“If ever there were a time we needed magic in our lives—with rising coronavirus infections and deaths, and bitterly divided politics—this is it,” writes Scott Cantrell in Saturday’s (11/28) Dallas Morning News. “To the rescue Friday night came the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and guest conductor Andrew Grams. No miracle drugs were dispensed to a restricted Meyerson Symphony Center audience of about 160, but a concert performance of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker refreshed ears and soul. A high-quality video stream will be available later on the DSO website. This wasn’t the usual Nutcracker Suite of eight numbers, but most of the complete ballet score in a slightly reduced instrumentation by Lawrence Golan…. The concert had a sad opening: a dedication to the memory of beloved longtime DSO percussionist Ronald Snider, who died suddenly on Monday…. A violinist by background, Grams played several seasons in the New York City Ballet Orchestra, where multiple Nutcracker performances were an annual ritual. He also conducted the score there…. He has this music in his blood and breath…. In previous guest conducting gigs with both the Dallas and Fort Worth symphony orchestras, Grams has impressed as a particularly musical conductor, and so he did again.”