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Pacific Symphony Orchestra to Mark 25th Anniversary with Violinist Joshua Bell & More, 9/25

Pacific Symphony Orchestra to Mark 25th Anniversary with Violinist Joshua Bell & More, 9/25

Orange County, Calif.-Aug. 28, 2014-Pacific Symphony launches Music Director Carl St.Clair's landmark 25th-anniversary "season of giants" with classical music superstar, violinist Joshua Bell, plus 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. Interview Magazine may have summed up the remarkable violinist's playing best by saying, Bell "does nothing less than tell human beings why they bother to live." 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.

"Joshua Bell is the greatest American violinist active today," declares The Boston Herald.

Taking place Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 25-27, at 8 p.m. in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, "Joshua Bell" opens the 2014-15 Hal and Jeanette Segerstrom Family Foundation Classical Series. Single tickets for this concert are $25-$99. Season-ticket packages for the Classical series (including specials with Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman) are available for $770-$1,350. A preview talk with Alan Chapman begins at 7 p.m. For more information or to 0purchase tickets, call (714) 755-5799 or visit PacificSymphony.org.

"I'm excited to come back to Orange County," says Bell. "I am always impressed by this orchestra and Carl St.Clair is one of my favorite conductors. He is a sensitive accompanist, so it will be nice to play with him and get his take on the Glazunov Violin Concerto, a piece that is still relatively new to me. I am definitely looking forward to it."

St.Clair returns the compliment, saying, "I'm really thankful that Josh Bell, one of the greatest violinists, made the time to come and share the first concert with us. I welcome every opportunity to perform with him. He's incredibly enlightening and musically rewarding for both orchestra and audience."

Honoring Maestro St.Clair, the Opening Night Celebration, "Carl St.Clair-25 Years on a Journey of Illumination," takes place Thursday, 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 events@pacificsymphony.org.

As with the rest of the season, St.Clair has designed an opening program that is close to his heart. Opening the concert is the joyous fanfare "Sound the Bells!" by St.Clair's longtime friend, renowned film composer John Williams. While Williams was music director of the Boston Pops, St.Clair was assistant conductor of the Boston Symphony, and it was there that he introduced the young St.Clair to an emerging orchestra on the West Coast. "I never would have known about Pacific Symphony were it not for John Williams," says St.Clair. Fittingly, the concert begins with Williams' exuberant work, first written in 1993 to mark the occasion of Crown Prince Naruhito's marriage to Masako Owada while the Boston Pops toured Japan.

The West Coast premiere of Grammy and Pulitzer-prize-winning composer Christopher Rouse's "Supplica," scored for strings, harp and percussion, is in keeping with St.Clair's dedication to performing new music by today's composers. Noted for his music's emotional expressiveness and intensity, Rouse wrote "Supplica," which was co-commissioned by Pacific Symphony and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. At its premiere, it was described as

"mysterious" and "affecting" with "haunting strings that filled in to create beauty both visceral and jarring" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). Written for a chamber-sized orchestra, it provides a contrast to the large orchestral works on the second half of the program.


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