JOSHUA BELL / VIOLIN
“Bell is dazzling” Gramophone
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 unique presence in the music world. Now in his thirties, Bell’s career is exceptionally varied. 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, forging a unique career that has earned him the rare title of “classical music superstar.” In addition to his concert career, Bell enjoys chamber music collaborations with artists such as Pamela Frank, Steven Isserlis and Edgar Meyer as well as occasional collaborations with artists outside the classical arena, having shared the stage with Josh Groban, Bobby McFerrin, Chick Corea, James Taylor and Sting.
Joshua Bell made his first recording at the age of 18, and he has an extensive catalogue of classical recordings resulting in a distinctive and wide-ranging body of work. For three years, Bell was deeply involved in the creation of John Corigliano’s Academy Award-winning score for the 1999 film The Red Violin, released on Sony Classical. Bell performed the virtuosic solos on the soundtrack and served as an advisor and stand-in for the film. From the classical repertoire, Bell has made critically acclaimed recordings for Sony Classical of the concertos of Beethoven and Mendelssohn (both featuring his own cadenzas), and Sibelius and Goldmark, as well as the Grammy Award winning Nicholas Maw concerto. His Grammy-nominated recording Gershwin Fantasy premiered a new work for violin and orchestra based on themes from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Its success led to an all-Bernstein recording (also a Grammy nominee) that included the premiere of the West Side Story Suite as well as a new recording of the composer’s Serenade. With the composer and double bass virtuoso Edgar Meyer, Bell appears on the Grammy-nominated crossover recording Short Trip Home and a disc of concert works by Meyer and the 19th-century composer Giovanni Bottesini.
He was one of the first classical artists to have a music video air on VH1, and he has been the subject of a BBC Omnibus documentary. Bell has been profiled in publications ranging from Newsweek to People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People issue, Gramophone and The New York Times, which stated, “No one stands in Mr. Bell’s shadow.”