphony will perform additional works by contemporary American composers: John Adams's "Chairman Dances," Tobias Picker's "Old and Lost Rivers," Christopher Rouse's "Odna Zhizn (A Life)," Frank Ticheli's "Radiant Voices," Richard Danielpour's "Songs of Solitude," and Michael Daugherty's "American Gothic."
4. The organization will continue to fully utilize its two greatest assets, the orchestra and Schermerhorn Symphony Center, to grow audiences and improve revenue results by increasing the number and diversity of concerts and creative activities.
5. The Nashville Symphony's education initiative will design and deliver services that address community needs, with a focus on music education for at-risk, underserved students in Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools.
6. The Nashville Symphony will shape cultural life and enhance the community's access to high quality orchestral music through free concerts in community venues, performances at SSC, and lifelong learning opportunities for people of all ages.
Needs In order to build a successful future, the Nashville Symphony needs to:
  1. Grow sustainable annual fundraising capacity to over $9 million, an all-time high.
  2. Expand the variety of performances and services to the community in ways that will engage a broader audience.
  3. Continue building the artistic excellence of the orchestra to contribute to Nashville's identity as Music City and reinforce our role as a source of civic pride.
  4. Serve as an educational resource and partner for students and teachers, providing programs that meet the evolving needs of local schools throughout Middle Tennessee.
  5. Improve the Nashville Symphony's annual operating results, meet budgeted goals, and grow earned revenue through ticket sales.
Meeting these challenges will require broad community support from dedicated to partners to promote and preserve this local artistic treasure and its important cultural mission.

Other ways to donate, support, or volunteer
To make a donation online through the Nashville Symphony's website, please visit: 
Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Arts,Culture & Humanities / Symphony Orchestras
Areas of Service
Areas Served
TN - Bedford
TN - Cheatham
TN - Cumberland
TN - Davidson
TN - Dickson
TN - Franklin
TN - Giles
TN - Houston
TN - Humphreys
TN - Lawrence
TN - Marshall
TN - Maury
TN - Montgomery
TN - Putnam
TN - Robertson
TN - Rutherford
TN - Sumner
TN - Warren
TN - Williamson
TN - Wilson
The Nashville Symphony's concerts, community engagement activities, and educational programs serve the entire Middle Tennessee region. During the 2012/13 season, the NSO sold 147,573 tickets, the majority of which (93.6%) were purchased by concertgoers concentrated in the 40-county Middle Tennessee region. The remaining tickets were purchased by visitors from all 50 states and 11 countries, an indication of the orchestra's stature as a global cultural ambassador for Tennessee. 
Board Chair Statement

In recent years, the Nashville Symphony has enjoyed many awards and accolades — including seven GRAMMY® Awards and two well-received performances at Carnegie Hall — but its greatest achievements take place right here at home, serving the people of Middle Tennessee. Every week, our orchestra performs outstanding concerts for the public at Schermerhorn Symphony Center, and the musicians share their commitment to the community through enthusiastic participation in numerous free education and engagement programs.


In the end, this is the Nashville Symphony’s greatest reward: giving back to the community that has so unwaveringly supported its success. None of the orchestra’s achievements would be possible without the countless people in Nashville and surrounding counties who believe in our mission of providing world-class performances and music education to all within our reach. We feel a deep and abiding connection to our community, whom we strive to serve better with each passing year. 


The Board of Directors is responsible for ensuring that the Nashville Symphony realizes the full potential of this powerful partnership. As stewards of the community’s trust, the Board works attentively to secure the long-term sustainability of Tennessee’s largest performing arts organization. Representing a diverse cross-section of local leaders and citizens, the directors remain actively engaged in providing a solid foundation for the Nashville Symphony’s continued success.


Having guided the institution through the uncertainty of the economic downturn, followed by the May 2010 flood, the Board has full confidence in the musicians and staff, who have demonstrated their steadfast commitment to ensuring that the Nashville Symphony and its beautiful concert hall, Schermerhorn Symphony Center, remain a thriving and dynamic cultural institution. Knowing this, we are fully confident that the Nashville Symphony will continue to serve the Middle Tennessee community for generations to come.


