Nashville Symphony Premieres Work by Iconic Composer Terry Riley Featuring Electric Violin Pioneer Tracy Silverman

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The Nashville Symphony will premiere a new work by Terry Riley, the legendary “father of Minimalism,” on May 3-5, 2012, at Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville, TN. Commissioned by the Symphony, The Palmian Chord Ryddle for Electric Violin and Orchestra will also feature Nashville-based electric violinist Tracy Silverman as soloist. One week later, the Nashville Symphony will travel to New York City to perform the work at Carnegie Hall on Saturday, May 12, as part of the Spring for Music Festival.

Credit, Martin B. Cherry

Composer Terry Riley and Electric Violinist Tracy Silverman rehearsing for Nashville Symphony premiere

Each day in our city, new music — distinctly American music — is being written, recorded and performed, and it’s important and meaningful for us to be a part of that,” says Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero.

The Palmian Chord Ryddle is one of only a few Terry Riley works to be commissioned by a major American orchestra. Among the most significant musical figures of the last 50 years, Riley launched the Minimalist movement with his revolutionary classic In C in 1964. His work changed the course of 20th century music, and his influence can be heard in both classical and popular music, in the work of artists including The Who, Yoko Ono, Velvet Underground, Brian Eno, Philip Glass and Steve Reich.

Over the past decade, the GRAMMY®-winning Nashville Symphony has become renowned for its commitment to commissioning, premiering and recording new American music.

“Each day in our city, new music — distinctly American music — is being written, recorded and performed, and it’s important and meaningful for us to be a part of that,” says Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero. “Because of where we live and the creative energy in Nashville, our audience is receptive to new music. People are excited by the idea that when they go to a premiere, they can expect to hear the classics of tomorrow.

“Riley’s Ryddle is one of those pieces — it’s incredibly moving and full of beautiful passages. I think it will have a broad appeal because it taps into a variety of musical traditions and finds a way to connect them through the singular voice of our wonderfully talented soloist.”

Soloist Tracy Silverman has been lauded by the BBC as “the greatest living exponent of the electric violin.” Shortly after graduating from The Juilliard School in 1980, he built one of the first-ever six-string violins and began a lifelong adventure as a musical pioneer: designing, building, commissioning new instruments and performing on an instrument that did not previously exist.

“The journey of the six-string came from the fact that I was interested in rock, jazz and music from India and Brazil, and I wanted to find a way to get all those sounds out of a violin,” Silverman says. “I entered Juilliard wanting to be the next Jasha Heifetz, but I left wanting to be the next Jimi Hendrix. My musical odyssey has brought me full circle — from classical roots to rock to jazz to world music, and now back to the classical world as a soloist — a destination I might not have achieved if not for the untraditional journey I took.”

Learn more about the Nashville Symphony’s Carnegie Hall performance at http://roadtocarnegie.com/riley-silverman-palmian/.

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Laurie Davis
Nashville Symphony
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