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Portland Symphony Orchestra performs composition by former thrash metal bandmember

Sound like an April Fools’ Day prank? Well, it’s true.

PORTLAND, Maine — When the Portland Symphony Orchestra sent out a press release about two upcoming shows featuring music created by three composers from Mexico, one line jumped out.

"The concerts open with [Enrico] Chapela’s lively and suspenseful 'Rotor,'" the release said, "A reflection on his early days playing as a musician in a death metal band." 

Trust me, gentle reader—this is NOT a description typically found in promotional copy from the PSO.

Chapela, as you may have guessed, fits nobody’s stereotype of a stuffy classical composer. 

He came into the 207 studio wearing a Boston University t-shirt (he didn’t attend the school, but has appeared at events there) and quickly made a correction: his band was into thrash metal, not death metal. Noted.

What else did he and PSO musical director Eckart Preu have to say about these shows, which are happening on April 2 and 4? Watch our conversation to find out more.

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