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Joshua Bell is one of the most celebrated violinists of his era. His restless curiosity, passion, and multi-faceted musical interests have earned him the rare title of “classical music superstar.” Recently named the Music Director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Bell is the first person to hold this post since Sir Neville Marriner formed the orchestra in 1958. Their first recording under Bell's leadership of Beethoven’s 4th and 7th symphonies from Sony Classical debuted at #1 on the Billboard Classical chart. Bell’s recording of the Bach violin concertos with the orchestra will be released September 29, 2014 to coincide with the airing of the HBO documentary special Joshua Bell: A YoungArts MasterClass.
Equally at home as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist and orchestra leader, Bell's 2014 summer highlights include performances with the Indianapolis and Detroit Symphonies and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. Appearances at Aspen, Festival del Sole Napa, Ravinia, Verbier, Salzburg, Mostly Mozart and Tanglewood and two concerts with the New York Philharmonic in New York's Central and the Bronx's Van Cortland Parks round out the summer. Bell kicks off the new season at the New York Philharmonic, Toronto, and National Symphony Orchestra galas. A U.S. and European recital tour with pianist Alessio Bax, a week with the New York Philharmonic and a European tour with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields are just some of this year’s highlights.
2015 commences with European tours with the Academy and with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe plus a U.S. and Canadian recital tour with pianist Sam Haywood. Spring performances with orchestras include The Munich Philharmonic and Ochestra Nacional d’Espana and three Czech chamber music concerts at London’s Wigmore Hall with cellist Steven Isserlis and pianist Jeremy Denk.
In 2007, Bell performed incognito in a subway station for a Washington Post story examining art and context. The story earned writer Gene Weingarten a Pulitzer Prize and sparked an international firestorm of discussion which continues thanks to the children’s book, The Man With the Violin by Kathy Stinson illustrated by Dušan Petričić from Annick Press.
An exclusive Sony Classical artist, Bell has recorded more than 40 CDs since his first recording at age 18 on the Decca Label which have garnering Mercury, Grammy, Gramophone and Echo Klassik awards.
Recent releases include Bell’s first recording with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields under his leadership of the Beethoven 4th and 7th symphonies, . Bell’s holiday CD, Musical Gifts From Joshua Bell and Friends, French Impressions with pianist Jeremy Denk, the eclectic At Home With Friends, the Defiance soundtrack, Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with the Berlin Philharmonic, The Red Violin Concerto, 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. His discography encompasses critically-acclaimed performances of the major violin repertoire in addition to John Corigliano’s Oscar-winning soundtrack, The Red Violin.
Born in Bloomington, Indiana, Bell received his first violin at age four and at 12 began studying with Josef Gingold at Indiana University. Two years later Bell came to national attention in his debut with Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra and, at 17, debuted at Carnegie Hall. Bell performs on the 1713 Huberman Stradivarius.