It's officially the spookiest time of year: the cobwebs are hung and the candy is ready... now for the music. Nashville has no shortage of Halloween-themed performances leading up to All Hallows' Eve, and classical music fans can celebrate in macabre style with a ballet about a suspected murderess, a chamber opera from the perspective of a madman, a live organ performance underscoring the creepiest silent film of all time and more. Just try not to get too scared:
Lizzie Borden with The Raven at Nashville Ballet
October 26-28, 7:30PM
TPAC’s Polk Theater
For over a century, true crime enthusiasts and the general public alike have been fascinated by the story of Lizzie Borden, who in 1892 was tried and acquitted of the brutal axe murders of her father and stepmother in Fall River, Massachusetts.
The Nashville Ballet first staged Borden’s sensationalized and controversial tale in 2006 with choreography from Nashville Ballet Artistic Director & CEO Paul Vasterling. This year's production features updated movement, the addition of ghostlike "shadow people" and a brand new score from English composer Philip Feeney, known for his macabre ballet scores for works like Dracula and The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Also on the program is the world premiere of The Raven, a synthesis of Edgar Allan Poe’s haunting poem, choreography by Nashville Ballet Company Dancer Christopher Stuart, and some of Franz Liszts' darkest piano pieces.
Diary of A Madman at Austin Peay State University
October 31, 7:30PM
Mabry Concert Hall
Guy de Maupassant’s 1886 short story The Diary of a Madman serves as the inspiration for a new chamber opera composed by Leanna Kirchoff, to be premiered by Jeffrey Williams (baritone), Kevin Jablonski (double bass) and Jeffrey Wood (piano).
A Halloween night performance is especially fitting, as de Maupassant’s tale centers around a respected judge and his diary entries, discovered after his death at age 82. The entries begin with philosophical observations on the nature of destruction and killing, and descend with startling efficiency into first-hand accounts of the serial murders the he commits while simultaneously presiding over the court.
Tune in to Live in Studio C at 12:06 earlier that day to hear a preview of The Diary of a Madman.
Nosferatu with organist Peter Krasinski
Oct. 31, 7:30PM
Schermerhorn Symphony Center
Halloween returns to the Schermerhorn with the classic 1922 vampire flick Nosferatu, accompanied by Peter Krasinski on the venue’s Martin Foundation Concert Organ. The Symphony pulls out all the spooky stops for this annual event, so plan to arrive early for the pre-show food trucks, themed drinks (this year’s choice: the Dracula’s Kiss Cocktail), photo booth and costume contest.
Halloween programming on 91Classical
Tune in to 91Classical to hear our favorite pieces for Halloween programmed throughout the day. We've got the tried and true classics (J.S. Bach's Toccata and Fugue in d minor, anyone?), as well as some spooky lesser-known pieces on ghostly themes.