Performing Arts

FWSO to premiere music of Aesop’s fables at bilingual concert

Fort Worth Symphony violist Aleksandra Holowka chats with children at South Hills Elementary School.
Fort Worth Symphony violist Aleksandra Holowka chats with children at South Hills Elementary School. Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra

If music is the language of love, then some Fort Worth kindergartners will have an extra-sweet Valentine’s Day, whether they communicate in English or Spanish.

The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra will give a world-premiere performance of music from Aesop’s fables by local composer Till Meyn as part of its Kinderconcerts series Tuesday and Wednesday at Arborlawn United Methodist Church. The piece will include bilingual narration by the youth theater group Kids Who Care.

Last summer, the orchestra commissioned Meyn, a TCU associate professor of composition, to write an orchestral score based on three of Aesop’s fables. The resulting work, “Three Fables,” uses music to bring to life three beloved fables: “The Tortoise and the Hare,” “The Lion and the Mouse” and “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” Meyn’s adaptation of the text was translated into Spanish by TCU professor David Bedford.

Ahead of the concerts, the Symphony League of Fort Worth distributed about 1,000 copies of the storybook “Timeless Fables Collection” to kindergarten students at more than a dozen Fort Worth school district campuses. The initiative is part of the “Symphony in Your School” program, one of the orchestra’s outreach efforts to students in the community. The bilingual books, donated by the Red Oak Foundation, feature the three fables featured in the concert.

Educational outreach is a major part of the FWSO’s mission, if a less publicized one. According to its annual report, the orchestra drew 76,210 listeners to its outreach concerts during the 2015-16 season.

“I think it’s almost a best-kept secret,” FWSO President Amy Adkins said. “It’s not a small thing to perform 100 concerts for 65,000 children. You have to have a real commitment to it.

“It’s a priority, not an afterthought, for us.”

This is not FWSO’s first dual-language initiative. The symphony recorded a bilingual version of “Peter and the Wolf” and also performs the piece every year for second-graders at Bass Hall, Adkins said.

The Aesop’s Fables concerts are open to the public. They are expected to last about 35 minutes and are recommended for children ages 3 through 6.

Staff writer Andrea Ahles contributed to this report.

FWSO Kinderconcert: Aesop’s Fables

  • 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday and Wednesday
  • Arborlawn United Methodist Church
  • 5001 Briarhaven Road, Fort Worth
  • $5 (child or adult)
  • 817-665-6500, ext. 102;