Joshua Bell talks about being a father

January 21, 2008 at 02:03 AM · The rumors have been around, but this report in the Toledo (Ohio) Blade is the first I've seen it publicly acknowledged: Joshua Bell recently became a father. The mother is Lisa Matricardi, a longtime girlfriend and New York City violinist. Their son's name is Josef Matricardi Bell, named after Josef Gingold.

"It's an unconventional situation," Bell told the Toledo Blade, of their decision to have a child outside marriage. "I live an unconventional life." The Toledo Blade reported that he doesn't live with Matricardi and Josef, but he's very much a part of his son's life. "I get to see him every day. But I have no sleepless nights."

Replies (100)

January 21, 2008 at 04:35 AM · Great post.

Congrats to them! I'm sure the child will be raised well and a future overachiever.

I have been lucky enough to see Joshua Bell as an Artistic Partner with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (in Minnesota). I hope to hear Bell again next year with the Minnesota Orchestra players, with whom he will play in Europe on an 8-city tour.

Bell Plays in Europe with Minnesota Orchestra

January 21, 2008 at 03:04 AM · Congratulations to the new parents! Will Josef start the violin? Mr. Gingold must be very happy and proud.

January 21, 2008 at 04:00 AM · From heaven, yes. :)

January 21, 2008 at 05:05 AM · Thanks, Laurie, for sharing that with us. I send my very best wishes to the whole family.

January 21, 2008 at 06:16 AM ·

January 21, 2008 at 07:51 AM · Yeah, that's a rather awful quote, I'd agree. :-S

January 21, 2008 at 08:15 AM · I agree with Scott that it does at first look like a pretty scummy thing to say, but one should remember 3 things:

1) He's incredibly busy and wouldn't really be able to be there for the kid most days anyways

2) His life is private and no one knows the details of his relationship. They aren't living together so considering that he's quite busy, it's probably for the best

3) Despite what we may think he does make it pretty clear that he loves spending time with the kid. I think it would be presumptious for anyone on the internet, who doesn't know the guy, to pass judgement on him in such a matter where the details are rather private.

January 21, 2008 at 11:29 AM · Scott's right. Period.

January 21, 2008 at 12:10 PM · I agree with Pieter. We do not know enough and should not judge (we shouldn't even if we knew more). Let him live his private life and enjoy or criticize his public music making. That's my personal opinion. However, it should be clear to him that he provokes these comments when speaking in public in such a way, since most people tend to judge as soon as they have a tiny bit of information. Good luck to the young father anyway!

January 21, 2008 at 12:57 PM · I jsut had to get in on this subject because it is a pretty touchy topic for me.

"1) He's incredibly busy and wouldn't really be able to be there for the kid most days anyways"

As a person without a father in my life, I know the damage of a father not being there, especially for young boys, as my brother suffers quite more than I. If you aren't ready to take on the responsibility of being there for your child 24/7, at least until they're at an age that requires a certain amount of individualism, then you should not have children.

2) His life is private and no one knows the details of his relationship. They aren't living together so considering that he's quite busy, it's probably for the best

I agee with half of this statement. We do not know. But once again, he is a father now, and being too busy is not an excuse and never will be. His life is changed completely. No more long tours, extended overseas engagements, unless the kid comes with him.

"3) Despite what we may think he does make it pretty clear that he loves spending time with the kid. I think it would be presumptious for anyone on the internet, who doesn't know the guy, to pass judgement on him in such a matter where the details are rather private."

That's great he loves to spend time with his child, just like a father or mother who has weekly visitation from custody battles might enjoy spending those priceless days with their children. Once again, I know the damage of not having a father there at all, but a momentary father is just as bad. Despite how our world tries to change things and the values upon which we live, one thing we cannot change is a children's need and love for both of those who created them. My brother has never even seen his father, but he has instinctive want to see his father, be approved by him, and be loved by him. We just can't change that.

January 21, 2008 at 01:09 PM · Oh, but Congrats to him if he successfully takes on the responsibility that has been bestowed upon him.

