Quartets each played two sets in three locations — the Stone Terraces, the Martha H. Ashe Garden and the Stone Greenhouse. The evening concluded with the entire orchestra performing in the Dogwood Center where some audience members were seated inside and many others set up chairs outside and listened as the music wafted out the open doors.
The timing allowed guests to wander from location to location for the first hour, experiencing some of the greatest music of Western civilization in various lovely settings.
This was the second year the KSO has performed a free concert at the Botanical Garden, located just five minutes from downtown in East Knoxville. Rachel Ford, executive director of the Knoxville Symphony, said the idea for the concert came during the pandemic when the organization was looking for ways to provide outdoor listening experiences. But it looks like it has become a tradition.
“We thank our friends at the Botanical Garden for partnering with us,” Ford said. “This concert fit the protocols of the time — and, as an added bonus, it also contributed to the Symphony’s mission of offering performances that reach East Tennessee audiences of all ages. We look forward to performing in the Garden again next fall.”
Music director and conductor Aram Demirjian explained that 80 percent of the Symphony’s performances are not held on the stages of its traditional venues but are located instead at libraries, hospitals and other settings such as the Garden. “So, if you liked what you heard tonight, follow us!” he urged.