Superstar violinist returns to South Africa

Joshua Bell to perform in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Stellenbosch.
Joshua Bell to perform in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Stellenbosch.

Joshua Bell is a classical music superstar as a soloist, chamber musician recording artist and now music director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, performing constantly around the world. An exclusive Sony Classical artist, Bell has recorded more than 40 CDs since his first LP recording at age 18 on the Decca Label. Acclaimed recordings include Romance of the Violin which Billboard named the 2004 Classical CD of the Year, and Bell the Classical Artist of the Year. Bell received critical acclaim for his concerto recordings of Sibelius and Goldmark, Beethoven and Mendelssohn, and the Grammy Award winning Nicholas Maw concerto. His Grammy-nominated Gershwin Fantasy premiered a new work for violin and orchestra based on themes from Porgy and Bess. Highlights of the Sony Classical 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.

He has premiered many new works for violin, including works by John Corigliano. He performs and has recorded his own cadenzas to most of the major violin concertos.

At the age of 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, and two years later came to national attention in 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 including the Paul Newman Award from Arts Horizons and the Huberman Award from Moment Magazine. He was named “Instrumentalist of the Year, 2010” by Musical America, was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize and recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame in 2005.

Bell performs on the 1713 Huberman Stradivarius violin and uses a late 18th century French bow by François Tourte.


26 and 27 August: Cape Town City Hall with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra 8pm
Programme: Beethoven Leonore Overture No. 3, Op. 72b ; Mendelssohn Symphony no 4 in A, Op. 90 “Italian” – Intermission – Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D, Op. 35. Conductor: Bernhard Gueller

2 and 3 September: Linder Auditorium Johannesburg with the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra 8pm
Programme: Weber – Der Freischütz Overture J.277 Tchaikovsky – Symphony #2 Op. 17, C minor – Intermission – Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D, op. 35. Conductor: Bernhard Gueller

5 and 6 September: RMB Starlight Classics, Johannesburg Country Club. 7pm
7 September: Endler Hall, University of Stellenbosch with the US Camerata. 8pm
Programme: Divertimento K 136, Bach violin concerto BWV 1041, Carlos Gardel`s `Por Una Cabeza` (arranged by William Haubrich) – Intermission – Piazzolla`s Four Seasons of Buenos Aires (Tango from “Scent of a Woman”)

Book at Computicket for all performances.


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