Opening Night At The Symphony With Joshua Bell

Joshua Bell

Joshua Bell opens the Pacific Symphony’s 2014-15 Season Sept. 25 – 27

Pacific Symphony launches Music Director Carl St.Clair’s landmark 25th-Anniversary “Season Of Giants” with classical music superstar, violinist Joshua Bell on Thurs through Sat, Sept. 25-27, at 8 p.m. in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. This season opening event includes two orchestral showpieces, a West Coast premiere and festivities fit for the grand occasion.

Bell returns for his fifth performance with the Symphony (he last performed with the Symphony in May 2010) to celebrate the maestro and captivate audiences with the exciting, breakneck theme and stunning Romanticism of Alexander Glazunov’s Violin Concerto. The violinist’s artistry is exemplified in his new music directorship of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, his release of 40 CDs since the age of 18, multiple television appearances and countless accolades.

After intermission, St.Clair shines the spotlight on the orchestra in the form of two compelling, erotic tales: Richard Strauss’ decadent “Dance of the Seven Veils” from the opera, “Salome,” followed by Ravel’s masterpiece, the radiant Suite No. 2 from his ballet score “Daphnis and Chloé.” This year marks the 150th anniversary of Richard Strauss’ birthday. His opera “Salome” was based on a play by Oscar Wilde, which was a lustful, “modern” (in Wilde’s words) elaboration on the biblical tale. The opera changed everything for Strauss. Its sexual themes and innovative music caused so much controversy that it led to Strauss’ international fame. “Dance of the Seven Veils,” is a sensual dance by the king’s daughter done to convince her father to behead John the Baptist.

Inspired by the Greek myth, Ravel spent three years composing the score to “Daphnis and Chloé” for the Ballets Russes in Paris, and it was described by Stravinsky to be “not only Ravel’s best work but one of the most beautiful products in all of French music.” Suite No. 2 includes the final three movements: “Daybreak,” when the lovers are reunited at sunrise; “Pantomine,” which tells the story of the god Pan with a prominent flute solo; and “General Dance,” where Bacchanalian merriment and mounting excitement ensue.

A night honoring Maestro St.Clair, the Opening Night Celebration, “Carl St.Clair—25 Years on a Journey of Illumination,” takes place Thurs, Sept. 25. An elegant cocktail reception and pre-concert dinner begin at 5 p.m. on the Terrace Pavilion of The Westin South Coast Plaza. Entertainment and dessert immediately follow the concert in the same location. The event is co-chaired by long-time Symphony supporters Susan Anderson, Suzanne Chonette, Janice Johnson and Janice Smith. Tables range from $750-$25,000; individual seats are $500. Dress is black tie. For more information, please contact special events at (714) 876-2364 or .

The 2014-15 Hal and Jeanette Segerstrom Family Foundation Classical Series also bring to Orange County special performances with Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman. A preview talk with Alan Chapman begins at 7 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (714) 755-5799 or visit