On March 4, the Oakland Symphony took to the stage of the Paramount Theatre in a moving tribute to the late Bonnie Bonetti-Bell, co-founder of Bell Investment Advisors and patron of the Oakland arts community. She passed away in November 2019.
James F. Bell, Chairman and fellow co-founder, underwrote the performance in memory of his late wife. The performance had been long in the making, as James began talks with the Symphony over a year ago to organize and curate the program.
The night featured performances of Debussy’s Salut Printemps and Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, Rautavaara’s Lapsimessu, Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, and Respighi’s The Fountains of Rome — the titular piece of the concert.
Before the concert, a slideshow celebrating Bonnie’s legacy played as attendees mingled in the Paramount and found their seats.
Speakers at the performance consisted of friends, colleagues, and members of the Bell family, including Mieko Hatano (Artistic Director of the Oakland Symphony), Eric Tuan (Artistic Director of the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir), Dr. Lynne Morrow (Chorus Director of the Oakland Symphony), and Beth Vandervenet (MUSE Manager and Symphony cellist).
President Forrest Bell was gifted a rose bush to honor Bonnie’s memory, which he accepted in his father’s stead. He remarked upon his mother’s deep love of the Symphony and the greater Oakland arts community, stating that her “days were filled with music” even up to her passing.
Forrest also used his time on stage to honor the memory of Maestro Michael Morgan, the late Music Director Laureate of the Oakland Symphony, who had developed a close friendship with the Bell family through their mutual love of music. Forrest characterized the night as “one final love letter” to both Bonnie and Michael.
James F. Bell had previously underwritten the concert “We Remember Michael” last October, in memory of Maestro Michael Morgan.
James and Bonnie have supported the symphony personally and through the corporate sponsorship gifted by Bell Investment Advisors for almost 20 years. We here at Bell Investment Advisors would encourage all those who call Oakland their home to join us in giving to such a vital Oakland institution.
You can read more about Bonnie’s legacy to our company and to the Oakland community here.