Nosferatu: A Dark Brew kicks off Espresso series

SPARTANBURG, SC— Spartanburg Philharmonic kicks off its 2018-2019 Espresso chamber concert series Friday, October 26, with silent horror film, Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horrors. Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased by telephone — (864) 542-2787 — or in person at Chapman’s box office Monday-Friday afternoons. Tickets are also available anytime online at

Nosferatu returns to the Chapman Cultural Center with live musical accompaniment by the Spartanburg Philharmonic chamber ensemble consisting of Concertmaster, Joanna Mulfinger, Principle 2nd Violin, Tracy Ensley, Principle Viola, Anna Joiner, violist Alvoy Bryan, Principle Cello, Brenda Leonard, Assistant Principle Bass, Matt Waid and Principle Keyboard, Brennan Szafron. The Classic film is based on the hit novel, Dracula by Bram Stoker, but because the book was still under copyright at the time the movie was made, the writers simply changed names and locations.

While the Philharmonic showed this movie two years ago, audience members will still be able to hear some new music and arrangements in the accompanying soundtrack. Composer in Residence, Dr. Peter B. Kay worked on changing the music this summer to better fit some of the parts of the movie. The 94-minute movie itself has been edited to fit the usual one-hour performance. “The whole process took roughly two months to complete: trimming the edges of almost every shot; cutting and reediting a few scenes here and there; and reworking each of the title cards to be more legible thus taking less time on screen.” Kay says. The movie, now 59 minutes long is what Kay thinks regular moviegoers would be more accustomed to.

Regarding the music, Kay says that he knew that he wanted craft a musical score that was a compilation of older classics and his own music. Kay focused on composers of the mid to late 1800s, the time period of the movie. “Music is quite different in the context of a film, and the movie takes on a whole new character depending on its musical accompaniment. I studied countless scores and recordings, searching for just the right combination. I must have watched the movie, piece by piece, a thousand times!” Kay landed on using music by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), a German composer during the Romantic period. “So much of Brahms’ music is dark, mysterious, brooding and extraordinarily cinematic. It is the perfect fit.”

Spartanburg Philharmonic Executive Director, Kathryn Boucher is thrilled to be bringing back this cult favorite. “Espresso is a great series where we get to have fun and try new things. We are just now scratching the tip of the iceberg when it comes to silent movies and live musical accompaniment.” Boucher is also thrilled to have new Music Director of the Spartanburg Philharmonic, Stefan Sanders, conduct an Espresso concert for the first time. “The last time we showed this movie, we had really great support from the community and from people who had never heard of our Espresso series. Stefan is going to add his own magic to this and we know that audience members who have seen this before and those who have not, will have a great time.”

About Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra

The Spartanburg Philharmonic’s mission is to enrich, inspire and educate through live performances of high-quality music. Founded in 1948, the Spartanburg Philharmonic is comprised of professional musicians from diverse backgrounds who form an ensemble capable of performing a variety of musical styles and repertoire. This season, we celebrate our 90th anniversary season.

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