Visit this artist's website: http://www.joshuabell.com
JOSHUA BELL is among the most celebrated violinists of his era, renowned for his passion, restless curiosity and multi-faceted musical interests. His scope is almost unparalleled, equally at home as a soloist, chamber music, recording artist and orchestra leader. Bell was named the Music Director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields in 2011, becoming the first person to hold this post since Sir Neville Marriner formed the orchestra in 1958.
Bell’s 2016 summer highlights include a number of summer dates with trumpeter Chris Botti. Bell opens Tanglewood and performs at the Aspen, Ravinia, Bravo Vail, Grand Teton and Mostly Mozart festivals. The fall includes performances with the Czech Philharmonic, a tour of Switzerland with the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra and a tour to Korea and Japan with the Orchestra de Paris under the direction of Daniel Harding. Bell performs in North America with the, Atlanta, and Minnesota Orchestras, the Los Angeles Philharmonic with Gustavo Dudamel conducting; in recital with pianist Alessio Bax at Lincoln Center, ending the year with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra.
2017 includes a tour with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields to Europe and Australia, performances with the Montreal, Seattle Symphony and the New York Philharmonic plus a U.S. recital tour with pianist Sam Haywood.
Bell returns to Washington, DC for a week long Artist-in-Residence. Performing and collaborating across artistic and educational mediums, Bell will explore the depths of artistic possibilities examining synergies between music, dance, the culinary arts, literature, education and technology. Featured events will include an evening with Gourmet Symphony, collaboration with Brooklyn’s Dance Heginbotham, a recital with literature celebrating John F. Kennedy’s Centennial, and a family concert based on the best-selling book children’s book The Man With The Violin, a world premiere co-commission from Anne Dudley, originally inspired by Bell incognito 2007 performance in a Washington, DC Metro. Bell will also visit a local school as part of the Turnaround Arts Program created by President Obama’s Arts & Humanities committee.
An exclusive Sony Classical artist, Bell has recorded more than 40 CDs -- garnering Grammy, Mercury, Gramophone and Echo Klassik awards-- since his first LP recording at age 18 on the Decca Label. For The Love Of Brahms will be released September 16 featuring the Double Concerto in A minor, Op. 102 performed by Joshua Bell and Steven Isserlis and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Also included on the recording is the Brahms Trio in B major, Op. 8 (considered one of the most beautiful pieces of chamber music ever written) with Joshua Bell, Steven Isserlis and Jeremy Denk.
Recent releases include BACH-- recorded with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, and Beethoven’s 4th and 7th Symphonies also recorded with the Academy. Bell’s holiday CD, Musical Gifts from Joshua Bell and Friends, featuring collaborations with Chris Botti, Chick Corea, Gloria Estefan, Renée Fleming, Plácido Domingo, Alison Krauss and others. Other releases include French Impressions with pianist Jeremy Denk, featuring sonatas by Saint-Saëns, Ravel and Franck, At Home With Friends, Vivaldi's The Four Seasons with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, The Tchaikovsky Concerto with the Berlin Philharmonic, as well as The Red Violin Concerto, The Essential Joshua Bell, Voice of the Violin, and Romance of the Violin which Billboard named the 2004 Classical CD of the Year, and Bell the Classical Artist of the Year. Bell received critical acclaim for his concerto recordings of Sibelius and Goldmark, Beethoven and Mendelssohn, and the Grammy Award winning Nicholas Maw concerto. His Grammy-nominated Gershwin Fantasy premiered a new work for violin and orchestra based on themes from Porgy and Bess. Its success led to a Grammy-nominated Bernstein recording that included the premiere of the West Side Story Suite as well as the composer's Serenade. Bell appeared on the Grammy-nominated crossover recording Short Trip Home with composer and double bass virtuoso Edgar Meyer, as well as a recording with Meyer of the Bottesini Gran Duo Concertante. Bell also collaborated with Wynton Marsalis on the Grammy-winning spoken word children's album Listen to the Storyteller and Béla Fleck’s Grammy Award winning recording, Perpetual Motion. Highlights of the Sony Classical film soundtracks on which Bell has performed include The Red Violin which won the Oscar for Best Original Score, the Classical Brit-nominated Ladies in Lavender, and the films, Iris and Defiance.