— Edward A. Goodrich, Board Chair
CEO Statement

The past few years have seen many challenges—first, the economic downturn in 2008, followed by the flood less than two years later—but through it all the Nashville Symphony has continued to make great music, thanks to our community' generous and enthusiastic support, the committed leadership of our Board of Directors, and the determination of our musicians and staff. In the face of every challenge, we have responded by remaining focused on our mission while ensuring that we are responsible stewards of the public’s support.

Under the leadership of our Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero, our orchestra continues to build on its strong reputation for passionate musicianship and distinctive programming. Over the past several years, our recordings have earned seven GRAMMY® Awards, and our orchestra can often be heard on the national airwaves on American Public Media’s Performance Today.

Much of this attention is the result of our commitment to expanding the American repertoire with a growing list of commissions, world premieres, and recordings. Our recording of Pulitzer Prize winner Joseph Schwantner’s Chasing Light…is the latest piece in the Ford Made in America commissioning program, which is dedicated to bringing music by living composers to audiences nationwide. But the Nashville Symphony’s music is reaching even farther: Our premiere of Béla Fleck’s Concerto for Banjo in September 2011 circled all the way around the world, thanks to a webcast that reached thousands of listeners in 49 different countries.

All of these high-profile projects wouldn’t mean a thing, however, if we didn’t share a deep and abiding connection with our community. Our music education and community engagement programs, which reached more than 255,000 people over the past year, are tailored to meet the needs of students, teachers and members of the Middle Tennessee community. More than 150,000 people enjoyed our free Community Concerts. Programs like Young People's Concerts welcomed approximately 17,500 schoolchildren to the Schermerhorn to experience and learn about music, while Instrument Petting Zoos, Ensembles, and Master Classes brought music into the schools to engage thousands of young people.

At the Nashville Symphony, we believe that music has the power to change people’s lives for the better. When we foster innovation and creativity in our institution, we’re driven by the conviction that we can spread that adventurous, forward-thinking spirit into homes and classrooms across the region to create a stronger, more dynamic community.— Alan D. Valentine, President & CEO


The 2013/14 season is deepening the NSO’s commitment to championing the American orchestral repertoire. The NSO has earned a reputation as a leading advocate for contemporary American music. So far in 2013/14, the NSO has performed and recorded Stephen Paulus’s Grand Concerto for Organ and Orchestra, featuring organist Nathan Laube, as well as Joan Tower's "Chamber Dance," "Stroke," and Concerto for Violin, featuring violinist Cho-Liang Lin. In March 2014, the NSO will join with Ben Folds to perform the world premiere of his Piano Concerto. The NSO will also perform works by contemporary composers John Adams and John Williams and time-honored works by Samuel Barber, Leonard Bernstein, Walter Piston, Aaron Copland, and George Gershwin.

Audiences will enjoy titans of the orchestral repertoire during 2013/14. Orchestral favorites include Mahler's Symphony No. 7, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, as well as works by Mendelssohn, Stravinsky, Ravel, Schumann, Strauss, Wagner, and Mozart.
Budget 3,500,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Musical Performances
Population Served Adults, ,
Short Term Success

The Symphony's Aegis Sciences Classical Series has succeeded in providing its audiences opportunities to experience traditional and adventurous programming performed by a world-class orchestra. 


Long term Success

Our ultimate goal is to share the excitement of live orchestral music with an engaged, increasingly diverse and continually growing audience. As we look to the future, we envision performing adventurous programs to sold-out houses on a regular basis. We can achieve this goal through a combination of musical excellence and creative programming that focuses on fresh new works that point the way forward for orchestral music in the 21st century.

Program Success Monitored By

Program success for our Aegis Sciences Classical Series is measured through objective means such as ticket sales and attendance; through subjective means such as applause, reviews and audience feedback; and against standards for excellence that have been established in the American orchestra industry.


Examples of Program Success

Already, since the opening of Schermerhorn Symphony Center in 2006, we have experienced significant audience growth. In our first season in the new concert hall, paid audiences increased by 145 percent, and figures for each season since then have maintained that expanded growth. Notably, we earned $1.2 million more in 08/09 ticket sales over that of the year before. Other indicators of success include a total of 14 GRAMMY® nominations and seven GRAMMY® Awards for our recordings, which attest to our artistic growth; and our recent invitation to perform on a Saturday night at Carnegie Hall in May 2012, which affirms that both our musicianship and our programming are of a quality to merit national attention.


