Thursday’s season-closing Waco Symphony Orchestra concert features multiple guest talents in addition to the orchestra’s inherent instrumental skill.
Multi-faceted actor, producer and author Henry Winkler brings his voice as narrator for Sergei Prokofiev’s symphonic children’s story “Peter and the Wolf” while 17-year-old Woodway twins Haeun and Hayoung Moon will play violin and cello, respectively, on the Brahms Concerto for Violin and Cello.
Winkler, 73, comes to Waco on the heels of his latest success, his Emmy-winning turn as acting teacher Gene Cousineau on the HBO series “Barry.” While acting has brought a shelf of awards and national fame for the Yale School of Drama graduate, his career is rich in experience as a television producer, children’s programming producer, writer and director of eight feature films.
His role as easygoing Arthur Fonzarelli in the 1970s-80s television comedy “Happy Days” brought him attention, two Golden Globe awards, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the inclusion of his character’s black leather jacket in a 1980 Smithsonian Institution museum exhibit.
His career since then has been filled with television acting and producing, voiceover work, children’s television specials and series and, with co-author Lin Oliver, writing some 34 children’s novels.
Winkler also been a spokesman for people with dyslexia, which caused him to struggle in education and his career, and has won international recognition for his work with children and those with disabilities.
The actor was unavailable for an interview last week due to travel and promotional work for “Barry,” which started its second season on HBO last month.
Winkler likely will draw upon his experience in voice work — he’s had roles in the animated series “King of the Hill,” “Family Guy,” “South Park,” “The Simpsons” and “Clifford’s Puppy Days” — in narrating “Peter and the Wolf.”
The 1936 orchestral composition by Prokofiev, one of his most performed works, tells a children’s folk story about a young boy named Peter who foils a marauding wolf. Each of the main characters — a bird, a duck, a cat, the wolf, Peter’s grandfather, Peter and some hunters — has a musical theme and instrument or instrumental section.
It’s the instrument of the narrator’s voice that pulls the story together.
Winkler and “Peter and the Wolf” fill the concert’s second half with the Moon twins and the Brahms concerto in the opening half after the WSO’s performance of Hector Berlioz’s brisk “Corsair Overture.” Thursday’s concert also will feature the Waco Symphony Association’s presentation of its Golden Baton award to Lyndon and Kay Olson for their support of the symphony over the years.