Dr. Seuss’ The Sneetches

CD Cover

The Oberlin Conservatory of Music
Lorenzo Palomo
Dr. Seuss’ The Sneetches
A symphonic poem for narrator and symphony orchestra
Oberlin Orchestra
Raphael Jiménez, conductor
John de Lancie, narrator
Text by Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss)


This production was made possible by the generous support of Dr. Sidney H. Sobel of Rochester, New York, in the hope that it will help to eradicate bullying and racism in societies everywhere.

Through the generosity of Dr. Seuss Enterprises and Lorenzo Palomo, all proceeds from the sale of this recording will go to support student scholarships at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.

Images from the book The Sneetches, by Theodor Geisel  (Dr. Seuss), are provided courtesy of Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P.

Dr. Seuss Properties™ & © 1961 Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P.  All Rights Reserved.

Dr. Seuss’ The Sneetches is licensed and reproduced with the permission of the composer and publisher.

Live dramatic performance rights for Dr. Seuss’ The Sneetches are represented exclusively by Music Theatre International (MTI).

This recording was made on April 14, 2012, in  Warner Concert Hall at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.

© 2013 Oberlin Conservatory of Music

Oberlin Orchestra

Violin I
Wyatt Underhill, concertmaster
Chatzigeorgiou, assistant principal
Lauren Manning
Nathan Giglierano
Sarah Bailey
Zou Yu
Robin Su
Elly Toyoda
Ayumi Ohishi
Rebecca Telford-Marx
Yuqi Qui
Jung Un Suh
Rachel White
Ruiqi Ren
Clara Engen

Violin II
Myra Hinrichs, principal
Alana Youssefian, assistant principal
Luke Fatora
Lyly Li
Xiang Fang
Danielle Wilson
Somyung Ryu
Flora Hollifield
Jeffrey Girton
Yuri Popowycz
Marika Klosowski
Halle Davis
Julia Ruby
Clara Shannon

Aaron Mossburg, principal
Thomas McShane, assistant principal
Michael Sabatka
Batmyagmar Erdenebat
Hannah Selin
Fatima Gassama
Samantha Chestney
Hannah Santisi
Eleanor Freed

Zizai Ning,
Alexa Ciciretti,
assistant principal
Charles Colwell
Iva Casian Lakos
Rachel Grandstrand
Jake Klinkenborg
Yen Chun Hsu
Jocelyn Schendel
Luke Adamson
Nikita Annenkov
Chava Appiah
Boris Popadiuk

Andrea Beyer,
Jeffrey Takaki,
assistant principal
Casey Karr
James Vitz-Wong
Kevin Sullivan
Olivia Salas
Joe Schlam

Melanie Williams
Matthew Slaughter

Joseph Monticello

Eliana Schenk
Nattie Chan

English Horn
Emi Ostrom

Theo Chandler
Jeremy Reynolds

Sean Gordon
Liz Bennett

William Eisenberg
Bailey Myers
Valerie Sly
Sophia Tinger

Jacob Flaschen
John Davison

Zachary Guiles
Katrina Lettang
Matt Evans

Matthew Moench

Justin Gunter
Benjamin Rempel
Michael Mazzullo
Daniel King

Seoyun Rho

Rebekah Efthimiou

Librarian & Manager
Michael Roest

Executive Producer: David H. Stull

Producer: Paul Eachus

Audio Engineer: Ryan Miller

Assistant Engineer: Oscar Garcia

Digital Editing: Ryan Miller

Operations: Gloria Kim, Michael Roest

Design: Stacy Harrison

Editorial Director: Jessica Downs

1. Now, the Star-Belly Sneetches Length: 2:23
2. But, because they had stars Length: 2:06
3. When the Star-Belly children Length: 0:53
4. When the Star-Belly Sneetches Length: 2:09
5. Then one day, it seems Length: 2:53
6. Just pay me your money Length: 2:07
7. When the Plain-Belly Sneetches Length: 2:03
8. Then up came McBean Length: 2:33
9. Then, with snoots in the air Length: 0:45
10. Then, of course, those with stars Length: 1:43
11. Then, when every last cent Length: 1:05
12. But McBean was quite wrong Length: 4:26
13.-24. Dr. Seuss’ The Sneetches, without narration  


Dr. Seuss’ The Sneetches, by Lorenzo Palomo: By Sidney H. Sobel

The Dr. Seuss story The Sneetches describes the senselessness of acts of discrimination and prejudice in a way that is at once instructive and entertaining. I have read this story countless times to children and adults, and have repeatedly observed how captivating the musical verse and its powerful message are. A few years ago the idea struck me that an orchestral accompaniment could enhance the experience of hearing the story told. I approached Dr. Seuss Enterprises for the rights to use the story in a musical setting, and I soon had an agreement.