The Nashville Symphony’s 2013/14 Bank of America Pops series consists of eight concert weekends (three concerts per weekend) and pairs the orchestra with popular icons such as Chicago, Kenny Loggins, and Roberta Flack. Additional Pops Series concerts include such diverse programs as the music of the Beatles, Mandy Barnett singing the beloved songs of Patsy Cline, and the Midtown Men performing numbers from the Broadway smash "Jersey Boys." These performances highlight the orchestra’s depth and excellence in performance across multiple musical styles.


Budget 1800000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Music
Population Served Adults, ,
Short Term Success

The Symphony's Bank of America Pops Series has succeeded in bringing a diverse slate of high-quality performers to Nashville, representing styles as wide-ranging as rock, country, jazz and Broadway.


Long term Success

Our goal for the Bank of America Pops Series is to attract a broad and diverse audience to Schermerhorn Symphony Center with programming that features some of today’s finest pop artists. We envision presenting the highest-quality programming to sold-out houses, in the process giving music fans an opportunity to enjoy the acoustical splendor of Schermerhorn Symphony Center and the artistic excellence of the Nashville Symphony.


Program Success Monitored By

Program success is measured through objective means such as ticket sales and attendance and through subjective means such as applause, reviews and audience feedback via phone, email and periodic surveys from our patrons.


Examples of Program Success

As noted above, we have experienced significant audience growth since the opening of Schermerhorn Symphony Center in 2006. In our first season in the new concert hall, paid audiences increased by 145 percent, and figures for each season since then have maintained that expanded growth. These figures indicate that we are continuing to engage our most dedicated patrons while also attracting new audience members.



Excellence in music education has been central to the NSO’s mission for more than six decades. NSO provides barrier-free access to music education to at-risk students. These programs are offered at no cost to schools.

Young People’s Concerts reach 23,000 children annually with full-orchestra concerts at the Schermerhorn. “Is It a Fiddle or a Violin?,” in partnership with the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum, explores the versatility of the violin. Open Dress Rehearsals and Classroom Classics provide access to rehearsals and evening concerts to more than 5,000 middle and high school students. is an interactive website that enhances the concertgoing experience for families. Master Classes, workshops, after-school lessons, and the Curb Youth Symphony allow young musicians to study with professional NSO musicians. Our partnership with the Nashville After Zone Alliance provides progressive music education activities to at-risk middle school students in MNPS.
Budget 1450000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Music
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years), Families, Adults
Short Term Success

The Nashville Symphony engaged more than 80,000 students through its education programs last season, a number which grows annually, demonstrating community demand for educational programming.


Long term Success

The long-term goal of the Nashville Symphony’s education department is to continue to provide comprehensive, barrier-free access to arts education programs for students across Middle Tennessee, and by doing so continue to be a resource for families and schools. With school budgets facing increasing stresses as a result of the economy, the Symphony wishes to ensure that arts education thrives in the classroom. The Symphony will ensure that its education programs continue to be available to all students and teachers, whether they are in public, private or home schools.

Program Success Monitored By

The quality of the Nashville Symphony’s music education programs is determined by the number of people served, demand for services in the schools, and feedback from teachers, children, volunteers and musicians. For example, evaluation forms are distributed to teachers after every Young People’s Concert, to guide the Symphony’s education staff in revising and refining the program for effectiveness and musical quality. To ensure the success of One Note, One Neighborhood, this program is being evaluated independently by Dr. Robert Horowitz of the Center for Arts Education Research at Columbia University’s Teachers College.

Examples of Program Success

In an evaluation report for One Note, One Neighborhood, Dr. Horowitz reported that parents noticed positive changes in their children’s behavior as they learned to perform on their instruments, students expressed increased confidence and interest in developing their musical skills, and teachers reported becoming more comfortable using musical techniques in teaching curriculum courses. Music teachers gave positive feedback on how effectively professional-development workshops have assisted them with new teaching techniques.


