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Lemony Snicket & Nathaniel Stookey | Musicians at Google

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Published on Apr 9, 2009

Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) and Nathaniel Stookey visit Google's Mountain View, CA headquarters to discuss their book and symphonic piece "The Composer Is Dead." This event took place on April 1, 2009, as part of the Musicians@Google series.

The San Francisco Symphony Orchestra commissioned "The Composer Is Dead", for narrator and orchestra, to educate children about the symphony through a murder mystery. "The Composer Is Dead" borrows from the educational classical music tradition of "Peter and The Wolf", adding a dash of "Law and Order" and the wry humor one would expect from the author of A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Continuing our partnership with the San Francisco Symphony, the @Google program is pleased to welcome both the composer, Nathaniel Stookey, and the librettist, Lemony Snicket. They have each offered briefnotes on the piece:

"I have been asked if I might say a word or two about the text of The Composer Is Dead, and the one or two words are "Boo hoo." The story — which, as far as I know, is absolutely true — is so heartbreakingly glum that I cannot imagine that you will be able to listen to it without dabbing at your tears with a nearby handkerchief."
— Lemony Snicket

"I hope Im not giving away too much by saying that The Composer is Dead ends with a funeral march...Classical composers have always had a preoccupation with death, partly because we are human, like you, partly because we grapple with the mysteries of the universe, partly because death sells records and always has...Someday you'll be able to tell your grandchildren that you appreciated a living composer before that living composer became, like all composers, dead."
— Nathaniel Stookey

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