For the music, I commissioned my dear friend, Lorenzo Palomo, whom I had met in 1998 when he accepted my commission to compose a piano trio to mark the centennial of the Rochester Academy of Medicine. The Sneetches worked its magic on the maestro as well, and we now have his inspired symphonic poem, Dr. Seuss’ The Sneetches. For the world premiere we turned to the orchestra of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, a college with a history deeply rooted in humanity and the struggle against prejudice. I was especially fortunate that the brilliant actor John de Lancie was available to perform the narration.

On this CD you hear an inspiring work given an inspired performance. David Stull, dean of the conservatory, comments, ”Lorenzo Palomo takes a children’s story and brings it alive with music. It’s important as a parable for addressing many of the challenges we face today. This is really an execution of Sid Sobel’s vision.” My vision—indeed my dream—is to have the message of The Sneetches influence behavior far and wide, a fitting tribute to the memory of Theodor Geisel (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss) and of Herbert Cheyette of Dr. Seuss Enterprises, who helped nurture my project.

One year into this project, I learned from Lt. Col. James Collins, UK military, that The Sneetches had an interesting history with NATO in the aftermath of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In 1998, Major Matt Matter, US Military and head of the NATO-run HQ SFOR Information Campaign Task Force (CJICTF) Product Development Team in Sarajevo, had the idea of distributing a Serbo-Croatian translation of the Dr. Seuss book The Sneetches and Other Stories to children in ethnically war-torn Bosnia-Herzegovina. Lt. Col. Collins was uniquely qualified to oversee the project as his family business in the UK had been the printer-publisher of Dr. Seuss books in the UK & Commonwealth, in addition to having brought his children up on Dr. Seuss stories. Major (now Lt. Col. retd.) Brad Bloom, an American serving under Lt. Col. Collins, obtained the authorization of Dr. Seuss Enterprises (DSE) for the project. A NATO interpreter, Paul Pavlovich, completed the translation and DSE agreed to the printing under a royalty-free license. A target date of September 1999, the start of the school year, was chosen for beginning the distribution of a proposed 500,000 copies over five years. The printing, however, never occurred. The tours of duty of Matter and Bloom ended in July 1998 and that of Collins in March 1999. Collins tried to get appointed as a civilian contractor to see the project through; but the SFOR Finance Office denied funding, reportedly to free up funds for NATO operations in Kosovo.

A few years later Human Rights Advocates International contacted DSE, but they too were unable to find funding. Sadly, this effort to raise awareness of social injustice and to encourage tolerance and peaceful coexistence went unfulfilled.

Lorenzo Palomo

Lorenzo Palomo is one of the most successful contemporary Spanish composers, not only in his homeland, but also internationally. His music has been interpreted in the most prestigious concert halls worldwide, among them Carnegie Hall (New York), Symphony Hall (Boston), Kimmel Center (Philadelphia), Covent Garden (London), Suntory Hall (Tokyo), Dom Musiki (Moscow), Tchaikovsky Auditorium (Moscow), Konzerthaus (Berlin), Konzerthus (Oslo), Accademia di Santa Cecilia (Rome), Victoria Hall (Geneva), Auditorio Nacional (Madrid), and many others.

A native of Pozoblanco (Córdoba/Spain), Palomo began his musical education at the Córdoba Conservatory of Music and continued at the Barcelona Superior Conservatory of Music, where he studied composition with Joaquín Zamacois and piano with Sofía Puche de Mendlewicz. Awarded the Juan March Foundation Grant, he studied conducting under Boris Goldovsky in  New York City.

In 1973 Palomo was appointed chief conductor of the Valencia Symphony Orchestra. During this time he conducted opera and concerts in Spain and abroad, including the 1976 concert in Geneva commemorating the centenary of Manuel de Falla with L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. It was during this period as a conductor, gaining in-depth knowledge of the resources of the orchestra, that Palomo forged and matured his personal style as a composer.

