Hailed as “the greatest American violinist active today” by The Boston Herald, Joshua Bell is the classical music superstar – winner of several Grammy Awards, an Emmy, an Oscar, the Avery Fisher Prize and a Pulitzer Prize. Joshua Bell performs with the VSO for one night only – Friday, April 17th, 8pm, at the Orpheum Theatre.
Bramwell Tovey conducts this Spanish-themed concert which will include Chabrier’s España, Rimsky-Korsakov’s extraordinary Capriccio espagnole, Ravel’s seductive, ever-popular Bolero, and Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole for Violin and Orchestra – a unique, virtuoso concerto featuring Mr. Bell.
Joshua Bell performs Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole on his famous 1713 Gibson ex-Huberman Stradivarius – considered one of the world’s greatest violins. In 1936, the violin was stolen from Polish violinist, Bronislaw Huberman, while he was performing a concert at Carnegie Hall and was only recovered after the thief’s deathbed confession 50 years later. This is the same violin Mr. Bell used to record seven-time Oscar-nominated Composer James Newton Howard’s original score for the 2009 film Defiance as well as the violinist’s recent recording of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.
Bell has been a pioneer in crossing from the traditional classical world to the mainstream, appearing on The Today Show, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Sesame Street, the GQ Awards show, and being profiled as one of People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People. Joshua was also the first artist to have a classical music video air on VH1. Last month, Mr. Bell had the honour of performing for U.S. President Barack Obama at the historic Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C.
In a 2007 social experiment initiated by Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten, Bell donned a baseball cap and played as an incognito street busker at the Metro subway station L’Enfant Plaza in Washington, D.C. The experiment was videotaped on hidden camera; among 1,097 people who passed by, only seven stopped to listen to him (mostly children), and only one recognized him. For his nearly 45-minute performance, Bell collected $32.17 from 27 passersby (excluding $20 from the passerby who recognized him). Weingarten won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing for this article about perception, taste and priorities of people.
Joshua Bell has captured the public’s imagination like no other classical violinist of his time. For over two decades, Joshua Bell has been captivating audiences worldwide with his poetic musicality. He came to national attention at the age of 14 in a highly acclaimed orchestral debut with Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra. A Carnegie Hall debut, the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant and a recording contract further confirmed his presence in the music world. Today he is equally at home as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestra leader and his restless curiosity and multifaceted musical interests have taken him in exciting new directions that has earned him the rare title of “classical music superstar.”
Bell and his two sisters grew up on a farm in Bloomington, Indiana. As a child, he indulged in many passions outside of music, becoming an avid computer game player and a competitive athlete. He placed fourth in a national tennis tournament at age 10 and still keeps his racquet close by.
Bell received his first violin at age four after his parents, both psychologists by profession, noticed him plucking tunes with rubber bands he had stretched around the handles of his dresser drawers. By 12 he was serious about the instrument, thanks in large part to the inspiration of renowned violinist and pedagogue Josef Gingold, who had become his beloved teacher and mentor.
For more information, visit http://www.joshuabell.com.
Joshua Bell with the VSO!
Friday, April 17, 8pm, Orpheum Theatre
Bramwell Tovey, conductor
Joshua Bell, violin
Rimsky-Korsakov Capriccioso espagnol, Op. 34
Lalo Symphonie espagnole, Op. 21
Tickets $25 to $78.50 (Student, Senior and Subscriber discounts available)
Tickets available by phone at 604.876.3434 or online at http://www.vancouversymphony.ca