Nashville Symphony conductor dies

Nashville Symphony conductor dies: Sad news. Nashville Symphony conductor Kenneth Schermerhorn died this morning. I’ll link to stories as they become available.

Announcement on Symphony’s website:

An icon of the
performing arts in Nashville whose influence will be felt for
generations, Maestro Schermerhorn personified the city’s artistic
accomplishments and aspirations. Like the city he adopted, the Maestro
was a marvelous mixture of bravado and kindness, tradition and
openness, seriousness and laughter. Like the world-class concert hall
named in his honor that is now rising in downtown Nashville,
Schermerhorn Symphony Center, he accepted no compromises in an
unrelenting dedication to excellence.
  • Mike Ray

    I am fighting a since of sadness and grief, as I learn of the passing of Kenneth Schermerhorn. Not only did we lose one of the greatest conductor, composers in the history of American classical music, but we lost a man with the heart large enough to share with the American citizen the beauty and passion of Symphonic music.

    I will be happy that the historians will say that his legacy will be that of a great orchestra builder. What he did in Nashville, Milwaukee and New Jersey demonstrated his ability as a master builder and musician. But his greater achievement was his ability to communicate the joy and the beauty that this world has to offer. Never better demonstrated than when he would talk one on one with the musician, the corner baker, or the young wistful student.

    It was my great pleasure to meet with Mr. Schermerhorn in 1981. He had granted me, and Milwaukee historian Jerry Braden, (back in my days as a fine arts writer for ABC Radio News) an extensive interview about his life, and his passion for all things musical. He was at the time, between working his usual miracles. He had just finished his incredible tenure in Milwaukee, as was soon to work his magic again. This time, in the sleepy giant known as Nashville. On that day he was very charming, but also somewhat restless. He wanted, during this open window of opportunity to compose, and put on paper, all that was dancing in his heart, but at the same time he was itching for at least one more opportunity to build yet, another orchestra.

    When Nashville picked him, and he accepted, it raised a few eyebrows. But for those who knew him, and understood his spirit and what he was capable of, sat back with delight, knowing full well what was about to happen to that wonderful city. And happen it did. Mr. Schermerhorn rolled up his sleeves and went to work. The time passed, and the miracle worked again. Today, the Nashville symphony orchestra is a national power, and can be spoken in the same breath with the great orchestras of our day.

    I was delighted to learn sometime ago, that the new hall would be named after him. I know he would have been overwhelmed with the opportunity of conducting from that podium. What a wonderful tribute. But his true legacy will be found in the hearts and minds of the young trumpet player in the high school band, the librarian who will place his works on the shelf for all to discover, and to the everyday citizen who discovered the joy, the passion, and the beauty of symphonic music, because of the loving dedication of this wonderful caring man.

    Sometimes the most significant people in our lives pass us by before we realize it. Kenneth Schermerhorn was a gift beyond measure. For those of us who felt the warmth of his smile and were impacted by his spirit take with us the realization that he was one of the most significant people in our lives.

  • Mike Ray

    This was very well said. Mr. Schermerhorn was a truly gifted man.

  • Mike Ray

    This was very well said. Mr. Schermerhorn was a truly gifted man.