fort smith symphony

The Fort Smith Symphony has two concerts left in the 2016-2017 season.

Cover to Fort Smith Symphony's 20th Season Catalog

This season John Jeter celebrates his 20th anniversary as music director for the Fort Smith Symphony. With such a run, one might assume Jeter was steeped in music theory since birth. "I got interested in music in sort of a backwards way," he admits. "There wasn't much music at home." Rather, his lifelong love of classical music began after visiting a friend whose mom always had classical recordings on the turntable. The 2016-2017 seasons kicks off September 11th with superstar violinist Joshua Bell.

  Believe it or not, there was a time when John Jeter, music director of the Fort Smith Symphony, didn't even know what a symphony was. What drew him in was simply beautiful music. As he explains to me, he fell in love with the form when visiting a friend whose mom always had recordings of Beethoven, Mozart and Wagner on the record player.

“I was just a kid, caught up in the music’s magnificence, and marveling at my new discovery—the first jewel I had found in the treasure chest of symphonies by Beethoven,” violinist Joshua Bell says of hearing Beethoven’s 7th Symphony for the first time, his mom playing her favorite symphony on the record player at home.

courtesy / Fort Smith Symphony

John Jeter's 20th season as conductor and music director the for Fort Smith Symphony is approaching.  We asked him about the past, present and future of the symphony and classical music.