InConcert Sierra kicks off new season with famed violinist Joshua Bell

JOSHUA BELL IS ONE OF THE most celebrated violinists of his era, and he’s performing in Grass Valley on October 18 to launch InConcert Sierra’s 2015-16 season. It marks Joshua’s debut in our region and is a reminder of our growing stature in classical music — from the Lake Tahoe SummerFest to the Auburn Symphony to Music in the Mountains.

InConcert Sierra has been a leader in bringing world-class artists to the foothills, including pianist Garrick Ohlsson, guitarist Jose Luis Merlin, pianist Emanuel Ax and the Vienna Boys Choir, among others. Russian pianist Nikolai Lugansky also is returning to Grass Valley to perform on March 14, 2016, five years after InConcert Sierra first brought him to Nevada County.

Joshua, 47, is one of InConcert Sierra’s biggest headliners to date, a tribute to Artistic Director Ken Hardin’s knack for recruiting top talent. “It’s been on my wish list as
long as I can remember,” says Ken.

The Grammy-winning violinist began taking violin lessons at the age of four after his mother noticed he had stretched rubber bands across the handles of his dresser drawer to pluck out music he had heard her play on the piano.

He studied the violin at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and received an Artist Diploma in Violin Performance fromIndiana University in 1989. At 17, Joshua made his Carnegie Hall debut with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. He has since performed with many of the world’s major orchestras and conductors and has appeared on television programs such as “The Tonight Show.” He also has performed at the White House.

Joshua has recorded more than 40 CDs since his first LP was made at the age of 18 on the Decca label. In 2007 he was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize at the Lincoln Center in New York City. Joshua’s instrument is a multimillion-dollar 300-year old Stradivarius violin called the ‘Gibson ex Huberman’, which was made in 1713 during what is known as Stradivari’s Golden Era.

‘Pearls for Breakfast’

In a cultural experiment led by The Washington Post, dubbed “Pearls Before Breakfast,” Joshua dressed up as a street performer at a Metro station in Washington D.C. in 2007.

Of the more than 1000 people who passed by, only seven stopped to listen and just one recognised him. Joshua collected just $32.17 from 27 people (excluding $20 from the woman who recognized him). The Post won a Pulitzer Prize for the feature.

(Photo: Marc Holm)

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