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Joshua Bell

Bell at Indiana University in February 2008
Background information
Born December 9, 1967 (1967-12-09) (age 42)
Origin Bloomington, Indiana, United States
Genres classical music
Occupations violinist
Instruments violin
Years active 1980s - present
Notable instruments
Gibson Stradivarius

Joshua David Bell (born December 9, 1967) is an American Grammy Award-winning violinist.

Contents

Childhood

Bell was born in Bloomington, Indiana, United States, the son of a psychologist and a therapist.[1] His mother is Jewish and his father a Christian. Bell's father is the late Alan P. Bell, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Indiana University, in Bloomington, a former Kinsey researcher.[2]

Bell began taking violin lessons at the age of four after his mother discovered her son had taken rubber bands from around the house and stretched them across the handles of his dresser drawer to pluck out music he had heard her play on the piano. His parents got a scaled-to-size violin for their then five-year-old son and started giving him lessons. A bright student, Bell took to the instrument but lived an otherwise normal midwest Indiana life playing video games and excelling at sports, namely tennis and bowling, even placing in a national tennis tournament at the age of ten.[3]

Bell studied as a boy first under Donna Bricht, widow of Indiana University music faculty member Walter Bricht. [4] His second teacher was Mimi Zweig, and then he switched to the renowned violinist and pedagogue Josef Gingold after Bell's parents assured Gingold that they were not interested in pushing their son in the study of the violin but simply wanted him to have the best teacher for his abilities. Satisfied that the boy was living a normal life, Gingold took Bell on as his student. By 12 Bell was serious about the instrument, thanks in large part to Gingold's inspiration.

At the age of fourteen, Bell appeared as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Riccardo Muti. He studied the violin at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, while managing to graduate from Bloomington High School North in 1984,[5] two years ahead of schedule. In 1989, Bell received an Artist Diploma in Violin Performance from Indiana University. His alma mater also honored him with a Distinguished Alumni Service Award only two years after his graduation. He has been named an “Indiana Living Legend” and received the Indiana Governor’s Arts Award.

Career

Joshua Bell made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1985 with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. He has since performed with almost all of the world's major orchestras and conductors. As well as the standard concerto repertoire, Bell has performed new works — Nicholas Maw's violin concerto is dedicated to him, the recording of which won Bell a Grammy and gave the world premiere of the work in 1993. He performed the solo part on John Corigliano's Oscar-winning soundtrack for the film The Red Violin and was also featured in Ladies in Lavender. Bell also made an appearance in the movie Music of the Heart, a story about the power of music, with other notable violinists.

Bell's instrument is a 300-year-old Stradivarius violin called the Gibson ex Huberman, which was made in 1713 during what is known as Antonio Stradivari's "Golden Era." This violin had been stolen twice from the previous owner, Bronisław Huberman; the last time the thief confessed to the act on his deathbed.[6] Bell had held and played the violin, and its owner at the time jokingly told Bell the violin could be his for four million dollars. Shortly thereafter, by chance, Bell came across the violin again and discovered it was about to be sold to a German industrialist to become part of a collection. According to the Joshua Bell website (http://joshuabell.com), Bell "was practically in tears." Bell then reportedly sold his current Stradivarius, the Tom Taylor, for a little more than two million dollars and made the purchase of the Gibson ex Huberman for a little under the four million dollar asking price. His first recording made with the Gibson ex Huberman was Romance of the Violin (under Sony Classical) in 2003. It sold more than 5,000,000 copies and remained at the top of classical music charts for 54 weeks. Joshua Bell's most recent CD is called Vivaldi: The Four Seasons and was released near the end of summer in 2008. It features The Four Seasons, four concerti written by the baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi.

Bell is an artistic partner for the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (starting in the 2004–2005 season) and a visiting professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He also serves on the artists selection committee for the Kennedy Center Honors and is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[7] Bell's long time manager Edna Landau, of IMG Artists, retired this fall. She had been working with Bell since his teenage years and was the manager of Itzhak Perlman, Petr Matejak, Hilary Hahn, Lang Lang, and Murray Perahia.

In a curious 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. on January 12, 2007. The experiment was videotaped on hidden camera; among 1,097 people who passed by, only seven stopped to listen to him, 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).[6] Weingarten won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing for his article on the experiment.[8][9][10]

Bell was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize on April 10, 2007, at Lincoln Center in New York City. The prize is given once every few years to classical instrumentalists for outstanding achievement.[11] On May 3, 2007, the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music announced that Bell had joined the faculty as a senior lecturer.[12]

Bell collaborated with film composer Hans Zimmer by providing violin solos for the soundtrack for the 2009 film, Angels and Demons, based on Dan Brown's 2000 novel of the same name.

