New World Symphony & Puts’ Violin Concerto: Opening Night with the Pasadena Symphony

Sep 30, 2015

Bella-Hristova_violinNot many composers of the 19th century could say they’ve been to the moon. Practically speaking, Antonín Dvořák has not been and never will go to the moon, but his work has been.

Neil Armstrong chose Dvořák’s New World Symphony as his music of choice before embarking on the epic 1969 Apollo 11 mission to the moon.

If it’s good enough for Armstrong and the Man in the Moon, it must be an appropriate choice for the Pasadena Symphony‘s program as the 2015-16 season opens on October 10.

The celebration of Dvořák’s most popular work, along with Bella Hristova performing Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts‘ lyrical Violin Concerto, will be held at the Sierra Symphony Auto Lounge with two performances. Additionally, conductor David Lockington heads “Insights,” a pre-concert discussion and a behind-the-scenes look at the scheduled music and musicians.

Full program:
Wagner’s Die Meistersinger: Prelude
Puts’ Violin Concerto
Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World”


Composer Kevin Puts

Composer Kevin Puts


Opening Night with the Pasadena Symphony
Saturday, Oct. 10th, 2 & 8 p.m.
Sierra Symphony Auto Lounge, Ambassador Auditorium
131 South St. John Ave., Pasadena
Tickets: $35-$110
Call 1.626.793.7172 or purchase online here


Antonín Dvořák

Antonín Dvořák


Writing New World Symphony, it is said that Dvořák was influenced by Native American music and African American spirituals.¹

Dvořák’s writings reveal that he admired the beauty of African American spirituals and plantation songs of the American South and that he advised other composers also to study them for inspiration. Many musicologists have speculated that, at least in part, the melodies of the New World Symphony were based on such spirituals.

He acknowledged that certain segments of the symphony were inspired by The Song of Hiawatha, a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that recounted the tale of Hiawatha, the legendary Onondaga chief. (



Violinist Bella Hristova




¹ Source material: and


Ambassador Auditorium, publicity photo

Ambassador Auditorium, publicity photo






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