A Publication of WTVP

The 2013-2014 season offers a little something for everyone.

As it kicks off another concert season, the Peoria Symphony Orchestra is celebrating 116 years of bringing quality music to central Illinois. Music Director George Stelluto has created a season offering a variety of concerts, including the performance of classical masterworks by Mozart, Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Dvorak, Ravel and more. Two World Artist soloists will also perform: pianist Olga Kern, a Van Cliburn Competition gold medalist, and 14-time Grammy-winning banjoist Béla Fleck. Other concerts are designed to be enjoyed by families and to celebrate holidays, including a Matinee at the Movies concert, the annual Valentine’s Day concert and a new Mother’s Day performance.

Guest artists joining the symphony will include violinist Charles Yang, who plays with the “charisma of a rock star,” notes The Boston Globe. PSO’s principal violist, Katherine Lewis, and principal harpist Nicole Luchs will delight concertgoers with an evening of music from Paris. Paul Kantor will thrill the audience with his virtuosity on Vivaldi’s well-known “Four Seasons,” and Canadian Brass hornist Jeff Nelsen and his wife, singer Nina Nelsen, will end the season with a beautiful concert to welcome spring and celebrate Mother’s Day.

PSO Executive Director Susan Hoffman credits the success of the past season to several factors. “We are creating a total evening experience around our concerts. This may include a pre-concert lecture, music in the lobby before or after the concert, refreshments and the opportunity to mingle with musicians. New pricing areas and season ticket packages, including a flexible ‘Compose Your Own’ package, and new subscriber discounts make concert attendance easy and affordable.”

In addition, the Peoria Symphony continues to reach out into the community. Musical presentations occur in classrooms, hospitals and senior living centers, reaching people who may not otherwise be able to attend. Nearly 4,000 students and teachers attend student concerts at low or no cost; “often, this is the first experience of a live musical performance for these children,” says Hoffman.

The Peoria Symphony has recently received national and regional acclaim, winning the 2012 ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, as well as the Professional Orchestra of the Year Award from the Illinois Council of Orchestras. In addition, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn gave special recognition to the PSO Guild for more than 60 years of service to the community. a&s

Information on the 2013-14 season can be found at Season tickets are available by calling (309) 671-1096 or visiting the PSO Box Office at 101 State Street in Peoria.