Austin Symphony Orchestra Unleashes “Symphony of Terror”

The Austin Symphony Orchestra regularly produces rich performances of some of classical music’s most adored composers, such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Franz Peter Schubert.

But the renowned musicians also have a dark side.

On Friday, Oct. 24, Conductor Peter Bay and his talented orchestra will play some of the most famous and terrifying scores from popular horror movies, including Halloween, Bettlejuice and The Shining.

The “Symphony of Terror” includes 10 classic scores that promise to haunt eardrums and provide a ominous soundscape for their audience.

Horror movie music may not conjure up thoughts of a professional symphony, but the scores chosen by the orchestra include many complex movements that will surely provide a powerful, thought-provoking audio adventure.

Typically, the Austin Symphony Orchestra experience is an elegant evening. The audience, usually fashionably dressed for a sophisticated event, will instead be encouraged to dress as one of their favorite characters from the films being scored.

That means you may be spooked by a CEO outfitted as Halloween’s Michael Myers or suited up as Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Or you could spot an adorable husband and wife who appear to be dressed casually from behind only to have them turn around and expose the hilariously distorted faces of Beetlejuice’s Adam and Barbara Maitland (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis).

With so many classic horror films, concert-goers have a wide range of costume options. Or, for those who don’t want to be in character all night, pick out a classic cocktail dress or sportcoat that is typically more befitting of the Dell Hall at The Long Center for Performing Arts in the Bouldin neighborhood just south of Lady Bird Lake and downtown Austin.

Preview the Music

Here’s a list of the horror film scores the symphony will play. Follow the links to hear clips from the soundtracks.


King Kong

The Exorcist



The Shining


Bram Stoker’s Dracula