Thu., Sept. 16, 7 p.m., Fri., Sept. 17, 8 p.m., Sat., Sept. 18, 8 p.m. and Sun., Sept. 19, 2 p.m. 2010
Long-celebrated piano virtuoso André Watts helps the Nashville Symphony get its classical season rolling with a program of concert hall staples. Watts will perform Beethoven’s landmark “Emperor” Piano Concerto No. 5, which inverted the era’s usual practice by opening with a flourish from the soloist — a gesture sometimes interpreted as epitomizing the outbreak of individualism in 19th century music. Watts has been a staple of the U.S. concert stage since Leonard Bernstein introduced him as a child prodigy in the early 1960s. The pianist won a Grammy in 1964 and has been wowing audiences worldwide ever since. Bernstein’s own set of Symphonic Dances from West Side Story is also featured, and Tchaikovsky’s early masterpiece Romeo and Juliet rounds out the program. Admission is $35-$85.