Pair a world class symphony with a world class concert hall, and you have an incredible music experience.

In a city where music reverberates from Honky Tonks to the Grand Ole Opry, the Nashville Symphony takes the Music City label to another level.

Alan Valentine has been the President and CEO of the Nashville Symphony for over twenty years.

"For me it's been the dream job," said Valentine.

In that time, Valentine has seen the orchestra transformed into one of the finest symphonies in the world. But it's also the world class concert hall that makes listening to great music a truly special experience.

Valentine, standing in the hall, claps his hands.

"Did you hear that? Two seconds of reverberation time, it's exactly what you want for an un-amplified acoustic sound... the room functions like a big amplifier. So you hear the sound coming off the stage first, then the side walls and ceiling, then off the back wall, and it creates that sense of envelopment," said Valentine. 

As you sit in the hall enjoying the music, you may not even be aware of the detail that has been thought through, and it all has to do with sound reflection. Nothing is left to acoustic chance, including the wood carvings on the walls of the hall.

"The hall is named the Laura Turner Hall, after the mother of donors Cal and Steve Turner, she was a pianist. So you see a piano keyboard, five lines of the musical staff. Very nice right? A nice homage to Laura Turner, but what it really is, is an acoustic diffusion panel. If that were a hard flat surface, the reverberation coming off of it would be harsh," said Valentine

The Schermerhorn's reputation for perfect sound is being used as a model for other symphonies.

"The folks in New York at Lincoln Center prepare to renovate David Geffen Hall, they have made several trips down to Nashville to study this room," said Valentine.

Valentine believes the credit for the symphony's success, lies first and foremost with the city of Nashville.

"To live and work in a city that has no idea what it can't accomplish, where the community really cares about building things of quality, and the city that values excellence," said Valentine.

Music, according to Valentine, is the thread that brings it all together.

"And so to work in a field where your job is essentially to make peoples lives better, what a gift," said Valentine.

Copyright 2019 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Alan Frio is the anchor of News4's evening newscasts on Saturdays and Sundays.

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