Nashville Symphony Kicks Off First-Ever Composer Lab Fellowship | Nashville Public Radio

Nashville Symphony Kicks Off First-Ever Composer Lab Fellowship

Oct 7, 2016

The Nashville Symphony will play music by a young composer from California’s Bay Area this weekend, in a performance that kicks off an intensive, season-long relationship with the artist.

24-year-old Gabriela Smith was one of five composers chosen to take part in a workshops at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center last year. The Nashville Symphony offered feedback, mentoring sessions and a chance for the composers to hear their work played by a full orchestra. Over the course of three days, the Smith wowed the symphony’s leaders with her talent and eagerness to learn.

Gabriella Smith's Tumblebird Contrails was inspired by a moment on the Pacific Coast, listening to the "hallucinatory" sounds of nature. The music evokes bird calls and ocean waves.
Credit Nashville Symphony

Now she is the ensemble’s first-ever Composer Lab Fellow. The fellowship began this week, as she participated in rehearsals of Tumblebird Contrails, the music that earned her spot in last year’s workshops. She’ll keep coming back through the course of the season, meeting with Nashville’s conducting staff and musicians as well as visiting artists. That includes chances to work with other composers in a season when the orchestra is playing, recording and, in some cases, premiering quite a bit of new music.

Smith just finished a year-long fellowship at the Curtis Institute, which is also where she earned her bachelor’s degree. She shares that alma mater with the symphony’s Associate Conductor Parameswaran, who makes his classical series debut on this program of music by Smith, Grieg and Prokofiev.