Among the orchestras to have performed Palomo’s compositions are those of Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Phoenix, San Diego, Berlin Radio Symphony, Berlin Opera (Deutsche Oper Berlin), Dresden Philharmonic, Hamburg, Yomiuri Nippon (Tokyo), Suisse Romande (Geneva), Lausanne Chamber, symphony orchestras of RAI (Turin), and the Accademia di Santa Cecilia (Rome), Norwegian Philharmonic Orchestras of Bergen and Oslo, New Russia Philharmonic (Moscow), Cuban National, Spanish National (touring the United States in 2001), and the Spanish Symphony Orchestras of Madrid (Radio-Television Orchestra, Madrid Symphony, Madrid Community Orchestra), Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao, Euskadi, Sevilla, Córdoba, Málaga, and Granada.

His Majesty, King Juan Carlos I of Spain, has knighted Lorenzo Palomo into the Order of Isabel la Católica for his work disseminating the name of Spain worldwide through his music.

Palomo has released numerous recordings on the Naxos label including Nocturnos de Andalucía, Canciones españolas, Cantos del alma, Sinfonía a Granada, Mi jardín solitario, Madrigal y Cinco canciones sefardíes, Concierto de Cienfuegos, Dulcinea.

Palomo resides in Berlin, Germany, where he served on the music staff of the Berlin Opera (Deutsche Oper Berlin) as conductor and pianist from 1981 to 2004.

Raphael Jiménez

Born in Florida and raised in Venezuela, Raphael Jiménez, director of Oberlin orchestras, began his musical life as a violinist. While he was a member of the Simón Bolívar National Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, he was assigned his first conducting responsibility at the Venezuelan National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras (El Sistema). He was soon conducting all the professional orchestras in the country and was appointed principal conductor of the Caracas National Ballet at the age of 22, leading the orchestra in numerous performances of the most representative works of this genre including Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Firebird, Coppélia, Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet, and the Nutcracker among many others.

He began his opera experience as assistant conductor at the Teresa Carreño Center for the Performing Arts and has since served as music director to productions of La Bohème, The Barber of Seville, La Traviata, Così fan tutte, The Marriage of Figaro, Florencia en el Amazonas, The Rake’s Progress, Don Giovanni, and The Tales of Hoffmann, to name a few.

Jiménez devotes great effort to the promotion of new music, especially of works by Latin American composers, and has been recognized for his diverse and eclectic programming. He has had the privilege of debuting numerous works, including the world premiere of and flowers pick themselves, featured on the eponymous recording.

He enjoys a very active career including frequent invitations to conduct symphonic concerts, ballets, and opera productions to critical acclaim. Recent appearances include performances in China with the orchestras of Zhejiang and Guanxi; in Latin America with the symphony orchestras of Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, and Puerto Rico; and leading the opera orchestras of Lubeck in Germany and Palm Beach in Florida. He has also conducted the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra, the Florida Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica Municipal de Caracas, Lansing Symphony, Battle Creek Symphony, and the Filene Center Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C.

John de Lancie

John de Lancie’s film credits include The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, The Fisher King, Bad Influence, The Onion Field, Taking Care of Business, Fearless, Multiplicity, Woman on Top, Nicolas, Good Advice, The Big Time, Reign Over Me, Pathology, Gamer, Teenius, and The Marriage Counselor.

De Lancie has appeared in numerous television shows including Torchwood, Breaking Bad, The Unit, Hill Street Blues, The West Wing, Shark, Without a Trace, Sports Night, Judging Amy, The Closer, Star Trek, Legend, LA Law, Picket Fences, Civil Wars, The Practice, and Touched by an Angel.

He has been a member of the American Shakespeare Festival, the Seattle Repertory Company, the South Coast Repertory, the Mark Taper Forum, and the Old Globe, where he recently performed Arthur Miller’s Resurrection Blues. His favorite performances include Man and Superman, The Common Pursuit, Childe Byron, Art, and the world premieres of Richard Greenberg’s A Naked Girl on the Appian Way and Alan Alda’s Radiance.

In the world of music, de Lancie has performed with Kurt Masur, Sir Colin Davis (New York Philharmonic), Vladimir Ashkenazy (Cleveland Orchestra and National Orchestra), Esa-Pekka Salonen (Los Angeles Philharmonic), and Charles Dutoit (Philadelphia Orchestra and the Montreal Symphony). His repertoire includes Peer Gynt, King David, Bourgeois Gentleman, Lincoln Portrait, St. Joan,  A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Oedipus Rex, Young People’s Guide to the Orchestra, Nightingale, Egmont, and, of course, Peter and the Wolf.

De Lancie was the host of the L.A. Philharmonic Symphonies for Youth for four years. In addition, he has written and directed ten Symphonic Plays. These 90-minute programs are fully staged productions with orchestra; titles include Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Korngold score), Bourgeois Gentleman, The Abduction from the Seraglio, and a vaudeville-style Carnival of the Animals. They were produced with the Milwaukee, St. Paul Chamber, Ravinia, Los Angeles, and Pasadena orchestras.