Everyone can make a baby, not everyone can be a parent. So, congrats if he can take the next step to parenthood.

January 21, 2008 at 01:21 PM · Scott, he's said he's a father, not a dad. There's a difference.

January 21, 2008 at 01:49 PM · i think you people are reading into this stuff way too deep:)

life is about making choices and compromises. let people live their own lives.

January 21, 2008 at 02:16 PM · Wow...........everyone stop hating on Mr. Bell! I don't know what's going on here! Scott-I agree that maybe that wasn't the right thing to say (what Mr. Bell said), but would he publicly announce that he didn't care for his son? He obviously loves him very much and obviously wants the best for him!

Sheesh.....it seems like whenever a post on Mr. Bell comes up, people criticize him for the most dumb reasons! We need to have insight, people! We have to find the meaning in people's words instead of just reading the words and hearing what we want to hear!

January 21, 2008 at 02:21 PM · Nobody is criticising him as a violinist. He's just not there to see his kid go to sleep or wake up. Or be there when the kind has a bad dream in the middle of the night. He's missing out on raising his kid.

January 21, 2008 at 02:43 PM · i know of quite a few very successful people who have to arrange their private lives in a very structured way in order for them to function their best in their chosen pursuit. these include physicians, lawyers, actors, wall streeters, etc. on the contrary, it is the successful business owners that i know that tend to have a better balance between business and family lives.

with a good business already on cruise control, you can rearrange your time more easily and see your kids growing up if you choose. with other professionals, if you don't show up, nothing is happening.

if i were a perfectionist violinist and at the top of my career, if the choice is between being a dad holding my kid whenever he cries at night, versus having a good sleep so that next day i can perform my physical/mental best in the concert, i would choose the latter. if the wife is understanding enough, she would have insisted that. knowing you people, it is much better to be labelled a bad dad than a violinist who has one or two bad performances.

but, if you are a so so performer:), hey, learn to be a great dad! :):):)

life is fair,,,it works out for everyone!

January 21, 2008 at 02:42 PM · Nobody knows him from Adams housecat and he's being ripped apart.

I was a navigator in the Navy. I spent, on average 9 months out of any given year away from home on deployments.

My marriage didn't last once I retired.

I hardly ever saw my daughter.

no one here knows me either.

Judge me too.

January 21, 2008 at 02:49 PM · john, you had a daughter, so we can't judge you:)

January 21, 2008 at 03:22 PM · He's going to be busking in the Metro for real.

January 21, 2008 at 04:32 PM ·

January 21, 2008 at 05:08 PM ·

January 21, 2008 at 05:30 PM · http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/

January 21, 2008 at 05:25 PM ·

January 21, 2008 at 05:39 PM · As I initially read it, I got the impression that this baby wasn't just for him. The mom obviously wanted the baby too and, unlike men, women can't procreate forever. Of course she knew that he wouldn't be around, so if it's working for them, I don't think that it's right for us to be slandering the relationship.

Thanks.

January 21, 2008 at 06:09 PM · One of the most difficult things about becoming a parent -- and then being a parent -- is the fact that everyone stands in judgment, no matter WHAT your arrangement. You are neglecting your child; you are spoiling your child; your baby screams all night because you lack the discipline to let her cry; your baby screams all day because you don't hold him enough at night; your child will have no morals because you don't go to church; your child will be nothing but a sheep because you DO go to church; you should pay for private school; you should home school; you should be part of your community and participate in public school; you should quit work; you should show your child how dedicated you are to your work; you focus too much on your child's achievements; you don't have enough money; you don't have a back yard; your child did not practice violin all last week; your child watches too much T.V.; your child eats too many hamburgers; you are too much of a food fanatic, can't she eat something besides tofu? your house is too big; your house is too small; your child is practically raised by a nanny; your child is raised by crazy crazy YOU and will be messed up for life.....It's ALL YOUR FAULT!

There's no winning public support. The people who support you will support you, and thank heaven for them. (Those people might NOT be your parents, your friends, your co-workers, your fans, even your spouse or partner.)

