The Nashville Concerto Orchestra is a volunteer-based community orchestra that provides soloists, conductors, and orchestra members the opportunity to perform from the vast concerto repertoire. 

The NCO’s free (donations accepted) quarterly concerts allow members of the Nashville community a chance to enjoy performances from members of the Nashville Symphony, local professors and students from Nashville’s many colleges and universities (including Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music), and session musicians from many of the hit albums recorded in Nashville, as well as providing amateur musicians with a comfortable place to perform as a part of an orchestra. Leaving their tuxedos and pit blacks at home, these musicians arrive dressed as themselves in their regular day wear, creating an intimate and casual atmosphere that invites the audience to get to know these talented volunteers. 

The groundwork for the orchestra is simple: All are welcome. There is one rehearsal, the day of the concert. If possible, parts will be provided beforehand. If an orchestra member performs four (4) concerts with the orchestra, they are eligible to perform as a soloist, conductor, or submit an original piece for the orchestra to perform!

Co-founder Roger Wiesmeyer (English Horn player for the Nashville Symphony) aimed to base the Nashville Concerto Orchestra on a similar grass-roots orchestra in San Francisco. “When thinking about why I brought the concerto orchestra to Nashville, I keep circling around the idea of communities. Musicians, amateur/professional/student/retired coming together in a joyous supportive atmosphere to create again timeless music that we love…and share it with all the various communities that ARE Music City. The Nashville Concerto Orchestra: We make it personal!”

Co-founder Larissa Maestro, whose diverse work can be heard on recordings such as Margo Price’s debut “Midwest Farmer’s Daughter” to arena performances with Eminem and Michael Bublé, helps connect the orchestra to the pop, rock, and recording industry communities. “The Nashville Concerto Orchestra isn’t just an opportunity for soloists,” she says, “it’s also an opportunity for professional musicians like me to play with a full orchestra, something many of us haven’t done since high school or college. Since there’s no audition process, anyone can be a part of it!” 

If they are very fortunate, many classical musicians spend their lives making music with famous soloists, conductors and composers. The Nashville Concerto Orchestra gives its talented volunteers the chance to step into those featured roles and be supported by an entire orchestra. Though Nashville audiences may recognize musicians like Denise Baker of the Nashville Symphony, the NCO provides the opportunity to hear her perform one of her favorite compositions, the regularly neglected “Poeme” by Ernest Chausson.

Bassoonist and past soloist Maya Stone says, "I loved having the opportunity to solo with the Nashville Concerto Orchestra playing Ciranda das Sete Notas by Villa-Lobos. This group gives many opportunities to the people who participate in both the orchestra and to solo in front of it. It's also awesome for the audience to experience supporting their community musicians in this format. I'm very grateful for this organization!"

Classical guitarist and past soloist Grant Ferris reflects, “Playing with the Nashville Concerto Orchestra was a dream come true for me. Nearly every classical guitarist, myself included, hopes to one day be called to play Joaquin Rodrigo’s masterpiece Concierto de Aranjuez. In addition, playing with an orchestra of high caliber musicians who share the same love for music is an honor.”

Past soloists include Gil Perel (Nashville Symphony), Felix Wang (Faculty, Blair School of Music), Zach Casebolt (Ray Price, Black Mozart), Michael Samis, Stephen Drake (Nashville Symphony), Jessica Blackwell (Nashville Symphony), Alicia Enstrom (ALIAS Chamber Ensemble), Matt Combs (Grand Ole Opry).

For more information about the Nashville Concerto Orchestra, or to inquire about getting involved, email us at