Founded in 1990 by Music Director Paul Gambill, the Nashville Chamber Orchestra has become recognized as one of America's premiere chamber orchestras. It's imaginative style of Music Without Boundaries programming has led to recordings for Warner Brothers, Albany, Angel, Almanac and Alabaster Records, and a steady stream of national media.
The NCO specializes in commissioning works that cross musical boundaries by integrating the performance practices of Western orchestra music with jazz, American folk and fiddle traditions, and world music. By presenting these new works alongside masterpieces from the traditional repertoire, the NCO is challenging audience's perception of what an orchestra can be, while creating a new kind of orchestra music relevant to today's culture.
Since beginning its commissioning program in 1996, the NCO has commissioned and premiered 36 works by American composers. Composer residencies have included Conni Ellisor (1998-2002), J. Mark Scearce (2002-2005), and a Music Alive Extended Residency with David Balakrishnan (2005-2008) through support from the American Symphony Orchestra League and Meet The Composer.
The NCO was founded to bring together the freelance musicians of Nashville's legendary studio recording scene. Their artistic excellence and stylistic range has led to collaborations with a diverse group of artists, including: national tours in 2003 and 2004 as part of the Amy Grant & Vince Gill Simply Christmas Tour, which took the NCO to nearly 200,000 people in 34 cities across the country; performing for an audience of over 90,000 with Trey Anastasio at the 2004 Bannaroo Music & Arts Festival; Sharon Isbin; Turtle Island String Quartet; John Jorgenson; and sold out concerts with Martina McBride and Alison Krauss at Nashville's Historic Ryman Auditorium and Grand Ole Opry House.