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Symphony closes its season with Mahler

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The music of Gustav Mahler will highlight the Peoria Symphony Orchestra’s final concert of the season Saturday in the Peoria Civic Center Theater.

The concert, titled “Gustav Mahler, Symphony No. 7,” begins at 8 p.m. and will close the Peoria Symphony’s 117th season.

This will be the first time in the Peoria Symphony’s history that this piece will be performed, the PSO said in a news release. “Nearly 100 musicians will take the stage prepared to devote themselves to this enormous work, which includes some of Mahler’s most dark and introspective music, but ultimately ends with a bright, exultant finale,” the release said.

The concert will be 75 minutes of continuous music without an intermission.

Written 110 years ago the work was given the nickname “Song of the Night” because of its two movement titled “Nachtmusik.” Mahler himself stated this work is a passage from night to day and that in this symphony “nature roars!”

Peoria Symphony music director Maestro George Stelluto issued a warning that “This music could blow your mind!”

“Mahler himself resisted the idea that his music was programmatic. However, there is no doubt that it contains deep influences of both the sounds and psychological-emotional experiences of his life, Stelluto wrote in a recent newsletter.

“The Symphony No. 7’s changing moods and schizophrenic outbursts more closely resemble (musically) a Freudian dream than an awakened autobiography. It might be a musical insight into how we process our thoughts and experiences unconsciously in order to make sense of our conscious world,” he wrote.

Tickets for the concert start at $28 (only $10 for students) and are available online at or they can be ordered by calling (309) 671-1096. The Symphony box office at 101 State Street is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and at the Civic Center on Saturday beginning at 7 p.m.