First orchestral outing for hip-hop artist Nelly, with the Columbus Symphony

Posted on: July 7, 2016

“Fans of Nelly know many of his hits by heart. But even the hip-hop artist’s most ardent admirers will not have heard the singer-rapper perform live with an orchestra behind him,” writes Peter Tonguette in Thursday’s (7/7) Columbus Dispatch (Ohio). “On Saturday, in his first orchestral collaboration, Nelly will team with the Columbus Symphony [and] conductor Albert-George Schram…. The performance represents the inaugural installment of ‘A Night of Symphonic Hip Hop,’ … produced by Stephen Cook of TCG Entertainment in Dallas. The program pairs hip-hop artists with orchestras; Nelly is the first performer to be featured. Additional concerts with the singer are planned, including an appearance with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on July 14…. After Nelly’s first album, ‘Country Grammar,’ in 2000, the 41-year-old native of Austin, Texas—born Cornell Haynes Jr.—has released a number of edgy hits.… At Nelly’s request, the … orchestra will rehearse twice with Nelly; most guest artists participate in a single rehearsal.” Said Columbus Symphony Vice President of Programming Rich Corsi, “He … wants to make sure that it’s going to be perfect.” The summer issue of Symphony, which comes out on July 15, includes a feature article about orchestras and rappers.  

Posted July 7, 2016

Photo of Nelly by Don Arnold / WireImage