The Community Concert Series brings the NSO to public parks in Nashville and surrounding communities during the summer months, and the NSO performs annually for Nashville’s Fourth of July celebration. Community programs also include Let Freedom Sing!—a concert celebrating the life of Martin Luther King Jr.—and the Free Day of Music, which invites the community to the Schermerhorn for a full day of musical performances. This program is notable not only because it makes the Schermerhorn accessible to the public, but also because it provides a well-attended forum for more than 30 community and student music ensembles. Other efforts include OnStage, which invites patrons to join NSO musicians onstage for informal music performances, and OffStage, which brings musicians into community venues. Classical Conversations, pre-concert talks offered before each classical concert, educate audiences and enhance their concert experience.

Budget 600000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other
Population Served Families, Adults, Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens
Short Term Success

The Nashville Symphony’s community engagement programs annually reach more than 175,000 people from across Middle Tennessee.


Long term Success

The Nashville Symphony seeks to share the experience of orchestral music with Middle Tennessee’s growing and increasingly diverse population. Equally important is making Schermerhorn Symphony Center accessible to as many people as possible. The Symphony can achieve these goals by continuing its free concert offerings while exploring new ways of reaching out to different cross-sections of the community.


Program Success Monitored By

The success of the Symphony’s community engagement programs is determined by total number of people served, demand for the orchestra’s services by the public, successful implementation of high-quality presentations, the ability to reschedule due to unforeseen events, and feedback from the public and community partners.


Examples of Program Success

The Nashville Symphony has held annual community concerts for many years. Some of these, including the “Let Freedom Sing!” concert and concerts in the outlying communities of Lebanon and Shelbyville, are community events, involving volunteer committees and collaborations with other organizations. Attendance at these concerts is routinely high — including a completely packed house for the “Let Freedom Sing!” concert. The NSO routinely performs during Nashville’s annual Fourth of July concert in Riverfront Park – exposing more than 150,000 people to a live orchestral performance. In addition, demand for the Nashville Symphony’s services is high, and the orchestra attempts to accommodate as many concerts as the musicians’ schedules will allow.



 Entering its eighth season in 2013/14, the Symphony’s Jazz Series continues to attract some of the world’s leading jazz artists to perform in Nashville. In 2013/14, the Jazz Series welcomes Christ Botti, the Marcus Roberts Trio, and Diane Reeves. Jazz Series concerts feature cabaret-style seating on the floor, allowing audience members to enjoy food and wine while they listen to some of the best jazz available in Music City.



Budget 376000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other
Population Served Adults, ,
Short Term Success

NSO's Jazz Series has succeeded in showcasing world-class jazz artists who rarely, if ever, perform for local audiences. 


Long term Success

Our vision for the Jazz Series is to continue bringing a wide array of top jazz artists to Nashville, with the goal of exciting and energizing local jazz fans while exposing an increasing number of audience members to this distinctly American art form. This concert series supports the orchestras commitment to American music.


Program Success Monitored By

The quality of our Jazz Series is determined by ticket sales and attendance, along with applause, reviews and audience feedback via phone, email and surveys from our patrons.


Examples of Program Success

The sustained popularity of our Jazz Series is a reliable measure of this program’s success. Nashville has long lacked a consistent, top-quality venue for jazz concerts, and the Symphony’s Jazz Series has satisfied music fans’ hunger for hearing this style of music in a live setting by presenting such major artists as pianist McCoy Tyner, trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, guitarist George Benson and vocalist Al Jarreau over the past five years.


CEO Comments

In addition to the programs listed, the Symphony produces many more programs and concerts each year, including special (non-series) concerts, a Summer Festival of orchestral music, and myriad concerts for special constituencies. These concerts—which in the 2013/14 season include our opening gala featuring soprano Renée Fleming, four holiday concerts by Vince Gill and Amy Grant and two Valentine's Day performances by Kenny Rogers—allow the Nashville Symphony to present a diverse array of events intended to engage listeners of all ages, backgrounds, and musical tastes.

Of particular note, The Ann & Monroe Carell Family Trust Pied Piper Family Series offers four Saturday-morning concerts for children and families, with pre-concert activities and an interactive Instrument Petting Zoo. The 2013/14 season includes: “Peter and the Wolf”; “The Snowman,” featuring an audiovisual presentation; “Fairy Tales;” and Stravinsky's “Firebird,” featuring Enchantment Theatre.

Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. James C. Seabury III
Company Affiliation Enterprise Electric
Term Aug 2014 to July 2016
Board Members
Mrs. Janet Ayers The Ayers FoundationVoting
Mr. John Bailey Community VolunteerVoting
Mr. Russell Wayne Bates DeloitteVoting
Mr. Scott Becker Nissan North America, Inc.Voting
Dr. David L. Black Aegis Sciences CorporationVoting
Mr. Jack O. Bovender Jr.HCAVoting
Ms. Anastasia Brown Voting
Dr. Keith Churchwell Vanderbilt Heart & Vascular InstituteVoting
Ms. Rebecca Cole Orchestra RepresentativeExofficio
Ms. Michelle Lackey Collins Orchestra RepresentativeExofficio
Mr. Kevin Crumbo KraftCPAsVoting
Mr. Ben Cundiff Cundiff FarmsVoting
Mrs. Carol Daniels Wakestone Press
Mr. Robert Dennis
Mr. Robert Ezrin
Mr. Benjamin Folds
Ms. Judy Foster Community VolunteerVoting
Ms. Ali Gooding
Mr. Edward A. Goodrich Caterpillar Financial ServicesVoting
Ms. Amy Grant Community VolunteerVoting
Mr. Carl Haley
Mr. Michael Hayes C.B. Ragland CompanyVoting
Mrs. Martha R. Ingram Ingram Industries Inc.Voting
Mrs. Lee Ann Ingram Riverview FarmVoting
Mr. Elliott W. Jones Drescher & Sharp, PCVoting
Mr. Larry Larkin
Mr. John T. Lewis State of TennesseeVoting
Mr. John Manson Nashville Symphony ChorusExofficio
Ms. Amanda Mathis Bridgestone AmericasVoting
Mr. Robert E. McNeilly Jr.Community volunteerVoting
Mr. Richard Lyle Miller Voting
Mr. Bill Minkoff Hawker BeechcraftVoting
Mr. David K. Morgan Lattimore, Black, Morgan & CainVoting
Mr. Michael D. Musick BDOVoting
Mr. Peter Neff F. Scott's Restaurant & Jazz BarVoting
Dr. Harrell Odom St. Thomas HeartVoting
Mr. Cano Ozgener CAOVoting
Mrs. Victoria Pao
Dr. Mark D. Peacock Mid State Pulmonary AssociatesVoting
Ms. Pam Pfeffer Community VolunteerVoting
Mrs. Deby Pitts Community Volunteer
Ms. Jennifer Puryear
Mr. James C. Seabury IIIEnterprise Electric LLCVoting
Mr. Nelson Shields
Mrs. Judith F. Simmons Community volunteerVoting
Ms. Renata Soto
Mr. Brett Sweet Vanderbilty UniversityVoting
Ms. Van Tucker
Mr. Alan D. Valentine Nashville Symphony President and CEOExofficio
Dr. Mark Wait Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University
Mr. Jeffery Walraven BDOVoting
Mr. Ted Houston Welch Ted Welch InvestmentsVoting
Ms. Mindy Whitley Nashville Symphony musicianExofficio
Mr. Roger Wiesmeyer Nashville Symphony musicianExofficio
Mr. William Wiggins Nashville Symphony Orchestra RepresentativeExofficio
Mr. Jeremy Williams Orchestra RepresentativeExofficio
Mr. Harold Williams
Mr. David Williams IIVanderbilt University
Ms. Betsy Wills Courage Capital ManagementVoting
Ms. Clare Yang Orchestra RepresentativeExofficio
Ms. Donna Yurdin
Ms. Shirley Zeitlin Zeitlin & Co., RealtorsVoting
Mr. James Zimmermann Nashville Symphony Orchestra
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 3
Asian American/Pacific Islander 2
Caucasian 57
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 40
Female 23
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 70%
Does the organization have written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Does the organization have a written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage of Board Members making Monetary Contributions 100%
Does the Board include Client Representation? Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Standing Committees
Board Governance
Community Outreach / Community Relations
Development / Fund Raising
Human Resources / Personnel
Special Events
Strategic Planning
Risk Management Provisions
Accident & Injury Coverage
Automobile Insurance
Commercial General Liability
Computer Equipment & Software
Crime Coverage
Directors & Officers Policy
Disability Insurance
Fine Arts & Collectibles
General Property Coverage
Life Insurance
Medical Health Insurance
Property in Transit & Off Premises
Special Event Liability
Umbrella or Excess Insurance
Workers Compensation & Employers' Liability
CEO Comments

