Families rejoice: The Tacoma Symphony Orchestra is offering its first annual Family Concert this Sunday, with classical music beloved to many. The program at the Rialto Theater features Prokofiev’s classic musical tale “Peter and the Wolf,” narrated by David Fischer, as well as Mendelssohn’s Sinfonia no. 2 in D major.
It’s an ideal concert for kids in many ways. Not only is it child-friendly in length (about 50 minutes) and at a pleasant time of day, it’s incredibly cheap and highlights two pieces that’ll hook young audience members from the start.
“Peter and the Wolf” was written, in fact, for a children’s theater in Moscow, in 1936. As it wends its way through the story of a young boy and his animal friends who daringly catching an errant wolf, each character is taken up by an instrument in the orchestra: Peter by the violins, the cheeky bird by an acrobatic flute, the wily cat by a sneaking clarinet, the wolf by some threatening horns, and so on. Over the years the delightful narration has been read by celebrities such as Leonard Bernstein, Paul Hogan, Sting, David Bowie and Sir Alec Guiness; Tacoma’s narrator will be David Fischer, executive director of the Broadway Center for Performing Arts and a long-time actor and theater director. TSO director Harvey Felder conducts.
Mendelssohn’s Sinfonia no. 2 was written for string orchestra in around 1821, when he was only 12. Written for family members to perform, his early string symphonies are highly classical, influenced by Bach, Beethoven and Mozart, but still ring with the simple-hearted joy that dances through all Mendelssohn’s works.
The program begins at 2 p.m. with an instrument petting zoo led by members of the Tacoma Youth Symphony, who’ll let young audience members touch, handle and try out instruments of all kinds.
2 p.m. petting zoo, 3 p.m. concert Jan. 22. Ages 4-9. $7 adults/$5 children. Rialto Theater, 310 S. 9th St., Tacoma. -, 800-291-7593or visit .org