As part of its family activities, the SF Symphony organizes a Dia de los Muertos celebration on Sunday, November 1st. There will be vivid, animated displays of spooky papier-mâché figures (you can already see some through the windows of Davies Symphony Hall as we speak), and tons of fun kids activities as a prelude for the concert. Writer Laura Esquivel (of Like water for chocolate fame) will narrate.

The music program, led by the young conductor Alondra De La Parra, includes Camille Saint-Saëns Carnival des Animaux (link with audio) and some dances by Berkeley composer Gabriela Lena Frank. Gabriela's cultural and musical heritage includes a global mix of an American dad of Lithuanian/Jewish ancestry who met in Perú a mother with Chinese roots. She has won many awards for her compositions, including a prize (and a video profile) from the Hispanic Scholarship fund who called her "the Yo-Yo Ma of the Latin world." Her Joyce Award came with a YouTube interview too. She got commissions from all over, some by our very own SF Symphony. She travels extensively to Perú, because it's already a trek from Berkeley to the panpipes at Fisherman's wharf, so why not go all the way. We emailed our local composer for her take on the Day of the Dead.