The Nashville Symphony is governed by a 63-member Board of Directors comprised of a cross-section of the community. Board members agree to a set of mutual expectations when they accept a seat on the Nashville Symphony Board of Directors:

  1. To make a significant, personally meaningful contribution to the Annual Campaign.
  2. Leverage personal and corporate influence to secure individual contributions and sponsorship support for the Annual Campaign.
  3. Purchase subscriptions at the platinum level (7+ concerts, preferably the Classical Series), attend concerts, and bring guests to enjoy the Nashville Symphony's artistic excellence.
  4. Attend Board meetings and actively participate in policy discussions and decisions.
  5. Serve on at least one committee to support the artistic and cultural mission of the orchestra.
  6. Attend at least one educational activity or event to better understand the organization's work in the community.
  7. Advocate on behalf of the orchestra to the community.
  8. Attend special events that support the Nashville Symphony, including the Symphony Ball and Fashion Show.
The Board of Directors is currently in the process of developing a formal, long-term strategic plan. The organization anticipates that the next strategic plan will be complete by the end of FY14 and will describe the Nashville Symphony’s vision for the next five years, encompassing FY15 through FY19.
In 2005, the Board adopted a completely revised set of institutional bylaws, the result of more than two years of hard work and diligence by an ad-hoc bylaws committee. These amended and restated bylaws provided for greatly strengthened governance and Board oversight and included the creation of a governance committee charged with overseeing the operation of the Board of Directors itself, the delegation of broader powers to the Executive Committee, the creation of a separate audit committee, and the addition of a greatly enhanced conflict of interest policy, among many other changes.


Foundation Staff Comments "Some of the Nashville Symphony's 81 board members are Ex-Officio Board members. 84 contract staff are full-time musician employees."
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Mr. Alan D. Valentine
Term Start June 1998

Alan D. Valentine joined the Nashville Symphony as its President and CEO in June 1998. Since then, he has presided over an unprecedented period of growth at the Symphony, highlighted by seven GRAMMY® Awards and 14 GRAMMY® nominations; dozens of highly regarded and best-selling CD releases on the Naxos and Decca labels; a total of nine national television broadcasts, one of which won the Symphony an Emmy Award; multiple national radio appearances; a critically acclaimed Carnegie Hall debut and sold-out East Coast tour; two consecutive and very successful endowment campaigns in which a total of $145 million was raised; and the construction of the world-class, acoustically superb Schermerhorn Symphony Center, which opened in September 2006.

Prior to his Nashville appointment, Valentine served for 10 years as executive director of the Oklahoma Philharmonic Society in Oklahoma City, Okla. In addition, he served on the adjunct faculty of Oklahoma City University, where he taught graduate-level arts administration courses. A graduate of the University of Houston, Valentine also served as the chief executive of the Mid-Columbia Symphony in Richland, Wash., the Greensboro (N.C.) Symphony and the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera Association.

