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Laurie Niles

I'm going to hear Joshua Bell at the Hollywood Bowl next week

August 14, 2008 at 9:57 PM

We're going to be having a bit of a Joshua Bell-fest here on in the next few weeks.

I'll be...

  • reporting on Bell's Hollywood Bowl concert on Aug. 19,
  • interviewing him for a blog entry here on,
  • giving away a few copies of his new CD, Vivaldi: The Four Seasons, to readers of the site, just before its release date on Sept. 2.

    For next week's concert, he'll be playing the Chausson Poeme, along with Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso by Saint-Saens. A fun program! The "Poeme" is a piece that I always think is from a later period; to me it has a gloom and slight dissonance I associate with the period between the World Wars. But it's definitely not; it was written in the 1880s for Eugene Ysaye. (Ysaye -> teacher of Josef Gingold -> teacher of Joshua Bell.)

    Then there's the Intro and Rondo Capriccioso, one of the first pieces I completely fell in love with when I was a child, learning the violin. And Stravinsky's Petrushka, which in addition to having some of Stravinsky's best musical ideas, has everyone's favorite random trumpet solo/excerpt. I'm looking forward to sitting back watching an outdoor concert after a summer of playing them!

    Here's the link for tickets to the Bowl concert, if you are in Southern California and are interested. Do you have questions you'd like me to ask when I interview Joshua Bell? If so, please submit them on the discussion page. (By the way, it looks like he changed the look of his website today.)

    From Brian Hong
    Posted on August 15, 2008 at 12:17 AM
    how do you get a free copy of his cd? haha.

    I'm a Joshua Bell Fanatic. He is my favorite violinist, or one of them, of all time.

    From Sydney Menees
    Posted on August 15, 2008 at 2:34 AM
    I need a poster of him, or any violinist for that matter, to hang in a very empty dorm room. Where are the classical music posters? Does he make posters?

    Real question: If he could put together his dream music festival, what would it be like?

    From Sydney Menees
    Posted on August 15, 2008 at 2:47 AM
    On a side note, I have recently discovered Petrushka and I am very much in love. That concert is great - he played that program very masterfully in Kansas City. Have fun! I'm very jealous. ;)
    From Ray Randall
    Posted on August 15, 2008 at 3:21 AM
    What is your practice routine?
    From Pauline Lerner
    Posted on August 15, 2008 at 5:55 AM
    I wish I could go and hear Joshua Bell playing that program. I look forward to reading your interview, Laurie. It should be extra good because it will be one violinist interviewing another violinist.
    From Rick Floress
    Posted on August 15, 2008 at 4:27 PM
    I would ask for his thoughts on the state of classical music and how that can best be improved (i.e. through crossover work, youth education)? On a side note; wow...interviews with Hilary, Joshua, Perlman, and an article in the upcoming issue of The Strad. I want to be you when I grow up!!
    From Cesar Ribera
    Posted on August 15, 2008 at 6:02 PM
    Following what What Ray Randall suggested, ¿isn't each interview with a succesful violinist is an unique oportunity for advice to the rest of the violinists?

    I mean, ¿could questions about his current, and more important FORMER routines be made to every top violinist?

    Very important, ¿at what age did they start? which teacher, wich method? how much practice time at diferent ages while the violinist evolved?

    Do you think it´s possible to get honest and accurate answers to these questions?

    From Jim W. Miller
    Posted on August 15, 2008 at 7:45 PM
    ¿Hollywood Bowl? Ask him if he knows the story about Heifetz picking up the ghost hitchiker on the way back home from there.
    From Laurie Niles
    Posted on August 17, 2008 at 5:21 AM
    What story is that, Jim? !
    From Jim W. Miller
    Posted on August 17, 2008 at 5:38 AM
    I guess it's not that well known. Ask him if he knows the story about the time Heifetz was going to learn to fly helicopters.
    From Nancy Foreman
    Posted on August 17, 2008 at 5:33 PM
    I am curious about his experience busking. Did he enjoy it, or learn anything valuable from the experience? Would he consider doing it again for any reason? Does he think it is something other violinists ought to do?

    Much respect to Mr. Bell. He's amazing.

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