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So often in the face of adversity we manage to come together and help those in need to cope with tremendous loss. Today the Philharmonic arrived in Nashville to perform this evening in an alternate venue: the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. Due to its location on higher ground, the Tennessee Performing Arts Center did not suffer flood damage as did the much newer Schermerhorn Concert Hall, home to the Nashville Symphony. The concert was highly emotional for two important reasons: we were able to play a magnificent concert to assist in the healing of this flood stricken city, and to present a contribution (nearly $7,000 from the musicians of the Philharmonic) for a total of $25,000 to help the Nashville Symphony replace one of the two Steinway concert grands that were lost in the flooding.
Having never experienced Nashville before, I was immediately taken with the hospitality and warmth of the locals in addition to some pretty tasty Southern food. There's a unique vibe in this city of great music making and it's thrilling as a member of the LA Philharmonic to experience it as well as show them some great music making courtesy of Los Angeles. Music is the bonding force between our two great cities and it's an honor to share that with our hosts.
Tomorrow I hope to visit with an old high school friend who's done very well as a song writer as well as being the founder of the Music for the Soul Foundation. His name is Steve Siler. And finally, Nashville is known as "Athens of the South" and is actually larger in square miles than Los Angeles! Tomorrow is a free day...yeah!!!