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Joshua Bell

Boston Symphony Orchestra
Herbert Blomstedt conducts an all-Beethoven program featuring violinist Joshua Bell

Tanglewood

Featured Performers

Herbert Blomstedt, conductor
Herbert Blomstedt, conductor View biography in full page >

Noble, charming, sober, modest. Such qualities may play a major role in human coexistence and are certainly appreciated. However, they are rather untypical for extraordinary personalities such as conductors. Whatever the general public's notion of a conductor may be, Herbert Blomstedt is an exception, precisely because he possesses those very qualities which seemingly have so little to do with a conductor's claim to power. The fact that he disproves the usual clichés in many respects should certainly not lead to the assumption that this artist does not have the power to assert his clearly defined musical goals. Anyone who has once attended Herbert Blomstedt's rehearsals and experienced the concentration on the essence of the music, the precision in the phrasing of musical facts and circumstances as they appear from the score, the tenacity regarding the implementation of an aesthetic view, will probably have been amazed at how few despotic measures were required to this end. Basically, Herbert Blomstedt has always represented that type of artist whose professional competence and natural authority make all external emphasis superfluous. His work as a conductor is inseparably linked to his religious and human ethos, accordingly, his interpretations combine great faithfulness to the score and analytical precision with a soulfulness that awakens the music to pulsating life. In the more than sixty years of his career, he has acquired the unrestricted respect of the musical world.

Over the years, many outstanding ensembles around the globe have been able to secure the services of this highly respected Swedish conductor, born in the USA and educated in Uppsala, New York, Darmstadt and Basel. At the age of ninety, Herbert Blomstedt continues to be at the helm of all leading international orchestras with enormous mental and physical presence, verve and artistic drive.

Herbert Blomstedt, conductor Joshua Bell, violin
Joshua Bell, violin View biography in full page >

With a career spanning over thirty years as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, conductor and director, Joshua Bell is one of the most celebrated violinists of his era. Since 2011, Bell has served as Music Director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, succeeding Sir Neville Marriner, who formed the orchestra in 1958. Bell’s interests range from the repertoire’s hallmarksto commissioned works, including Nicholas Maw’s Violin Concerto, for which Bell received a Grammy® award. He has also premiered works of John Corigliano, Edgar Meyer, Jay Greenberg, and Behzad Ranjbaran.

Committed to expanding class
ical music’s social and cultural impact, Bell has collaborated with peers including Chick Corea, Wynton Marsalis, Chris Botti, Anoushka Shankar, Frankie Moreno, Josh Groban, and Sting. In Spring 2019, Bell joins his longtime friends, cellist Steven Isserlis and pianist Jeremy Denk, for a ten-city American trio tour.

Bell maintains an avid interest in film music, commemorating the 20th anniversary of The Red Violin (1998) in 2018-19. The film’s Academy-Award winning soundtrack features Bell as soloist; in 2018, Bell brings the film with live orchestra to various summer festivals and the New York Philharmonic. In addition to six Live From Lincoln Center specials, Bell is also featured on a PBS Great Performances episode, “Joshua Bell: West Side Story in Central Park.”

Through
music and technology, Bell further seeks to expand the boundaries of his instrument. He has partnered with Embertone on the Joshua Bell Virtual Violin, a sampler created for producers, engineers, and composers. Bell also collaborated with Sony on the Joshua Bell VR experience.
An exclusive Sony Classical artist, Bell has recorded over40 albums garnering Grammy®, Mercury®, Gramophone and ECHO Klassik awards. Sony Classical’s June 2018 release, with Bell and the Academy, features Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy and G minor Violin Concerto.

In 2007, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post story, on Bell performing incognito in a Washington, D.C. metro station, sparked conversation regarding artistic reception and context. It inspired Kathy Stinson’s 2013 children’s book, The Man With The Violinand a newly-commissioned animated filmBell debuted the 2017 Man With The Violin festival at the Kennedy Center, and, in March 2019, presents a Man With The Violin festival and family concert with the Seattle Symphony.

Bell advocates for music as an essential educational tool. He maintains active
involvement with Education Through Music and Turnaround Arts, which provide instruments and arts education to children who may not otherwise experience classical music firsthand.

Born in Bloomington, Indiana, Bell began the violin
at agefour, and at age twelve, began studies with Josef Gingold. At age 14, Bell debuted with Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and debuted at Carnegie Hall at age 17 with the St. Louis Symphony. Bell received the 2007 Avery Fisher Prize and has recently been named Musical America’s 2010“Instrumentalist of the Year” and an “Indiana Living Legend.He received the 2003 Indiana Governor's Arts Awardand a 1991 Distinguished Alumni Service Award fromhis alma mater,the Jacobs School of Music.
Bell performs on the 1713 Huberman Stradivarius violin, with a François Tourte 18th-Century bow.
Joshua Bell, violin
Program Notes Audio
BEETHOVEN - Violin Concerto (47 min)
BEETHOVEN - Symphony No. 7 (34 min)
Full Program Notes - Coming Soon