Back To Press Releases
July 25, 2023

Tickets on sale now: Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra announces 2023 ISO Opening Night Gala

Tickets on sale now: Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra announces 2023 ISO Opening Night Gala featuring Joshua Bell with special guest Larisa Martínez on September 23

World-renowned violinist Joshua Bell headlines ISO’s largest fundraising event of the season as former ISO Music Director John Nelson conducts
Featuring special guest Larisa Martínez, soprano
Presented by the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation
Tickets available at the Hilbert Circle Theatre Box Office (317-639-4300) or online

Saturday, September 23, 2023
6:30 p.m. Performance
Hilbert Circle Theatre, 45 Monument Circle, Indianapolis, Indiana 

Symphony No. 4 “Italian”

Violin Concerto No. 1

Ah, ritorna, eta dell’oro

8:00 p.m. Dinner and Dancing
Indiana Roof Ballroom 

Attire: Black Tie Optional
Dinner packages and single tickets available at 

INDIANAPOLIS— The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra welcomes back Indiana Living Legend and Grammy Award-winning violinist Joshua Bell along with the ISO’s fourth Music Director John Nelson for the 2023 Opening Night Gala. For an unforgettable experience at this premier event of the fall season in Indianapolis, dinner packages are available through the ISO Box Office at 317-639-4300. Single tickets for the concert are also available to the public at the Box Office or via the ISO’s website.

Join the ISO as we welcome back superstar Hoosier violinist Joshua Bell performing Bruch’s passionate First Violin Concerto. Former ISO Music Director John Nelson leads a program that includes Mendelssohn’s joyful “Italian” Symphony. Soprano Larisa Martínez, who performed with Andrea Bocelli and the ISO in 2022 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, brings her stunning operatic talent to the Hilbert Circle Theatre stage for Mendelssohn’s Ah, ritorna, eta dell’oro.

“The ISO is thrilled to welcome Joshua Bell to celebrate the ISO’s 2023 Opening Night Gala and share his iconic talent with our community. We are also eager for this exciting collaboration featuring John Nelson, the ISO’s former music director. This tremendous event is a fitting way to begin a new ISO season offering life-changing musical experiences through the stunning work of our world-class orchestra and brilliant guest artists,” said James M. Johnson, CEO.  

The Gala is the ISO’s largest fundraising event of the year and is featured as part of the IU Health Plans Classical Series presented by the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation. The Gala concert takes place at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 23, 2023, at the historic Hilbert Circle Theatre in downtown Indianapolis. The performance is followed by the Opening Night Gala dinner to celebrate the start of the fall season at the Indiana Roof Ballroom, 140 W. Washington Street, Indianapolis, at 8:00 p.m. 

Performance begins at 6:30 p.m., September 23, 2023, at Hilbert Circle Theatre. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Reception and dinner is held at the Indiana Roof Ballroom, 140 W. Washington Street, Indianapolis. Tickets are available now. Patrons may buy concert tickets only, or a package for the concert and dinner. Proceeds from the reception and dinner support ISO programs and purchases may be tax deductible, in part. For information regarding the policies of the Hilbert Circle Theatre, please visit the ISO website. 

About Joshua Bell
With a career spanning almost four decades, GRAMMY® Award-winning violinist Joshua Bell is one of the most celebrated artists of his era. Having performed with virtually every major orchestra in the world, Bell continues to maintain engagements as soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, conductor and Music Director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. 

Bell’s highlights in the 2022-23 season include leading the Academy of St Martin in the Fields on tour in South America to Sao Paulo, Bogotá, and Montevideo as well in Europe, in Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Denmark, and the United Kingdom. Joshua appears in guest performances with the Berlin Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, Sofia Philharmonic, Franz Schubert Filharmonia as well as a European tour with pianist Peter Dugan. This season in the U.S., Bell will perform alongside the New York Philharmonic, as well as the San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Houston, Baltimore, and New Jersey Symphony Orchestras.  

