With a career spanning more than thirty years as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, and conductor, Joshua Bell is one of the most celebrated violinists of his era. Born in Bloomington, Indiana, he received his first violin at age four and at twelve began studying with Josef Gingold at Indiana University. He currently serves as Music Director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields.
An exclusive Sony Classical artist, Mr. Bell has recorded more than forty CDs garnering Grammy, Mercury, Gramophone and Echo KLASSIK awards, and he was a recipient of the Avery Fisher Prize. In September 2016, Sony Classical released his newest album, For the Love of Brahms, with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, cellist Steven Isserlis, and pianist Jeremy Denk.
The 2016-17 season included season-opening appearances with the Atlanta Symphony and Minnesota Orchestra and performances with the orchestras of New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Montreal, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Abroad he performed with the Vienna Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, and Czech Philharmonic. He embarked on international orchestral tours throughout Europe with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra, and Swedish Radio Symphony, and to Asia with the Orchestre de Paris. He made recital appearances throughout North America with Alessio Bax at venues including Lincoln Center and toured the West Coast with Sam Haywood. Mr. Bell served as 2016-17 Artist-in-Residence at the Kennedy Center and National Symphony. Featured events included an evening with Gourmet Symphony, a collaboration with Brooklyn’s Dance Heginbotham, a recital with literature celebrating John F. Kennedy’s centennial, and a world premiere co-commission from Anne Dudley based on the bestselling children’s book The Man with the Violin, inspired by Mr. Bell’s incognito 2007 performance at a Washington subway station. Mr. Bell is also the subject of a new illustrated children’s book by Kathy Stinson and Dušan Petričić titled The Dance of the Violin, recently published by Annick Press.
Convinced of the value of music as both a diplomatic and educational tool, Mr. Bell was a member of President Obama’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and in April 2016, he participated in the US government’s inaugural cultural mission to Cuba. He is involved in Turnaround Arts, a partnership between the Committee on the Arts and Humanities and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Joshua Bell performs on the 1713 Huberman Stradivarius violin. He first appeared with the San Francisco Symphony in 1991, as a Shenson Young Artist, and he has returned many times since.