De Lancie was also the writer, director, and host of First Nights, an adult concert series at Disney Hall with the L.A. Philharmonic that explored the life and music of Stravinsky, Beethoven, Mahler, Schumann, and Prokofiev. These were fully integrated, fully staged productions with orchestra.

For Star Trek fans, de Lancie and Robert Picardo have created a Trek Concert Experience that has been performed with the Dallas, Toronto, Cincinnati, Denver, and Calgary orchestras.

De Lancie has performed or directed numerous plays for L.A. Theater Works, the producing arm of KCRW, KPCC, and National Public Radio, where the series The Play’s the Thing originates. He recently returned from a national tour of the Scopes Monkey Trial with Ed Asner where he played Clarence Darrow and currently has an adaptation of The Lost World, which he wrote and directed, touring the country. De Lancie was co-owner, with Leonard Nimoy, of Alien Voices, a production company devoted to the dramatization of classic science fiction. De Lancie produced, co-wrote, and directed dramatizations of The Time Machine, Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Lost World, The Invisible Man, and First Men in the Moon, as well as three television specials for the Sci-Fi Channel.

De Lancie also directs operas. His latest were Tosca and Cold Sassy Tree in Atlanta and Madame Butterfly in San Antonio.

De Lancie is a graduate of Kent State University and the Juilliard School.

Sidney H. Sobel

Dr. Sidney H. Sobel is a physician in Rochester, New York. A native of Worcester, Massachusetts, he is a graduate of Harvard College and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He is in private practice in radiation oncology in Rochester and holds an appointment as clinical associate professor of radiation oncology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine.

Dr. Sobel is a Fellow of the American College of Radiology, recipient of the Award of Merit of the Rochester Academy of Medicine, and was named the 2004 Physician of the Year by the Rochester Business Journal for his development of cancer treatment centers and education programs that serve the rural populations in the Rochester region of upstate New York.

He founded the Salon Concerts, a chamber music series that is now in its 15th year at the Rochester Academy of Medicine. He serves on the board of the Clifton Springs Hospital and Clinic, the Hochstein School of Music and Dance, the GEVA Theatre Center, and the Harvard-Radcliffe Club of Rochester.

Dr. Sobel lives in Rochester with his wife Barbara, an artist. Their son, Joshua, a graduate of Oberlin College, is pursuing a career in theater in Chicago. His daughter, Diane, is a social worker in Brooklyn, New York, where she lives with her husband and their son. His older son, Will, is a software architect and entrepreneur in Oakland, California, where he lives with his wife and three sons.

The Oberlin Orchestra

The Oberlin Orchestra has been the pride of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music since 1896. The ensemble has enjoyed a rich history of notable guest conductors including Igor Stravinsky, Pierre Boulez, Sir Simon Rattle, David Zinman, Robert Spano, and John Williams. Recent appearances by the Oberlin Orchestra include performances at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles; at Cleveland’s Severance Hall, home of the Cleveland Orchestra; a 13-day tour of China in 2005 and a second tour of China, including Singapore, in 2011; and a 2007 critically acclaimed performance at Carnegie Hall in New York conducted by Robert Spano. The New York Times described the performance at Carnegie Hall as “stellar.”

After Sir Simon Rattle conducted the Oberlin Chamber Orchestra in December 2004, Plain Dealer music critic Donald Rosenberg wrote that the concert was “stamped by magnificence.” Indeed, Rosenberg included the Oberlin-Rattle performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, which he described as “uncommonly rich in poetry and drama,” in his list of top 10 memorable events from the 2004 concert season.

Live recordings for the Oberlin Music label include The Oberlin Conservatory Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall (2007), The Oberlin Chamber Orchestra (2005) with soprano Alyson Cambridge ’02, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, and The Oberlin Orchestra in China (2007), conducted by Bridget-Michaele Reischl.

The Oberlin Conservatory of Music is one of the premier professional training institutions in the world. Established in 1865 as a division of Oberlin College, it is America’s oldest continuously operating conservatory of music and the only major music school in the United States devoted primarily to the education of undergraduate musicians. Praised as a “national treasure” by the Washington Post, the Oberlin Conservatory was awarded the highest artistic honor in the United States—the National Medal of Arts—by President Obama in 2009. Its graduates have achieved prominence as solo and ensemble performers, composers, conductors, music educators, and scholars, and are found in all major orchestras and opera companies around the world.