Mar 15, 2022 - Things to Do

Nashville Symphony to debut work by 80s rocker Kip Winger

Kip Winger singing into a microphone

Kip Winger. Photo: Debra L Rothenberg/Getty Images

The Nashville Symphony this week will debut the first symphony by Kip Winger, the metal rocker turned classical composer.

  • He fronted the 1980s rock band Winger and churned out hits like "Seventeen."

Why it matters: Performing Winger's Symphony No. 1 highlights the creative collaborations championed by Nashville Symphony conductor Giancarlo Guerrero.

  • The symphony previously collaborated with Winger on his composition "Conversations with Nijinsky."

Flashback: Winger, who lives in Nashville, said his journey to becoming a classical composer began when he was 16 and was asked to take ballet class by a girl he was dating.

  • "None of her friends would do it with her, and I was fresh out of karate and all stretched out," Winger said in an interview posted on the Symphony's YouTube page. "So I said, 'I'll do it,' because I was always up for something. And I took to it like a duck to water."
  • It was in ballet class that Winger, who was normally listening to Led Zeppelin, first heard the classical compositions of icons like Tchaikovsky.

Between the lines: Winger says the idea for his symphony is a person receiving Morse code messages of atonement from "his own lost soul."

  • Each of the symphony's four movements has a one-word message translated into Morse code, which Winger has embedded into the composition.

Details: Winger's Symphony No. 1 will be performed this Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

  • It will also mark the first recording session by the Nashville Symphony since the pandemic.
  • Tickets: $25 - $155.

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