PEORIA, IL–The 121st Peoria Symphony Orchestra (PSO) season closes with the Great Cities: New York concerton Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 7:30 PM at the Peoria Civic Center Theater in Peoria, IL. From Bernstein and Barber to Rodgers & Hammerstein, it will be an evening of unforgettable music from “The City that Never Sleeps.”

Regarding this performance, Maestro George Stelluto says:

“This Great Cities concert celebrates the musical inspiration that is New York City. From Uptown to Downtown, Broadway to The Village, and East Side to West Side, this music is both gritty and gallant—but most of all enjoyable.”

The PSO opens with Intermezzo from Samuel Barber’s opera Vanessa, which was wildly successful at its premiere at the New York Metropolitan Opera in 1958. Melancholy, fraught emotions, and resignation are all communicated through Barber’s score. Intermezzo stands as a testament to why Barber is regarded as one of America’s most important composers.

The PSO’s 2018-19 Artist In Residence, pianist Geoffrey Duce, will then perform Edward MacDowell’s dramatic Concerto No. 2. Duce has performed in Carnegie Hall, Berlin’s Philharmonie, London’s Wigmore Hall, Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall and Edinburgh’s Queen’s Hall, across Europe, and in Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, Duce is currently Assistant Professor of Piano at Illinois State University.

In celebration of New York City, Maestro George Stelluto arranged Broadway Legends, a three-part suite of highlights from beloved musicals that hold historic significance and had a ground-breaking impact on Broadway. The suite includes some of the greatest Broadway composer/arranger teams in history, such as Richard Rodgers and Robert Russell Bennett, Lionel Bart and Alfred Reed, and Marvin Hamlisch and Robert Lowden—just to name a few. Audiences will enjoy music from The Phantom of the Opera, The Sound of Music, Frozen, A Chorus Line, and more.

Finally, the PSO closes the concert with Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story. Concert-goers will relive the iconic rivalry between two New York City teenage gangs, the Jets and the Sharks, and two doomed lovers: a Puerto Rican girl named Maria, and a Polish-American boy named Tony. Bernstein takes the ballet music of West Side Story out of the orchestra pit and expands his score to include a full symphony orchestra for a truly immersive experience.

More than just a concert, Great Cities: New York is a full evening of activities. Beginning at 6:00 PM, concert-goers are invited to view artwork from local fine artists in the Peoria Civic Center Theater Lobby. Artists include Natalie Jackson O’Neal, Elizabeth Davis, Jessica Ball, Quinton Thomas, Cathie Crawford, Thomas Pries, Jay Babin, Ruth Inman, Sarah Nesbit, Morgan Elser, Trish Williams, Bear Swanson, and more. Maestro George Stelluto will present a free pre-concert lecture at 6:30 PM. Themed drinks and small bites will be available to purchase before the concert and during intermission. Finally, concert-goers are invited to join Maestro Stelluto and musicians at a P.S. Party following the concert at Two25 Restaurant (located inside the Mark Twain Hotel), 225 NE Adams Street, Peoria.

Great Cities: New York is sponsored by Maui Jim, PwC, and the Meredith Foundation. This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency. Additional support of the 121st Symphony Season is provided by the PNC Foundation.

Tickets for Great Cities: New York start at $25; student tickets are $10. Tickets are available by calling 309.671.1096, visiting the PSO Box Office located at 101 State Street, Peoria, IL, or online at

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Founded in 1897, the Peoria Symphony Orchestra (PSO) is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to entertain, educate, and inspire through music. The PSO presents excellent live musical performances, innovative music education programs, and engaging community outreach efforts, which significantly impact the cultural and economic vitality of Central Illinois.

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This season was made possible, in part, by leadership gifts from:
Peoria Symphony Foundation Soderstrom Skin Institute Illinois Arts Council Agency
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