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Nutcracker Notes

Nutcracker Notes

8 Stats about the Nutcracker Orchestra

One thing we missed over the last 18 months is the fabulous live music which accompanies every performance in the War Memorial Opera House. To celebrate the return of Nutcracker in just a few weeks, here are 8 fun stats about its magical score and the orchestra musicians who bring it to life each December.

Conductors share the Nutcracker podium throughout the run—including a very special, surprise conductor on Christmas Eve

Scenes from the Celebrating Glenn event // © Brandon Patoc

When uncoiled, the French Horn measures 30 feet from mouthpiece to bell. That’s the height to which the Stahlbaums’ Christmas tree grows!

San Francisco Ballet in Tomasson’s Nutcracker // © Erik Tomasson

Bars of music in the Waltz of the Snowflakes scene. (And the scene with the fewest number of bars? The Chinese Dance!)

San Francisco Ballet in Tomasson’s Nutcracker // © Erik Tomasson

Yards a trombone slide travels during a performance of Nutcracker. That’s a full mile!

San Francisco Ballet in Tomasson’s Nutcracker // © Erik Tomasson

Percussion instruments in the Nutcracker score—glockenspiel, triangle, suspended cymbal, crash cymbal, tambourine, snare drum, bass drum, castanets, tam tam, ratchet, and timpani! All played by only three musicians.

San Francisco Ballet in Tomasson’s Nutcracker // © Erik Tomasson

Members of the Nutcracker Orchestra

Sensorium 2020 // © Nikki Ritcher Photography

Nutcracker performances that our 40-year Orchestra veterans have played . . . and counting!

Scenes from the Celebrating Glenn event // © Brandon Patoc

Music notes in the Mirliton variation, which only lasts 2 minutes and 10 seconds!

Kamryn Baldwin in Tomasson’s Nutcracker // © Erik Tomasson

Nutcracker returns to the War Memorial Opera House this season! Catch the holiday classic from December 10–30, 2021. Tickets on sale now!

purchase Nutcracker tickets

Header Image: San Francisco Ballet in Tomasson’s Nutcracker // © Erik Tomasson