“Ah Tchaikovksy’s Nutcracker Suite …”. The commentator is talking about how she was in the ballet for years. She goes on to interview a dancer who was in the first SF Ballet production of the work. I just heard this on KQED radio. Sigh. Can’t these people do a bit of research?

Okay … gotta get this off my chest …

It’s not the suite, folks. It’s the Nutcracker Ballet!
The Suite contains some (eight, I think) of the tunes pulled out for concert performance.


This was kindly brought to you by the Classical Music Police Company (CMPC™). Here for your snobbish pleasure. What can I say? I’m here for you.

There’s a story that Denis Decoteau used to gleefully tell about some rich blustery Southern guy who was bragging about going to see the Nutcracker Suite. The man was sitting right near him at a restaurant. Maestro DeCoteau finally turned around and explained that it was actually the Nutcracker Ballet and they guy said something I can’t reprint here of a very racist nature, using an ugly,ugly word. (The late Maestro DeCoteau was African American.) Well … DeCoteau got to the performance, turned around to take his first bow, and who was sitting right there? Of course! Horrible Southern man. DeCoteau looked up and said, “Nutcracker ballet“. True story? I sure hope so!


  1. Jeannette Clemons

    I REALLY LIKED Decoteau…When I was in HS he had the Castro Valley area Youth Symphony and some other area groups. I got to play under him a couple times…Is he still in the Bay Area?

    As a kid I really thot it was Nutcracker SWEET…which was completely consistent with the whole story….

  2. I’m sorry to say Denis died some time ago, of cancer.

    He worked a few times with San Jose Symphony, so I met him a few times. He had a story any time you asked. As a friend said, you’d give him a subject and he could tell you a joke on that subject. Very funny man.