GSO opens its season with Mahler’s Fourth Symphony

Maria Valdes with back turned but head turned to face camera, wearing a black lacey shawl or blouseMaria Valdes (photo credit: Anna Barbera. Courtesy of the Georgia Symphony Orchestra)

The Marietta-based Georgia Symphony Orchestra (GSO) will open its 71st season with a performance of Gustav Mahler’s Fourth Symphony. GSO Music Director and Conductor Timothy Verville will conduct the performance.

Acclaimed soprano and Marietta native Maria Valdes will be the featured soloist at the performance.

It will be held on Sept. 25, 2021 at the Marietta Performing Arts Center.

The concert is entitled “Mahler, smahler” because it’s a reduced orchestration of the symphony.

This special chamber version of the Fourth Symphony was arranged by Yoon Jae Lee, founder and artistic director of Ensemble 212 in New York City, and curator of the Mahler Chamber Project.

“Mahler’s Fourth Symphony often is referred to as the most ‘chamber-like,’ due to the exquisite intricacies and interplay between instrumental sections,” said Verville. “The GSO’s chamber version of this work contains all the sublime melodies and progressive harmonies that have led to Mahler’s popularity as a composer.” 

Mahler, smahler is the first of three performances in the GSO’s Classics Series. The GSO’s 2021-2022 season performance schedule also includes its Holiday Pops, Sensory Friendly, GSO Chorus and GSO Jazz! concerts.

The GSO implements the following rules to avoid the spread of COVID-19:

To ensure the health, safety and comfort of its patrons, musicians and staff, the GSO is offering socially distanced matinee and evening shows of this performance at reduced seating capacity. The GSO also will require all patrons to be fully vaccinated, show proof upon entry and be masked for the duration of the concert.

Season subscriptions and individual tickets can be purchased online at

About the Georgia Symphony Orchestra

The Georgia Symphony Orchestra began in 1951 with the formation of the Marietta Music Club.

According to the GSO website:

The music room of Arthur F. Moor’s home on 383 Church Street in Marietta would establish the foundations for what would evolve over the next sixty-plus years. Talented local musicians would come together to create and share wonderful music with audiences. From 1955 until 1989, Betty Shipman Bennett conducted the orchestra through this long period of development. The music club grew to become the Marietta Community Symphony.

The orchestra was later renamed the Cobb Symphony as more professional musicians were added to the staff, and in 2011 it became the Georgia Symphony Orchestra.

The GSO states as its mission:

The mission of the Georgia Symphony Orchestra is to enrich our community through accessible, high quality musical and educational experiences that instill a lifelong appreciation for the arts.