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 both 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.”
He adds of the bilingual production’s appeal: “Classical music is having the biggest growth in Latin America. For years countries such as 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.” The Series also 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 comically points out that orchestrating music is a risky business. After all, Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart are all deceased. So I asked Guerrero which “dead composer” is his favorite. Affirming the livng power of music makers, he says he can’t choose one because “no composer is really dead.” A fan of many artists and genres, he says of future productions: “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.”
On October 29 concert-goers can help the Nashville Symphony Orchestra narrow down suspects by first going here for ticket information. Tickets for the Spanish performance begin at $10. For more info, visit NashvilleSymphony.org or call 615.687.6400.