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Symphony to honor Mom with season's final concert

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Mothers will be the honored guests Sunday when the Peoria Symphony Orchestra closes its 2013-14 season, its 116th, with a matinee performance at 3 p.m. in the Peoria Civic Center theater.

Titled “Daydreams,” the music chosen for the Mother’s Day concert includes romantic, classical, and popular music from composers Mozart, Bizet, Saint Saёns, and Dvorak.

The concert, headed by PSO music director and conductor George Stelluto, also will feature guest artists mezzo-soprano Nina Yoshida Nelsen and hornist Jeff Nelsen.

Tickets start at $26 ($11 for students) and can be purchased by calling the PSO box office at (309) 671-1096, online at or visiting the Box Office at 101 State Street in the WTVP building downtown Peoria. 

“The PSO continues the tradition of artistic excellence and excitement the community has come to expect,” Stelluto said. “Both our programming and guest artists are without peer. In a sense, the first half is a musical bouquet presented to all mothers. Nina and Jeff had their first child shortly before her debut with the PSO four years ago. So, it’s wonderful to celebrate the day with them.”

Stelluto said the Dvorak is taken from his first concert with the Peoria Symphony more than five years ago. “Its romantic, bucolic qualities remind me of spring and the countryside of both Prague and Peoria,” he said.

The Nelsens, returning as musical guest artists, have multi-generational appeal, Stelluto said. Jeff Nelsen, an acclaimed international hornist, is not only a teacher, mentor, writer and solo performer; he is also a trainer and has given talks on “Fearless Performance.”  He will be featured on Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 2, which is virtuosic and warm, and Nina Nelsen will sing the Habanera from Carmen along with a selected aria from Samson and Delilah. 

Nina Nelsen has been hailed as a “rich voiced, expressive mezzo-soprano” by San Francisco Voice and “appealingly direct and honest in tone and bearing,” by the Boston Globe.

The Mother’s Day concert ends with Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8, which is Dvorak’s most bucolic and idyllic symphony, the PSO said.

“This concert was specifically scheduled on Mother’s Day afternoon as an opportunity for families to spend time together.  The concert is a great way to honor mothers everywhere with beautiful symphonic music,” the PSO said.

There will be a pre-concert lecture starting at 2 p.m.

In addition, there will be a complimentary “Audience Appreciation” drawing for a night at the Hotel Pere Marquette or a $500 gift certificate for photography studio session and portrait from Buckman Designer Portrait Art.


About the Author
Paul Gordon is the editor of The Peorian after spending 29 years of indentured servitude at the Peoria Journal Star. He’s an award-winning writer, raconteur and song-and-dance man. He also went to a high school whose team name is the Alices (that’s Vincennes Lincoln High School in Indiana; you can look it up).