I've been at this parenthood thing for a decade now. For a brief period of time, I was an expert in parenthood. Then my child was born. There are so many arrangements, so many ways a child can be raised.

I think the key is love and cooperation, and it sounds to me like they are aiming for that. My blessings to Josh's baby.

And, I wanna see pictures, I love babies!

January 21, 2008 at 06:52 PM · "For a brief period of time, I was an expert in parenthood. Then my child was born."

I don't think truer words can be spoken.

January 21, 2008 at 06:18 PM · Laurie, that was an EXCELLENT post. Just perfect.

January 21, 2008 at 06:14 PM · Laurie, I am not sure if it is fair to lump concerns expressed here to what every parent experiences from well meaning but meddlesome public. It is an unusaul arrangement they came up with. I see it suits the parents, mom gets to have a baby, dad doesn't have to be tied down. Everyone is asking if the baby's need to develop proper relationship with its father is taken care of. That is legimate imo. If the father couldn't reduce his schedule to make room for the baby, it looks to me they should have made a hard choice of not having a baby and bear the blunt of their lifestyle and not force the baby bear the burden of the lifestyle the baby didn't get to choose. I am sure everyone knows the bitterness of Menuhin's children.

Ihnsouk

January 21, 2008 at 06:33 PM · Well, now I know I'M never having a baby...

January 21, 2008 at 06:52 PM · Again, none of us know anything about his life and to criticize him is insane. Not everyone does something the traditional way. Are we going to criticize every military man, traveling salesman, or touring musician, for doing the jobs they need to do all the while having a child? That's quite presumptious.

January 21, 2008 at 07:10 PM ·

January 21, 2008 at 07:33 PM · Finally, Joshua Bell did it!

January 21, 2008 at 07:34 PM · It is not really criticizing JB as much as he provided us with an opportunity to think about how to balance our life. I am sure many people are at a similar point, push the career and no children like Mara or cut down on the career for the sake of family or do JB. What are the implications of each choice? What will suit me best? This may be a right place to talk about that.

Ihnsouk

January 21, 2008 at 07:32 PM · This discussion of JB and his family arrangements is lowering the standards of this whole website. It has *nothing* to do with violin. It is prying prattle-gossip and nothing more--even if you think it is a "useful" sociological discussion, it doesn't belong here.

January 21, 2008 at 07:52 PM · Oh yes it has plenty to do with being a violinist. It is very hard to balance being a musician with being a parent, even for us lowly orchestra musicians and teachers.

January 21, 2008 at 08:18 PM · I think that's correct, Laurie - as long as people discuss t h e i r personal problems and not problems of other persons that possibly aren't problems for those directly involved.

January 21, 2008 at 08:18 PM · Lets have a bet on how many hours before this thread gets to 100!!!!!

January 21, 2008 at 08:20 PM · I don't really agree that this has anything to do with the violin. Gil Shaham is equally as busy if not more, and is married with kids..as are some other well known musicians. Everyone deserves to have a mother and a father not an occasional "Parent B".

January 21, 2008 at 08:27 PM · I agree with Nate. If you wouldn't marry a woman, you have no real dedication to her. Same goes for having a kid. The rest is just word games.

January 21, 2008 at 10:03 PM · I hesitate to judge anyone on this issue. Lots of different arrangements end up working in different ways. And, I have seen enough families where both parents were present and did a lousy job. So, I can only wish the parents and kid goood luck.

January 21, 2008 at 10:48 PM ·

January 21, 2008 at 11:16 PM · Scott-shut up. I know that I am being rude, but that is going over the top. Mr. Bell did not say that he"arranged", as you so callously put it, not have to stay up at nights after having a baby. I am sure that, if he wasn't a concert violinist, then he would LOVE to. Mr. Bell would not say those things in public. Try to actually interpret what he says.

As Bilbo said, this discussion and immature postings such as Scott's has lowered the standards for this website. If you don't have anything nice to post, don't post at all! This is becoming a babyish gossip thread, which I am sure is NOT the reason why Mrs. Niles posted this.

