By Cindy McCain
Spanish speakers, English speakers and learners of both languages will be immersed and elated as the Nashville Symphony presents a hilarious Halloween Murder Mystery, The Composer is Dead. The family concert will be held Saturday, October 29 at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in two performances: narrated at 11 AM in English and at 12:30 PM in Spanish.
Lemony Snicket, children’s author of the “whodunit,” has quipped that his The Composer is Dead is “the gateway drug that leads to loving classical music.” Nashville Symphony Music Director, Giancarlo Guerrero, will narrate the performances and calls the show that entertains both children and parents “the perfect combination of great music and education.” As he “interrogates” the orchestra in search of the culprit, the audience learns what each instrument does…and more. Guerrero explains:
The production introduces kids to the orchestra by exploring each section. They’ll hear how sections take on personalities. For instance, the violin, who plays the melodies, is envied by the oboe who feels he should be trusted to start the show. Everyone had reason to kill the composer. We’ll see if the audience can figure out who did it.
Last year Guerrero conducted Peter and the Wolf which was also offered in English and Spanish. Born in Nicaragua and raised in Costa Rica, the Grammy-winning graduate of Baylor and Northwestern first fell in love with classical music listening to his father’s collection. At twelve he began playing with the Youth Symphony after school. Guerrero recalls:
My hobby became my passion. I saw my first orchestra at the National Symphony of Costa Rica. Seeing my teachers and coaches was inspiring and I realized classical music is a cool thing.
Classical music is having the biggest growth in Latin America. For years countries like Venezuela, Mexico, Brazil and so many others have been investing in arts and classical music. There are many creative programs.
Associate Conductor Kelly Corcoran says:
The Pied Piper series encourages all children to get to know our Symphony in a fun environment. By offering Spanish and English versions, we hope to reach more people in our community and introduce our younger listeners to the magic of a live performance.In addition, the series provides children an interactive musical experience, with a hands-on instrument petting zoo before each concert, as well as crafts and other activities.
The Composer is Dead points out comically that all composers-- Bach, Beethoven, Mozart--end up dead. So I asked Guerrero which deceased composer is his favorite. He said he doesn’t have just one because “no composer is really dead.” And though he loves classical music, his interests don't stop there. Of future productions Guerrero says:
I make eclectic choices and have to narrow down. My favorite styles change from time to time whether classical, jazz, rock and roll. It’s such an elimination process.
Help Narrator Guerrero narrow down suspects at The Composer is Dead by going here for ticket information. Tickets for the Spanish performance start at $10. For more info, visit NashvilleSymphony.org or call 615.687.6400.