A Discussion of Symphonie Fantastique by Hector Berlioz

Saturday, October 21 at 2:00 p.m.

Opium induced hallucinations. Murder and execution by guillotine. A Witches’ Sabbath and general mayhem. Elements of a Gothic novel or a horror film…these are images conjured up by Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, an appropriate Halloween musical nightmare composed for a 130- piece symphony orchestra. Berlioz’s intention and life will be explained entertainingly by Jeffrey Engel, a beloved musicologist on Saturday, October 21 at 2:00 p.m.  at the Suffield Senior Center, 145 Bridge Street.  This is a Kent Memorial Library program, funded by The Friends of the Library.  Please reserve a seat for this free program by contacting the library at 860-668-3896 or register at


The music of Berlioz has often been cited as extremely influential in the development of the features central to the Romantic period of music.  He was considered extremely progressive for his day, and he, Wagner, and Liszt have been called the “Great Trinity of Progress” of 19th-century Romanticism.


As a cellist, Jeffrey Engel played with numerous orchestras in France including that of the Paris Opera, performed in chamber ensembles and taught in municipal conservatories. He has given entertaining and informative music history lectures in various venues for 15 years, including as an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut in Torrington.