Interview: Joshua Bell and Larisa Martínez Bring Together Voice and Violin border=0 align=

Interview: Joshua Bell and Larisa Martínez Bring Together Voice and Violin

January 31, 2023, 3:21 PM · The last time I saw Joshua Bell perform with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, it was downright magical - their performance together of Bernstein's "Serenade" was just riveting.

On Saturday Joshua Bell will be back with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, joined by soprano Larisa Martínez, this time for its "2023 Gala Celebration." The event, a fundraiser which also celebrates Grammy and Emmy-Winning composer and musician Danny Elfman and will include selections from his classical works such as his recent Violin Concerto "Eleven Eleven," will take place at Beverly Wilshire Hotel.

I had not interviewed Joshua since his marriage in late 2019 to Larisa, and speaking to both of them together on Monday was a delight - they even finish each other's sentences! They had not arrived yet in Los Angeles; they were speaking from their home in Westchester, the place where they spent much of lockdown and where they now still keep chickens. I started by asking them what it was like, getting married just a few months before a global pandemic.

"We got married in 2019 - before the pandemic," Larisa said. Joshua continued, "She had her Carnegie Hall debut four days after our wedding, and then I ran off on tour - so we we never really had a honeymoon at all," Joshua said. "So the pandemic gave us an opportunity to spend some time together. It turned out to be a silver lining to a difficult time.

It also provided some time for them to get their act together - literally. Their "Voice and the Violin" program, which they've been performing for several years, evolved from that time.

"We had always talked about doing something together," Larisa said, "but only vaguely," Josh continued.

"Then during the pandemic, that was just a great opportunity to develop it, find some repertoire, have some things arranged for us. So that is what became the project we call 'The Voice and Violin,' which we've taken to various places," he said. "It's a lot of fun to work together and make music together."
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2023 Sphinx Competition Laureates Announced

January 30, 2023, 1:30 PM · Congratulations to the laureates in the 2023 Sphinx Competition! The competition started on Jan. 26 at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center in Detroit, Michigan and concluded on Saturday. Here are all of the prizewinners:

Senior Division Laureates:

Over two days, all participants had the opportunity to perform in master classes, with the finalists performing with the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra under the direction of guest conductor Kalena Bovell. Watch Njioma’s performance of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Concerto in G Minor, Op. 80 here (video is cued to start at 35:05):

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Hina Khuong-Huu Wins the 2023 Elmar Oliveira International Violin Competition

January 29, 2023, 6:22 PM · Violinist Hina Khuong-Huu has been named the First Prize Winner in the 2023 Elmar Oliveira International Violin Competition (EOIVC). Here are all of the prizewinners:

The Oliveira competition started on Jan. 15 at Lynn University Conservatory of Music in Boca Raton, Fla. Over the last two days, all four finalists have performed live with the Lynn Philharmonia, conducted by Guillermo Figueroa. Watch Hina's award-winning performance of the Sibelius Violin Concerto below (the video is cued up to start with her performance at 1:39:13):

Keep reading... weekend vote: How much have you spent, over a lifetime, on violins and violin equipment?

January 28, 2023, 9:24 PM · So how much have you spent, over a lifetime, on your violin (or viola or cello) habit? More specifically, how much have you spent on instruments and other instrument equipment over your time playing? (For the vote, we are going to exclude sheet music and the price of lessons).

For the vote below, we used dollars; right now the euro is very close in value to the dollar, so you if you are counting in euros then just use the same values. If you are counting with another currency, here is a currency converter site.

Please participate in the vote, then share your thoughts, experiences, etc.!

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Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine