The Cultural To-Do List: October 2015

Your guide to this month's events.


Nosferatu / Photograph Courtesy of Creative Commons

Nosferatu at the Boston Pops

Forget Dracula and Interview with a VampireThe original Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror, directed by F. W. Murnau in 1922, is the creepiest bloodsucker flick of all time. For all of its montage and mise en scène and influence over German Expressionism, all that really mattered was the bone–chilling performance of Max Schreck, who played the king of the undead. Filmed before the age of talkies, Nosferatu will now be brought to (ahem) life by the Boston Pops, as they perform a spooky symphonic score created in collaboration with the Berklee College of Music.

The composition—which includes traditional orchestration as well as vintage synthesizers—is the brainchild of eight students from professor Sheldon Mirowitz’s “Scoring Silent Films” class. With the eerie film projected onstage, concertgoers will hear some of the city’s most innovative new music—even if they have to cover their eyes. 

October 30, Symphony Hall, 888-266-1200,


Ever since “Autobahn” became an unlikely hit in 1975, Kraftwerk has influenced pop music with its pioneering use of synthesizers and electronic beats. Infamously reclusive, the dudes from Düsseldorf usually play only a few venues when they hit the States—which makes this show, with its dazzling 3-D visuals, a must-see. 

October 3, Wang Theatre, 800-982-2787,

Fall Foliage Parade and Mass MoCA

Kick off leaf-peeping season with a cruise out to North Adams’ 60th annual Fall Foliage Parade. Best of all, Mass MoCA is offering free admission, so you can top off views of those brilliant maples and birches with abstract Sol LeWitts and Anselm Kiefers. 

October 4,;

“Leap Before You Look”

Owned and operated by the faculty, North-Carolina’s Black Mountain College functioned as a salon that welcomed such titans as Josef and Anni Albers, Merce Cunningham, Willem de Kooning, Buckminster Fuller, and John Cage from 1933 to 1957. This survey features hundreds of their works and others’, as well as performances of Cunningham’s dances and Cage’s compositions for prepared piano.

October 10–January 24, 2016, The Institute of Contemporary Art, 617-478-3100,

Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler

Mahler’s Third Symphony is his longest and most encompassing, with 90 minutes of music evoking everything from birdcalls to military marches. In the 1970s, John Neumeier choreographed a ballet to accompany this masterwork. Now the Boston Ballet is staging a performance with its 78-person orchestra, the New World -Chorale, and soprano soloist Sarah Pelletier.

October 22–November 1, Boston Opera House, 617-695-6955,

“Ornament and Illusion”

From the Madonna to Saint George, the subjects of Italian Renaissance painter Carlo Crivelli all share a few common characteristics: striking expressions of ennui, and ornate decoration. Displaying 24 pieces on loan from top U.S. and European museums, the Gardner will be the only venue for this rare collection of his work.

October 22–January 25, 2016, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 617-566-1401,

Boston Book Festival

Boston’s massive -celebration of the written word returns to Copley Square, highlighting the best in fiction, journalism, YA, and kids’ books. Headliners include Margaret Atwood, Atul Gawande, and Edwidge Danticat.

October 23–24,