Seeking opportunities to increase violin repertoire, Bell has premiered new works by Nicholas Maw, John Corigliano, Aaron Jay Kernis, Edgar Meyer, Behzad Ranjbaran and Jay Greenberg. Bell also performs and has recorded his own cadenzas to most of the major violin concertos.
Perhaps the event that helped most to transform his reputation from “musician’s musician" to household name was his incognito performance in a Washington, DC subway station in 2007. Ever adventurous, Bell had agreed to participate in the Washington Post story by Gene Weingarten which thoughtfully examined art and context. The story earned Weingarten a Pulitzer Prize and sparked an international firestorm of discussion. The conversation continues to this day, thanks in part to the September, 2013 publication of the illustrated children’s book, The Man with the Violin by Kathy Stinson illustrated by Dušan Petričić from Annick Press.
Bell has been embraced by a wide television audience with appearances ranging from The Tonight Show, Tavis Smiley, Charlie Rose, and CBS Sunday Morning to Sesame Street. In 2012 Bell starred in his sixth Live From Lincoln Center Presents broadcast titled: One Singular Sensation: Celebrating Marvin Hamlisch. Other PBS shows include Joshua Bell with Friends @ The Penthouse, Great Performances – Joshua Bell: West Side Story Suite from Central Park, Memorial Day Concert performed on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol, and A&E’s Biography. He has twice performed on the Grammy Awards telecast, performing music from Short Trip Home and West Side Story Suite. He was one of the first classical artists to have a music video on VH1 and he was the subject of a BBC Omnibus documentary and Joshua Bell A YoungArts Masterclass recently aired on HBO. Bell has appeared in publications ranging from The Strad and Gramophone to Time, The New York Times, People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, GQ, Vogue and Reader’s Digest among many.
Growing up with his two sisters in Bloomington, Indiana, Bell was an avid computer game player. He placed fourth in a national tennis tournament at age 10, and still keeps his racquet close by. At age four, he received his first violin after his parents, both mental health professionals, noticed him plucking tunes with rubber bands he had stretched around his dresser drawer handles. By 12, he was serious about the instrument, thanks in large part to the inspiration Josef Gingold, his beloved teacher and mentor. Two years later, Bell came to national attention in his debut with Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra. His Carnegie Hall debut, an Avery Fisher Career Grant and a notable recording contract further confirmed his presence.
In 1989, Bell received an Artist Diploma in Violin Performance from Indiana University where he currently serves as a senior lecturer at the Jacobs School of Music. His alma mater honored him with a Distinguished Alumni Service Award; he has been named an “Indiana Living Legend” and is the recipient of the Indiana Governor’s Arts Award.
Bell has received many accolades: He received the Dushkin Award in 2016 from the Chicago Music Institute. In 2013 he was honored by the New York Chapter of The Recording Academy; in 2012 by the National YoungArts Foundation, in 2011 he received the Paul Newman Award from Arts Horizons and the Huberman Award from Moment Magazine. Bell was named “Instrumentalist of the Year, 2010” by Musical America and received the Humanitarian Award from Seton Hall University. In 2009 he was honored by Education Through Music and received the Academy of Achievement Award in 2008. He was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize in 2007 and was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame in 2005.
In 2003 Bell was invited to perform at the World Economic Forum for an audience of global leaders and was later recognized by that prestigious organization as a Young Global Leader.
Convinced of the value of music as both a diplomatic and educational tool, he has performed for three U.S. Presidents as well as the President of China and devoted himself to several charitable causes, most notably Education Through Music, which has helped put instruments in the hands of thousands of kids in America’s inner cities. Recently he joined Turnaround Arts under the leadership of First Lady Michelle Obama, which brings arts education to a group of the lowest-performing elementary and middle schools across the country.
Bell serves on the artist committee of the Kennedy Center Honors, the New York Philharmonic Board of Directors, and Education Through Music. He recently returned from a trip to Cuba as a member of President Obama’s first cultural delegation.
Bell performs on the 1713 Huberman Stradivarius violin and uses a late 18th century French bow by François Tourte.