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classical correspondent Russell Johnston:
Yesterday, The Nashville Symphony announced what has to be its most ambitious season to date. The 2010/11 concert schedule encompasses old favorites and world premieres, and a long list of guest artists features great pianist André Watts, conductor and NSO ally Leonard Slatkin, and the conductorless Orpheus Chamber Orchestra as well as numerous younger virtuosos.
The wide-ranging repertoire includes familiar concertos by Beethoven, Brahms and Rachmaninoff, modern landmarks like Stravinsky's Rite of Spring and Berg's Lyric Suite, well-tested contemporary composers like John Adams and Joan Tower, and newly commissioned works from more recent arrivals like Daniel Bernard Roumain. Trust us, that's a just small sample--we haven't even mentioned any of the intriguing lesser-known works on offer.
Two colossal works by Mahler neatly flank the schedule. September's gala opening will assemble a cast of hundreds to play and sing his all-embracing Symphony No. 8, and the season closes with the early Symphony No. 2. Mahler's broad, expressive scope and crystalline orchestration perfectly suit the NSO's spacious and transparent sound. Is it too much to hope for a full Mahler cycle from Maestro Guerrero over seasons to come?