Several orchestras are marking the Mexican Day of the Dead with concerts, family events, exhibits by community artists and organizations, and other activities. Here is a partial list.
On November 4, the San Francisco Symphony will present its 16th annual Día de los Muertos celebration at Davies Symphony Hall. Events include a concert of traditional and contemporary Latin American music preceded by family-friendly activities. Miguel Harth-Bedoya will conduct the San Francisco Symphony in the concert, which includes music by Clarice Assad, Arturo Márquez, Alfonso Leng, Silvestre Revueltas, and Arturo Rodríguez. Vocalist Edna Vázquez will perform, as will dancers from Casa Círculo Cultural and artists from Canción de Obsidiana. Every year leading up to the orchestra’s Day of the Dead celebration, the lobbies of Davies Symphony Hall are transformed with immersive art installations and altars built by local artists. Curated by SF Symphony collaborator Martha Rodríguez-Salazar, this year’s celebration features music, art, and activities relating to Maya culture. Visitors are invited to leave messages on the interactive altar. Lea el comunicado de prensa en español aquí.
On October 29, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra launched its Family Concerts season with two performances of a “Day of the Dead” program celebrating Mexican heritage with music by Mexican composers, led by conductor Pablo Zamora. Atlanta playwright Jessica Rosa Espinoza created a narrative woven into the concert featuring letters to departed loved ones, honoring family and life after death, and dancers from Alma Mexícana performed traditional Mexican dances. Surrounding the concerts, the ASO staged a free Día de los Muertos Festival in the lobby of the Woodruff Arts Center and outdoors on Callaway Plaza that included mariachi performances, Ballet Folklórico, stilt walkers, face painting, altar exhibition, traditional Mexican games, and representation from Latin American community organizations. Themed food trucks offered traditional food and drinks for purchase.
On October 22, the Omaha Symphony presented a Día de los Muertos concert, led Alejandro Gómez Guillén, that included works by Gabriela Ortiz, Arturo Rodriguez, Manuel Ponce, and Gabriela Lena Frank, among other composers, as well as a suite from Michael Giacchino’s score to Coco, the animated film that revolves around the Day of the Dead. Hosted by singer Alexis Arai, the event also featured pre-concert crafts in the main lobby of the Holland Center, and audience members were invited to attend in costume.