Born in Bloomington, Indiana, Bell began the violin at age four, and at age twelve, began studies with his mentor, Josef Gingold. At age 14, Bell debuted with Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and made his Carnegie Hall debut at age 17 with the St. Louis Symphony. At age 18, Bell signed with his first label, London Decca, and received the Avery Fisher Career Grant. In the years following, Bell has been named 2010 “Instrumentalist of the Year” by Musical America, a 2007 “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum, nominated for six GRAMMY® awards, and received the 2007 Avery Fisher Prize. He has also received the 2003 Indiana Governor’s Arts Award and a Distinguished Alumni Service Award in 1991 from the Jacobs School of Music. In 2000, he was named an “Indiana Living Legend.” 

Bell performs on the 1713 Huberman Stradivarius violin.

About John Nelson
John Nelson served as the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Music Director from 1976 to 1987. He is recognized worldwide as one of America’s most eminent conductors, as well as the leading living interpreter of the music of Hector Berlioz. In 2018, Nelson stole headlines the world over by way of outstanding critical reception to his complete recording of Berlioz’s Les Troyens. Recorded for Warner Classics/Erato with the Orchestre philharmonique de Strasbourg, the recording met with universal acclaim. To mark the 150th anniversary of Berlioz’s death, Nelson led a performance of Berlioz’s Requiem (2019) – in London’s iconic St. Paul’s Cathedral. 

The 2022-2023 season sees Nelson conduct Handel’s Messiah at Coventry Cathedral and lead a star-studded performance of Bizet’s Carmen at the Royal Albert Hall, London (joined by Joyce DiDonato and the Orchestre philharmonique de Strasbourg). Additionally, he performs and records both Mozart’s Requiem (Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne), and Berlioz’s Lélio & Symphonie Fantastique fantastique (Royal Danish Orchestra). 

Over a career spanning some five decades, Nelson has conducted the world’s leading orchestras and ensembles in North America, Europe, and Asia, including the orchestras of Boston, Los Angeles, New York, Montréal, London Philharmonic, London Symphony, Madrid Symphony RTVE, Orchestre de Paris, China Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and many more. Nelson studied at the Juilliard School in New York, where he received the Irving Berlin Conducting Prize.   Over the course of his career, he has served as Music Director of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Opera Theater of St. Louis, the Caramoor Music Festival in New York and the Orchestre de chambre de Paris.  

About Larisa Martínez
Puerto Rican opera singer Larisa Martínez has been praised and sought after for her “smoky soprano” (Opera News), gracing many of the world’s top opera and concert stages, including recent debuts as a soloist at the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, and the Hollywood Bowl.  

This season, Larisa makes her debuts with the Colorado Symphony and Indianapolis Symphony, as well as at the Verbier Festival, performing “Voice and the Violin” with violinist Joshua Bell, a program that explores repertoire ranging from classical art song and opera, to musical theater, to a series of selections by Puerto Rican and Spanish composers. Over the last two years, “Voice and the Violin” has been presented at the Brevard Music Center, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Chautauqua Amphitheater, with the Hawaii Symphony, and at the Ravinia Festival, among others. 

Larisa’s recent roles include Violetta in La Traviata, conducted by Eugene Kohn (Wichita Grand Opera), Sophie alongside tenor Piotr Beczala in Werther (Culturarte), and Maria in West Side Story conducted by Lawrence Foster with tenor Michael Fabiano (Festival Napa Valley). In 2019, Larisa made her Kennedy Center debut in recital and Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage debut, singing Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Athens Philharmonic under the baton of Yiannis Hadjiloizou. In 2020, she appeared with the Grand Rapids Symphony, performing Heitor Villa-Lobos’ Floresta do Amazonas. Other concert appearances include Mahler’s Symphony No.4 and Mozart’s Requiem in D minor and Voci di Domani, presented by Renata Scotto and recorded by Euroclassics in Rome. 

About the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, at home and thriving in the heart of Indianapolis, offers an exceptional artistic and musical experience. The orchestra is open to all and dedicated to creating an inclusive and innovative experiential environment that is inspiring, educational, and welcoming. The ISO celebrates historically beloved performances while engaging audiences by introducing new voices through programming including the IU Health Plans Classical Series, the Printing Partners Pops Series, Kroger Symphony on the Prairie, the holiday traditions of AES Indiana Yuletide Celebration, and the popular Film Series presented by Bank of America. For more information, visit