Exploring Music: Gustav Mahler

The public is invited to Exploring Music presents “Gustav Mahler: Symphonic Excerpts” with Oak Park Arms resident Alfred Schoepko at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19 at the Oak Park Arms, 408 S. Oak Park Ave.

Gustav Mahler Gustav Mahler was an Austrian composer and one of the leading conductors of his time. Born in 1860 in Bohemia, Mahler – who was Jewish – helped bridge the musical gap between the traditional 19th century Austro-German customs and the modernism of the early 20th century.

Mahler was first introduced to music through his town’s street songs, folk melodies, dance tunes and the trumpets and marches of the local military band. He displayed musical gifts at an early age and went on to graduate from the Vienna Conservatory in 1878.

Although his status as a conductor was solidly established, his musical compositions took longer to gain popularity. After periods of neglect, including a ban on its performance in most of Europe during the Nazi era, Mahler’s music was discovered and championed by a new generation of listeners in 1945 and became frequently performed and recorded well into the 21st century.

In each Exploring Music session, Schoepko focuses on a classical music selection. The piece is listened to, usually on a disc, after which a discussion about the artist and the work takes place

Originally from Austria, Schoepko is an educator and conductor who has also performed as a singer and recording artist. He has worked with the Chicago Symphony Chorus under the baton of Robert Shaw, Fritz Reiner and Margaret Hillis.

In addition, Schoepko has taught at the Oak Park River Forest High School, Northeastern University and also for the Adult Education division at Oak Park River Forest. He is currently the Choir Director at Saint Alfonzo’s Church in Chicago and has held that position for more than 50 years.

Oak Park Arms Senior Living is a rental retirement community which provides senior housing in the form of independent living. Furnished apartments are also available for a short-term stay – a weekend, a week, a month or longer.

The event is free and open to the public. Call Heather Lindstrom at 708-386-4040.