Personal life

Bell resides in Gramercy Park, Manhattan. For seven years up until 1999, Bell dated Lisa Matricardi. Once they were no longer together, they remained close friends. Years after they were no longer a couple, Bell and Lisa were interested in having a child. They decided to try to have a child, but continue to live separate lives (though visiting each other often). Josef Matricardi Bell was born on July 31, 2007. The child (now of two years) lives with his mother, and is visited by his father often. Bell enjoys sports such as golf and tennis. He has dated actress and Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth.[13]

Selected discography

References

  1. ^ "The Jewish Journal". Violinist Joshua Bell walks in the footsteps of masters. http://www.jewishjournal.com/home/preview.php?id=16606. Retrieved October 13, 2006.  
  2. ^ Joshua Bell to return home for benefit performance. Indiana University Media Relations. Retrieved January 28, 2007.
  3. ^ The Univee, yearbook, 1978-9
  4. ^ "Music: The Teacher, The Lesson". Bloomington Herald-Times, Jan. 15, 1989.
  5. ^ BHSN Yearbook, 1984.
  6. ^ a b Gene Weingarten, Pearls Before Breakfast The Washington Post, April 8, 2007 Page W10.
  7. ^ E-strings for the future musician. BBC News, 2002-07-18. Retrieved January 28, 2007.
  8. ^ Howard Kurtz (2008-04-08). "The Post Wins 6 Pulitzer Prizes". The Washington Post. p. A01. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/07/AR2008040701359_2.html?sid=ST2008040701372. Retrieved 2009-02-24.  
  9. ^ Barbara and David P. Mikkelson. "Bell Curved" Snopes; January 6, 2009
  10. ^ [1]Washington Post article: "Pearls Before Breakfast"
  11. ^ Violinist Bell wins $75,000 Fisher Prize. CNN News, 2007-04-08. Retrieved April 8, 2007.
  12. ^ The Jacobs School Welcomes Joshua Bell to its Faculty
  13. ^ Joshua Bell on Cadenzas, Crossover and Girlfriends

External links


Simple English

Joshua David Bell (born 9 December 1967) is an American violinist. He is considered one of the greatest violinists of today.

Contents

Childhood

Bell was born in Bloomington, Indiana, United States. His father was a psychologist and therapist. He began violin lessons at the age of four after his mother found that her son had taken rubber bands from around the house and stretched them across the handles of his dresser drawer to pluck out music he had heard her play on the piano. His parents got him a very small violin and started giving him lessons. He learned the violin very quickly, but also had time to enjoy things such as video games and sports.

Bell's first violin teacher suggested that he should learn with Josef Gingold. Bell says that Gingold was a great teacher. At the age of fourteen, Bell appeared as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Riccardo Muti. He studied the violin at the Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music, while managing to graduate from Bloomington High School North in 1984.

Career

Joshua Bell first played in the Carnegie Hall, New York in 1985 with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. He has since performed with almost all of the world's major orchestras and conductors. He has played all the well known concertos as well as new works. In 1993 he gave the first performance of Nicholas Maw's violin concerto which was dedicated to him. The recording of this work won Bell a Grammy award. He performed the solo part on John Corigliano's Oscar-winning soundtrack for the movie The Red Violin and was also featured in Ladies in Lavender. Bell also made an appearance in the movie Music of the Heart, a story about the power of music, with other famous violinists.

Bell's violin is a 300-year-old Stradivarius violin called the Gibson ex Huberman, which was made in 1713, a time when Stradivarius was making his best instruments. This violin had been stolen twice from the previous owner, Bronislaw Huberman; the last time the thief confessed as he was dying to having stolen it. Bell had held and played the violin, and its owner at the time jokingly told Bell the violin could be his for four million dollars. Shortly afterwards, by chance, Bell came across the violin again and discovered it was about to be sold to a wealthy German to become part of a collection. According to the Joshua Bell website Bell "was practically in tears." Bell then sold the Stradivarius violin that he had at the time for a little more than two million dollars and bought the Gibson ex Huberman for a little under the four million dollar asking price. His first recording made with the Gibson ex Huberman was Romance of the Violin. It sold more than 5,000,000 copies and remained at the top of classical music charts for 54 weeks. In September 2006 he made a CD called the Voice of the Violin and was released in September 2006. It has songs arranged for the violin. He played the song Vocalise by Rachmaninoff in the Royal Albert Hall at the Last Night of the Proms in 2007. He is a visiting professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

In an unusual experiment the Washington Post asked Bell to stand in the street and busk (play his violin) by the entrance to a Washington Metro station one cold morning in January 2007. During the 45 minutes that he played more than 1000 people passed him but only a few people stopped to listen, most of whom were children. Only one person recognized him and one other person realized he was a great violinist.

Personal life

Bell lives in Manhattan. He is keen on sports such as golf and tennis. He has never married, although he has one child, born in July 2007, by a former girlfriend.

Other websites








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