Music superstar and virtuoso violinist Joshua Bell is set to perform with Academy of St Martin in the Fields as both soloist and music director. The concert is scheduled for Wednesday, March 9 at 8:00pm at the Valley Performing Arts Center, on the Northridge campus of CSUN.
Joshua Bell is among the most celebrated violinists of his era, renowned for his passion, restless curiosity and multi-faceted musical interests. His scope is almost unparalleled, equally at home as a soloist, chamber music, recording artist and orchestra leader. Bell was named the Music Director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields in 2011, and next month he will return to Valley Performing Arts Center for the third time with Academy of St Martin in the Fields for an evening of Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Schumann and Beethoven.
Joshua Bell is among the most celebrated violinists of his era, renowned for his passion, restless curiosity and multi-faceted musical interests. His scope is almost unparalleled, equally at home as a soloist, chamber music, recording artist and orchestra leader. Bell was named the Music Director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields in 2011, and on Wednesday, March 9 at 8:00pm he will return to Valley Performing Arts Center for the third time with Academy of St Martin in the Fields for an evening of Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Schumann and Beethoven.
The Academy of St Martin in the Fields is renowned for its polished and refined sound, rooted in outstanding musicianship. Originally directed by Sir Neville from the leader’s chair, the collegiate spirit and flexibility of the original small, conductor-less ensemble remains an Academy hallmark which continues today, with virtuoso violinist Joshua Bell as its Music Director. Together they explore symphonic repertoire to perform “chamber music on a grand scale.”
Following a U.K. tour in late 2015, Bell and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields will embark on a 14-city tour of the U.S. this March performing works by Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Schumann and Beethoven.
Three years into his role leading the chamber orchestra, Bell told the Santa Barbara Independent, “The fact that I’m not spending the entire concert standing on a podium waving a stick doesn’t mean that I don’t prep the orchestra in rehearsal just like any other conductor would.
“If you look back, the history of music makes it seem less strange — Beethoven himself was more than one thing. So one way I think about what I’m doing now is that I’m trying to bring out more than one side of Beethoven. That’s what I’m after,” explains Bell.
Academy of St Martin in the Fields, featuring Joshua Bell
Valley Performing Arts Center
18111 Nordhoff Street,
Northridge, CA 91330
Wednesday, March 9 at 8:00pm
PROKOFIEV: Classical Symphony, op.25 (Symphony No.1)
TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concerto, op.35, TH 59, D major
SCHUMANN: Violin Concerto, mv. II (codetta by Britten)
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No.8, op.93, F major
Prices: $45 – $99
In Person: VPAC Ticket Office, located in the VPAC Courtyard
By Phone: (818) 677-3000
About Joshua Bell:
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.
The highly anticipated 2014 release of the Bach album recorded with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, coincided with the October HBO YoungArts documentary special Joshua Bell: A YoungArts MasterClass. Bell and the Academy’s previous release of the Beethoven 4th and 7th symphonies debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts.
Recent releases include Bell’s holiday CD, Musical Gifts From Joshua Bell and Friends, featuring collaborations with Chris Botti, Chick Corea, Gloria Estefan, Renée Fleming, Plácido Domingo, Alison Krauss and others. 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 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. Its success led to a Grammy-nominated Bernstein recording that included the premiere of the West Side Story Suite as well as the composer’s Serenade. Bell appeared on the Grammy-nominated crossover recording Short Trip Home with composer and double bass virtuoso Edgar Meyer, as well as a recording with Meyer of the Bottesini Gran Duo Concertante. Bell also collaborated with Wynton Marsalis on the Grammy-winning spoken word children’s album Listen to the Storyteller and Béla Fleck’s Grammy Award winning recording, Perpetual Motion. 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.
Seeking opportunities to increase violin repertoire, Bell has premiered new works by Nicholas Maw, John Corigliano, Aaron Jay Kernis, Edgar Meyer, Behzad Ranjbaran and Jay Greenberg. Bell also performs and has recorded his own cadenzas to most of the major violin concertos.
Perhaps the event that helped most to transform his reputation from “musician’s musician’ to household name was his incognito performance in a Washington, DC subway station in 2007. Ever adventurous, Bell had agreed to participate in the Washington Post story by Gene Weingarten which thoughtfully examined art and context. The story earned Weingarten a Pulitzer Prize and sparked an international firestorm of discussion. The conversation continues to this day, thanks in part to the September, 2013 publication of the illustrated children’s book, The Man With The Violin by Kathy Stinson illustrated by Dušan Petričić from Annick Press.
Bell has received many accolades: 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 was named “Instrumentalist of the Year, 2010” by Musical America and received the Humanitarian Award from Seton Hall University. In 2009 he was honored by Education Through Music and received the Academy of Achievement Award in 2008. He was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize in 2007 and was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame in 2005.
Convinced of the value of music as both a diplomatic and educational tool, he has performed for three U.S. Presidents as well as the President of China and devoted himself to several charitable causes, most notably Education Through Music, which has helped put instruments in the hands of thousands of kids in America’s inner cities.
Bell performs on the 1713 Huberman Stradivarius violin and uses a late 18th century French bow by François Tourte.
Bell serves on the artist committee of the Kennedy Center Honors, the New York Philharmonic Board of Directors, and Education Through Music.
About Academy of St Martin in the Fields with Joshua Bell:
The Academy of St Martin in the Fields is one of the world’s premier chamber orchestras, renowned for its fresh, brilliant interpretations of the world’s most-loved classical music.
Formed by Sir Neville Marriner in 1958 from a group of leading London musicians, the Academy gave its first performance in its namesake church in November 1959. Through its live performances and vast recording output – highlights of which include the 1969 best-seller Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and the soundtrack to 1985’s Oscar-winning film Amadeus – the orchestra quickly gained an enviable international reputation for its distinctive, polished and refined sound.
Today we are led artistically by our Music Director, virtuoso violinist Joshua Bell, retaining the collegiate spirit and flexibility of the original small, conductor-less ensemble which has become an Academy hallmark. Each year we work with some of the most talented soloists and directors in the classical music scene, performing symphonic repertoire and ‘chamber music on a grand scale’ at prestigious venues throughout the world, whilst expanding the Academy’s celebrated recording catalogue.
About Valley Performing Arts Center:
Now in its Fifth Anniversary year, VPAC’s mission is to present a wide variety of performances that not only includes new and original work from the Los Angeles region, but also work from around the world that appeals to all of LA’s rich and diverse communities. The Valley Performing Arts Center’s 2015-16 Season signals a new era for the premiere event venue. Under the leadership of Executive Director Thor Steingraber, VPAC expands its programming to include new and original work, and outstanding multi-disciplinary performances. Located on the campus of California State University Northridge, VPAC’s season offers a vibrant and diverse performance program of nearly 50 classical and popular music, dance, theater, family and international events that will serve to establish VPAC as the intellectual and cultural heart of the San Fernando Valley and further establish itself as one of the top arts companies in Southern California. The award-winning 1,700-seat theatre was designed by HGA Architects and Engineers and was recently cited by the LA Times as “a growing hub for live music, dance, drama and other cultural events.”