The neoclassical Schermerhorn Symphony Center, located in downtown Nashville, is home to the critically acclaimed Nashville Symphony. Maestro Kenneth Schermerhorn was the music director and conductor of the Grammy Award-winning orchestra for 22 years. The center was named in his honor, before his death in 2005.
The world-class Laura Turner Concert Hall is housed in this building, which encompasses a full city block. The shoebox design was inspired by some of the world’s great concert halls, many of which were built in Europe in the late 19th century. Construction began in December 2003, and in less than three years the doors opened to the public for its first concert on September 9, 2006.
Since Nashville is known as Music City, the building was designed to accommodate a variety of musical genres, including classical, pops, cabaret, choral, jazz and blues. An automated system of moveable banners and panels, located around the hall, can adjust the acoustics for various types of performances.
One of the most innovative features of the Schermerhorn Symphony Center is a convertible seating system. The orchestra-level seating of the concert hall can be transformed from rows of comfortable theater seating to a 5,700-square-foot hardwood ballroom floor, typically used for cabaret-style events such as pops and jazz concerts. A unique motorized chair-wagon system lowers rows of seats into a special storage space below the surface of the ballroom floor. This convertible system gives the concert hall great flexibility for numerous types of events throughout the year.
The building is also available for use by children, parents and teachers to promote music education and music appreciation. Other attributes include a public garden and cafe, enclosed by a colonnade, on the west side of the building. The colonnade, across Fourth Avenue South from the Country Music Hall of Fame, is open to the public throughout the day and during concerts.
Along with its many other innovations, this building is heated and cooled by the Nashville District Energy System.