Former CEOs
Mr. Steven J. Greil Jan 1989 - Aug 1994
Mr. Stephen R. Vann Sept 1994 - Feb 1998
Full Time Staff 151
Part Time Staff 150
Volunteers 300
Contractors 0
Retention Rate 85%
Plans & Policies
Does the organization have a documented Fundraising Plan? Yes
Does the organization have an approved Strategic Plan? Yes
Number of years Strategic Plan Considers 5
When was Strategic Plan adopted? July 2008
In case of a change in leadership, is a Management Succession plan in place? No
Does the organization have a Policies and Procedures Plan? Yes
Does the organization have a Nondiscrimination Policy? Yes
AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals)1997
ANE (Association of Nonprofit Executives)2001
Center for Nonprofit Management Excellence Network1999
National Endowment for the Arts1987
Nashville Arts Coalition2001
Tennesseans for the Arts2002
Metro Arts Commission1991
Tennessee Arts Commission1987
International Auditorium and Arena Managers Organization2006
Nashville Downtown Partnership2006
Planned Giving Council of Nashville2005
Williamson County Chamber of Commerce2008
League of American Orchestras1946
National Recording Academy of Arts and Sciences (NARAS)1999
American Association of Grant Professionals2010
Americans for the Arts2009
Award for Excellence in FundraisingInternat'l Association of Fundraising Professionals2008
Gold Addy Award - for websiteNat'l Advertising Federation - Local Chapter2008
Emmy Award - Best Live Special Televised Event (for Opening Gala 2006)National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences2008
Grammy Award - Best Orchestral PerformanceNational Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences2008
Grammy Award - Best Classical AlbumNational Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences2008
Awards for Adventurous Programming - 2nd placeASCAP2007
Awards for Adventurous Programming - 3rd PlaceASCAP2008
presented to the Nashville Symphony’s fundraising team for the A Time for Greatness CampaignCampbell & Company National Awards for Excellence in Fundraising2007
Awards for Excellence, recognizing building projects across North and South America - FinalistUrban Land Institute2009
Excellence in Development AwardUrban Land Institute - Nashville Chapter2009
Silver Anvil Award of ExcellencePublic Relations Society of America (PRSA)2009
Achievement in Marketing AwardNashville American Marketing Association2009
Grammy Award - Best Orchestral PerformanceNational Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences2011
Grammy Award - Best Classical Contemporary CompositionNational Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences2011
Grammy Award - Best Engineered Album, ClassicalNational Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences2011
Grammy Award - Best Instrumental Solo, ClassicalNational Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences2012
Silver Anvil AwardPublic Relations Society of America (PRSA)2011
Awards for Adventurous Programming - 3rd PlaceASCAP2011
Awards for Adventurous Programming - 2nd PlaceASCAP2012
Awards for Adventurous Programming - 3rd PlaceASCAP2013
Senior Staff
Title Chief Operating Officer
Experience/Biography Mr. Blakeman joined The Nashville Symphony in 1999 as Operations Manager, was promoted to Director of Operations in 2001, and was named General Manager in 2003. He was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2013. Mr. Blakeman previously served as Director of the Performing Arts Academy at Oklahoma City University where he also served as adjunct instructor for the Margaret E. Petree School of Music. He holds a Music Business degree from MTSU, an M.B.A. in Arts Administration from Oklahoma City Univ. and post-graduate studies at Oklahoma State University. Mr. Blakeman has also had a career as a professional trumpet player.
Title Vice President of Development
Experience/Biography Jonathan Norris joined the Symphony in January of 2006. Mr. Norris's previous experience includes work with the Nashvilles Predators and Gaylord Entertainment Center where he held similar positions. Jonathan graduated from Belmont University with a Music Business degree and then went on to get his Masters in Business Administration/Human Resources Management from the University of Phoenix. Jonathan is a member of the Middle Tennessee and National Chapters of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and is certified as a Professional Human Resource (SPHR) representative from SHRM.
Title Vice President of Communications
Experience/Biography As Vice President of Communications for the Nashville Symphony, Jonathan Marx is responsible for developing cohesive marketing and communications strategy and supervising the institution’s public relations, website, social media, graphic design, advertising, promotions, publications and archives. A member of the Symphony's administrative staff since July 2008, he is a former journalist with 18 years' combined experience as an editor, critic and reporter for the Nashville Scene and The Tennessean.
Title Chief Financial Officer

Chad Boyd was appointed Chief Financial Officer of the Nashville Symphony in December 2013. He most recently served as Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Finance for Reeves-Sain Family of Medical Services in Murfreesboro, TN. Prior to his work for Reeves-Sain, he spent five years as owner and operator of the Chad Boyd Studio, a portrait painting studio and teaching center offering heirloom portraiture, fine art paintings, painting workshops, and classes. Boyd also served as Controller/CAO at MedAlliance and later co-founded CIMplify, a privately held physician practice management company headquartered in Franklin, TN. He graduated cum laude with an accounting degree from Lipscomb University.

CEO Comments


The Nashville Symphony is dedicated to achieving the highest standard for excellence in musical performance and educational programs, while engaging the community, enriching audiences and shaping cultural life.

Over the past year, the Nashville Symphony has:


  • Performed more than 140 concerts at Schermerhorn Symphony Center and at locations across the Middle Tennessee region.
  • Reached nearly 100,000 children and adults through free education and engagement programs tailored to the needs of local schools and communities.
  • Offered 175,000 hours of free programming to people of all ages and backgrounds.
  • Welcomed more than 140,000 ticket buyers to Schermerhorn Symphony Center.


