The Nashville Symphony has announced the appointment of Titus Underwood to the position of principal oboist. This marks the first appointment of an African American musician to a top position in the orchestra in 50 years. Underwood had been in the role of principal oboe for more than a year as interim. The symphony announced yesterday that he is moving in permanently.
Conductor Giancarlo Guerrero praised Underwood's work as both a player and a leader in the orchestra's educational programming, noting his "tremendous sensitivity and skill as a musician."
As principal oboist, Underwood will serve as his section's leader and perform frequently as a soloist. He also is in charge of tuning the orchestra, by establishing an "A" note at the beginning of performances.
The Nashville Symphony has announced that Kevin Bate has been awarded the position of principal cello. Bate has been a member of the orchestra since 2015 as assistant principal cello, and acting principal.
Maestro Guerrero noted Bate's musicianship, saying that as the orchestra expands its role in the community, he looks forward to Bate's leadership in the organization.
You can hear Titus Underwood and Kevin Bate, along with the rest of the orchestra, on 91Classical's Nashville Symphony Broadcasts Sunday nights at 8pm through the summer.
This article was updated Friday April 12 at 5:45pm.