Again, I am sorry for being rude, Scott. I really know that you and most everyone else here is very knowledgable, but I feel like I have to voice my opinion when you and everyone else is acting quite immature.

January 21, 2008 at 11:35 PM · scott, saw your reaction to my facetious statement,,,i should have put it in :). my bad.

bell probably travels a lot more than people here and it is probably not a great idea for a young baby to travel along, stop after stop. so we can imagine there are stretches of time where the father may not see the kid. that is understandable. he could be talking about that.

the quote from the article is not very clear about his feeling toward being a parent and a highly sought after pro at the same time. it just glossed over. he did not have a chance to dwelve on that.

as others have suggested, as long as the 2 parents can make arrangements acceptable to both, it is really good enough for me.

what do you guys think, shall we take laurie's word for it, or shall we page dr phil?:)

hey brian, stop being a bully! :):):)

January 21, 2008 at 11:35 PM · Definitely Dr. Phil.

January 22, 2008 at 12:05 AM · If Josh Bell quit his day job and busked at the metro so he could spend more time with his child, and collected foodstamps, would he be doing his child a service?

I've heard that the best thing that one can do for one's children is to have a good relationship with your spouse. If Mr. Bell has that with the mother of his child, then I would say that they'll be okay. Since none of us know if he does or not, the rest is speculation. Or an interesting point of discussion.

January 22, 2008 at 12:59 AM · I am being flogged! Guess I should have quit whilst I was ahead!

January 22, 2008 at 01:21 AM · Greetings,

my firts reaction wa smaybe you were overreacting a little. Then I looked at his comment in the paper and had a lot more sympathy with your comments. It reads as selfish to me. But I think the problem is a) newspapers distort and decontextualize and b) we really don`t know the situation so any discusison is in the end only valubale as it pertains to us, not the couple in question.

Personally I think there is a danger in ignoring all side sof the equation. I have often found that people I know are extremely well balanced and grounded emotionally, spiritually and intellectually do things that sharply conflict with what we consider moral. But as Montaigne pointe dout `morality is often a question of habit.` It is quite posisble that the couple in question communicated very clealry their ideas and want in the spirit of total love and decided this arrangement was fine for both of them and the needs of the child right now. Maybe they have a plan to chnage roles in 6 months time. Who knows;)?

Cheersd,

Buri

January 22, 2008 at 01:52 AM · Buri, don't you wish your dad had cared enough about you to marry your mom? Wouldn't that have been nice of him?

January 22, 2008 at 01:52 AM · yeah, but he was too busy with your mother.

January 22, 2008 at 02:07 AM · Better than my sister, and my sister ain't half bad.

January 22, 2008 at 02:32 AM · Just wanted to make something clear.

I was not criticizing Bell because I know nothing of his life. I moreso took offense to the comments posted which I replied to in my post which stated he was probably TOO BUSY to take care of his child at night. Whether that is the case or not I do not know, but I did not like that statement from the person who is not Joshua Bell.

But Joshua Bell is a great violinist and I wish him the best in discovering and tackling the challenges that will come to him as a father.

January 22, 2008 at 02:48 AM · Furthermore, in response to others, and not criticizing Joshua Bell, selfish is also the same impression I got from the news story. But I am also a journalist. Sometimes what we qoute does not reflect what took place in the whole interview. Josh Bell could've said so much mroe that either aleves or swells our vain concerns. And they are in vain, since none of our opinions will ever change how people feel and react or how Joshua Bell will parent.

January 22, 2008 at 04:50 AM · So wait...buri and jim miller are brothers?? wow!

January 22, 2008 at 05:12 AM · He got the violin skills, I got the good looks. Put that in one package and you've got a baby making machine.

January 22, 2008 at 05:27 AM · You guys are audioanimatronic? I had my suspicions...

January 22, 2008 at 06:28 AM · Maybe Bell could go on Oprah's TV show and talk about his new family...

Actually, it makes you wonder if Sony, with all of the megabucks invested in his media image, are going to change marketing tactics. This will be interesting to watch over the next year or so.

