WFMT Press Room

For Immediate Release:

October 2, 2007

Chicago's WFMT Radio Network Begins International Distribution of Nashville Symphony's American Encores Radio Series

Leonard Slatkin and Edgar Meyer Co-Host Groundbreaking New Program Featuring American Composers

Nashville, Tenn. (Oct. 2, 2007) WFMT Radio Network out of Chicago starts syndication this week of the Nashville Symphony’s innovative new radio series, American Encores.

Hosted by Nashville Symphony Music Advisor Leonard Slatkin and world-renowned bassist and composer Edgar Meyer, the 13 one-hour programs consist of interviews with living composers involved in the Nashville Symphony's American Encores programming initiative, as well as performances by the Nashville Symphony of those composers’ works. The newly released radio series features American composers highlighted during the Nashville Symphony’s 2006/07 season, which include Joan Tower, Gabriela Lena Frank, Philip Glass, Ned Rorem, Augusta Read Thomas, Avner Dorman and Michael Daugherty, among others.

"The Nashville Symphony stands in a unique position among American orchestras," remarked Maestro Slatkin. "Through the American Encores series, they have established themselves in an enviable position as this country’s leader in the presentation of its classical music heritage. It is with great pride that we now offer the fruits of this artistic labor to a wider audience via radio."

WFMT Radio Network has made the American Encores series available for free starting in October for all public and commercial radio stations carrying classical music. The series will be made available quarterly throughout the next year and will air locally on 98.7WFMT in Chicago beginning in early 2008. Production for the next 13-week American Encores season is currently underway.

In addition to the radio series, the Nashville Symphony has American Encores podcasts available for download exclusively on the Nashville Symphony website at: under "Multimedia." The podcasts are brief previews of each of the radio series programs that include additional commentary, interviews and music.

The Nashville Symphony launched its American Encores initiative during the 2006/07 season by programming one seldom-heard work by a living American composer or an American master on every SunTrust Classical Series concert. The Symphony also promotes American music through their recordings on Naxos' American Classics label, for which it has received four Grammy-Award nominations, including one for "Best Classical Album" for the works of Elliott Carter.

"The American Encores radio series is unlike any other classical music series in that the entire focus of these programs is on American composers and their music," said Alan D. Valentine, President and CEO of the Nashville Symphony. "With expert direction from both Leonard Slatkin and Edgar Meyer, accompanied by interviews from living composers about their music, the American Encores radio series is a much needed voice for the breadth of talented composers in our country today. The Nashville Symphony is proud to have conceived, created and produced this important series."

The American Encores radio series and podcasts were produced by Blanton Alspaugh of Sound Mirror. The associate producer is Richard Dyer and recording engineer is John Hill. The series was also funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

For audio samples of the American Encores radio series, please contact Christy Crytzer at 615-687-6565 or by e-mail at

For a complete list of programs, please visit the WFMT website or the Nashville Symphony’s website.

The Nashville Symphony, led by President and CEO Alan D. Valentine, Music Advisor Leonard Slatkin, and future Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero, is made up of 84 full-time musicians. Each season, the Symphony performs and presents more than 140 concerts, including classical, pops, jazz and Pied Piper children's performances. Founded in 1946, the Nashville Symphony has been a cultural ambassador for the citizens of Middle Tennessee for more than 60 years.

Schermerhorn Symphony Center, the new home of the Nashville Symphony, opened its doors to critical acclaim on September 9, 2006. Designed by David M. Schwarz/Architectural Services, Inc., Akustiks, and Fisher Dachs Associates, the 197,000-square-foot Symphony Center has transformed Nashville's musical landscape to become a cultural masterpiece in the city's flourishing downtown area.

The WFMT Radio Network, the international syndication division of award-winning Chicago classical music station 98.7 FM WFMT (streaming live at, produces and distributes these broadcasts nationwide. In addition to the New York Philharmonic broadcasts, WFMT syndicates concerts by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, as well as ongoing series and documentary specials such as Exploring Music with Bill McGlaughlin and Leonard Bernstein: An American Life. The WFMT Radio Network also offers exclusive programming from Germany’s Deutsche Welle Radio, the British Broadcasting Corporation, and dozens of classical, folk, jazz, news series, and specials to radio outlets around the world.

WFMT Media Contact:
Holly H. Gilson
98.7WFMT and the WFMT Radio Network
(773) 509-5424

WFMT Contact:
David Polk
98.7WFMT and the WFMT Radio Network
(773) 279-2011