During this same period, through extraordinary generosity, cooperation and hard work, the Nashville Symphony has also:


  • Reduced its annual operating budget by $6 million and cut its annual cash needs by $10.5 million.
  • Successfully restructured its debt on Schermerhorn Symphony Center, reducing the debt by more than 80 percent and reducing the cost of carrying the debt by more than 90 percent.
  • Successfully negotiated a new labor contract with its musicians.
  • Deepened its commitment to serving the community through expanded education and engagement programs.



We have emerged a more financially sound organization, now fully focused on the future. During this challenging time, the organization has remained committed to its mission of artistic excellence and community service.


Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Aug 01 2014
Fiscal Year End July 31 2015
Projected Revenue $21,286,583.00
Projected Expenses $21,286,583.00
Endowment Spending Policy Percentage
Endowment Spending Percentage (if selected) 5%
Detailed Financials
Revenue and ExpensesHelpFinancial data for prior years is entered by foundation staff based on the documents submitted by nonprofit organizations.Foundation staff members enter this information to assure consistency in the presentation of financial data across all organizations.
Fiscal Year201320122011
Total Revenue$21,136,846$21,565,208$45,857,771
Total Expenses$34,368,792$33,301,610$33,185,174
Revenue Less Expenses($13,231,946)($11,736,402)$12,672,597
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201320122011
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$322,850$314,900$349,750
Individual Contributions$4,096,968$9,879,300$13,763,652
Investment Income, Net of Losses$8,748,378$2,224,138$1,301,165
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$564,959$822,091$825,030
Revenue In-Kind$0$25,465$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201320122011
Program Expense$29,260,862$29,088,328$27,688,698
Administration Expense$3,688,848$2,974,048$3,326,527
Fundraising Expense$1,419,082$1,239,234$2,169,949
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.620.651.38
Program Expense/Total Expenses85%87%83%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue28%11%15%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201320122011
Total Assets$128,202,779$181,289,803$209,803,881
Current Assets$17,936,504$31,168,192$35,893,358
Long-Term Liabilities$25,250,000$0$23,138,348
Current Liabilities$5,076,219$109,238,949$93,640,338
Total Net Assets$97,876,560$72,050,854$93,025,195
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201320122011
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities3.530.290.38
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201320122011
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets20%0%11%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201320122011
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountInvestment Income $8,748,378Contributions, Gifts, and Grants $9,879,300Flood Proceeds (Other) $18,879,877
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountProgram Service Revenue $7,017,741Program Service Revenue $7,934,210Individual Contributions $13,763,652
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, Gifts and Grants $4,096,968Investment Income $2,224,138Program Service Revenue $5,947,595
Capital Campaign
Is the organization currently conducting a Capital Campaign for an endowment or the purchase of a major asset? No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit
TN Charitable Solicitations Registration Yes - Expires Jan 2015
Organization Comments

Through frequent attendance and generous annual contributions, the Nashville community supports and validates our mission to provide unparalleled musical experiences throughout Middle Tennessee. This support comes from generous corporations and foundations, as well as from thousands of individuals who are committed to helping Nashville fulfill its potential as the world’s greatest music center.

Our goal is to more than double our base of reliable, renewable annual support—from $4 million in 2013 to $10 million by 2018 – in order to provide the financial infrastructure necessary to fulfill our mission. To accomplish this, we will continue to expand our base of support at all levels. Our Board of Directors, musicians and staff have already deepened their commitment to the Nashville Symphony through their tireless work, sacrifices, and generous contributions. Financial Comments
In-kind contributions are largely guest artist services (i.e. donated plane tickets and hotel rooms).
Special events are sponsored by "friends of" organization.
Nashville Symphony receives only the net revenue from the event. Event expenses are not reflected in Nashville Symphony's fundraising expenses. 
Foundation and Corporate contributions are included in the Individuals sum as this information is not separated in the Form 990.
Financial figures are taken from the 990.
Financial documents prepared by Crowe Horwath, LLP.
Comments provided by Laurel Fisher 7/15/14.
Nonprofit Nashville Symphony Association
Address One Symphony Place
Nashville, TN 372012031
Primary Phone (615) 687-6500
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Alan D. Valentine
Board Chair Mr. James C. Seabury III
Board Chair Company Affiliation Enterprise Electric
Year of Incorporation 1946