The Nutcracker Suite

The Nutcracker Suite is a recording by American guitarist Tim Sparks, released in 1993.[1] It consists of both an adaptation for acoustic guitar of Tchaikovsky‘s suite from his ballet The Nutcracker and the Balkan Dreams Suite, a suite of songs based on melodies and ideas of Béla Bartók. Sparks won the 1993 National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship playing his solo guitar arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite”.[2]


A review of the album in Classical Guitar Magazine stated: “After listening to the CD, I must admit that Sparks catches the essence of the music in a wonderful way. For the advanced player, this is an excellent edition to reap the rewards of the Nutcracker Suite.”

Guitar Player called it “An exhilarating, odd-meter minefield inspired by Near Eastern music. An important recording from a gifted composer, arranger and performer.”

Track listing

(P.I. Tchaikovsky/arr. Tim Sparks)

  1. “Overture” – 2:10
  2. March of the Toy Soldiers” – 2:12
  3. Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” – 1:57
  4. Cossack Dance” – 1:22
  5. Arabian Dance” – 2:41
  6. Chinese Dance” – 1:15
  7. Dance of the Reed Pipes” – 2:50
  8. Waltz of the Flowers” – 6:11

Balkan Dreams Suite (trad. arr. Tim Sparks)

  1. “Oniro/Dimineatsa Dupa Nunta” – 3:09
  2. “Samiotisa – 2:33
  3. “Tatavliano Hasapiko” – 2:35
  4. “Melek N’ty Ubana” – 4:06
  5. “The Blues on Bartok Street” (Tim Sparks) – 3:25


  • Tim Sparks – acoustic guitar, requinto

Production notes

  • Produced by Tim Sparks
  • Engineered, mixed and mastered by Jay M. Fleming​