January 22, 2008 at 07:08 AM · I doubt that will affect him at all.

January 22, 2008 at 07:10 AM · Laurie, your post about parenthood, above, is excellent!

January 22, 2008 at 07:12 AM · Thanks, Karen. You are one of those supportive people!

An uncle of mine has 10 grown children, and I remember talking to him when my first child was in a high chair (throwing her Cheerios over the edge and seeing if I'd pick them up). I self-consciously said something to him like, "Wow, I bet you know everything there is to know about raising children." And he said no, not at all. "Every single one of them is different, it's different every time."

It's certainly a humbling experience.

January 22, 2008 at 08:09 AM · Differences between children may also depend on the amount of fathers. ;-)

January 22, 2008 at 12:35 PM · I agree, Laurie's post is just great. It's right on. I'd like to also thank Scott for voicing the general idea that it's not okay for fathers to leave the mothers of their children to do the parenting dirty work. We really are not so far removed from the bad old days of paternal pride in "never changing a diaper." I'm in my 40's and I still know men like this!

As for us not having the right to criticize the parenting decisions of strangers who are public figures, I would theoretically agree with this, but only up to the point that it's not nice to criticize situations and people that one doesn't know in general.

However, when one is a public figure, like an international violin superstar, one also gets to hear all kinds of praise about one's private life and personal character. There is a public perception (false, but seemingly hard to shake) that super talent in whatever field--sports, business, music, science--somehow leads to better character overall. In this culture, the opinions of public figures matter, for both good and ill, outside the realm for which they became famous. This is the blessing, and the curse, of being famous and having fans.

No one becomes a famous international violin superstar by accident or against their will. It's a choice--a choice that some people want to make so badly that they sacrifice hugely for it. Why is anyone surprised or angry that it has a price?

January 22, 2008 at 01:38 PM · Karen, I have the same sentiment. Right or wrong, his private life was on public pages which ended with a controversial quote. It seemed inviting comments.

Ihnsouk

January 22, 2008 at 02:41 PM · Laurie - you uncle's advice is right on. As a parent, about all one can do is attempt not to make the same mistakes as your parents did raising you. You try to make only your own mistakes, and then your kids get to try to raise their kids not making the same mistakes you made.

January 22, 2008 at 03:15 PM · Women, it takes a good woman to appreciate the sacrifices good men make.

January 22, 2008 at 04:08 PM · A girl friend of mine refers to fear of commitment--the common cold of the male psyche.

January 23, 2008 at 05:54 AM · I probably should be quiet about this for some obvious reasons: I’m not a parent, I don’t like Bell that much, and I want to be supportive to Laurie and Karen. But I do happen to believe that it’s better to leave such personally sensitive matters to the couple. Yes, it’s his choice to be a public figure and it is not unreasonable to expect him to give up some privacy that we normal people enjoy. However, it is in each of our best interests to respect other people’s privacy, no matter who they are, as this is probably what we all would like to be treated if we were in their position.

January 23, 2008 at 08:40 AM · I just wanted to add that in my experience, the person who does not do the parenting misses out. I look back at my parents and it is actually the mundane chores that are the special times for me as a child. For example, taking me to orchestra practice every week was my dad's duties. I would talk to him in the car and back. Taking us to football games was what my mom did, we all had cameraderie sitting in the bleachers either freezing or cheering.

Sitting up at night with a sick child might seem like a chore, but it is actually the golden moments where your relationship develops and you bond with that child. Who doesn't remember the mom or dad who sat up with you, or took you to the hospital, or checked on you when you weren't feeling well? Bonding with a baby is exactly when they are uncomfortable and you are providing the care and comfort. How does the absentee parent feel when the child runs to the other parent when hurt or sick or just need to talk?

Believe me, the ones who don't do the duties miss out, now while they are young; and in the future they will not have the closeness with their grownup children they could have had.

