Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Visiting Orchestra Series
The world's greatest orchestras on tour
Joshua Bell, music director and violin
Edgar Meyer — Commissioned Work for Violin and Orchestra
Mozart — Violin Concerto No. 4
Mendelssohn — Symphony No. 4, “Italian”
Joshua Bell is among the most celebrated violinists of his era, renowned for his passion, restless curiosity and multifaceted musical interests. His scope is almost unparalleled, equally at home as a soloist, recording artist, orchestra leader and in chamber music. 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.
Fall 2016 included 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. This season, Bell has performed in North America with the Tulsa, Atlanta, Winnipeg and Minnesota Orchestras, the Los Angeles Philharmonic with Gustavo Dudamel conducting; in recital with pianist Alessio Bax at Lincoln Center and ends the year with the Naples Philharmonic and 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.
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.
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. 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 also collaborated with Wynton Marsalis on the Grammy-winning spoken word children's album Listen to the Storyteller and Béla Fleck’s Grammy-winning recording, Perpetual Motion. Highlights of the 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.
Bell has been embraced by TV audiences, 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, 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 US Capito, 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. Bell has appeared in publications ranging from The Strad and Gramophone to TIME, The New York Times, People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People, The Wall Street Journal, GQ, Vogue, Reader’s Digest many others.
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.
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 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.
For more information, please visit www.joshuabell.com.