January 23, 2008 at 09:54 AM · Hmm, I do understand the views of those who say we should respect his privacy - BUT - aren't you all forgetting that HE is the one who has gone public on this and made this very open statement to a media organisation about his "domestic arrangements?" I think that throws him open to fair comment. Personally, I'd have preferred if he had kept quiet about his private life so we can all concentrate on his music-making, without perhaps thinking at the back of our minds that there is a little lad in NYC who doesn't really have a "proper" dad... Joshua made a big mistake talking about this in the public domain - in my humble opinion.

January 23, 2008 at 10:24 AM · As a father and dad of two daughters, now grown up, I fully agree with you, Clare, and also with your remarks, Rosalind, about privacy. Yixi's reminders, too, indirectly quoting the famous Golden Rule from the Sermon on the Mount I feel are very pertinent. Again a very thoughtful discussion...

Haj

January 23, 2008 at 03:54 PM · I don't know I would call it a big mistake, but I agree with you Rosalind. Let's also remember this is an issue that touches many people on this site balacing a demanding career and family. If he had said something like, we plan to raise our baby on bija juice from Planet Y since we believe milk is harmful to newborns, we would have just said, Are you sure? Well that's your business.

Ihnsouk

January 23, 2008 at 01:13 PM · >As Bilbo said, this discussion and immature postings such as Scott's has lowered the standards for this website. If you don't have anything nice to post, don't post at all! This is becoming a babyish gossip thread, which I am sure is NOT the reason why Mrs. Niles posted this.

Have a kid, Brian. Stay up with them all night. Do it for several weeks. Months. Try to live your "other" life during daylight hours. Multiply stress and fatigue level times ten. Don't expect or receive any acknowledgment or thanks for your efforts in this paradigm shift. Then, after months, or years of this, come post your thoughts here.

You go, Scott. I'm 100% behind you, and it warms my heart to have guys like you (and William, and others here, I'm sure, who are busy catching up on their work/sleep/bread-winning to comment) putting so much into the exhausting, unglamorous world of day-to-day (and night to night) parenting. Your kid will win out in a big, big way.

And congratulations to Josh on the news, of course. I hope, for his sake, as well as the mother's and the child's, that he is indeed able to spend a lot of time with his child. It doesn't get bigger than that. I think the baby's name is quite touching, as well.

January 23, 2008 at 01:26 PM · Oh, and well put, Clare.

January 23, 2008 at 02:31 PM · Ha.......except for the fact that I'm 14, Scott! You really want me to have a kid?

January 23, 2008 at 02:44 PM · Why is it an invasion of privacy to discuss the parenting arrangements of strangers but not an invasion of privacy to offer congratulations, discuss where the baby's name came from, or want to see baby pictures from the same strangers?

I'm not criticizing anyone who did any of these things in this forum; my opinion is that all of these are part of being a public figure in this culture (whether that's good, or whether that's a culture one wants to live in, is another thread).

But if famous people want the yays, why shouldn't they also have to put up with the nays, like everybody else?

January 23, 2008 at 03:08 PM · Brian Hong, hey just wanted to say it probably wasn't the best comeback to tell them your age. 5 years ago, when I was 14, I was also extremely mature for my age, from my experiences. But all people see is age. Now they will say, "Well, even more of reason why you should not posting in this discussion of parenting!" Just be prepared is all I am saying. Comebacks and smart/sarcastic comments are all us teenagers have, so build your skills "my young apprentice", as Obe would say to Anakin.

(I am sorry. I just had to point that out because I am on my family debate team.) Smart Alleckness, is that the spelling?, and sarcasm aside, since you did make known your age, don't you think it is a little disrespectful for you to be talking to your elders in such a way? My mom would kick me if she found this site and saw that I had told someone older and with more experience to "Shutup." There is a way to be young and take part in a healthy debate without being disrespectful. It is not debate that has caused tension and consequences on this site, such as Emil and Mr. Song, but utter disrespect. So please be a healthy debater, not a trashy one.

That is all I have to say on the subject.

January 23, 2008 at 03:21 PM · And that goes for everyone else

January 23, 2008 at 03:38 PM · You know, you're right. Terez and Scott, sorry.

January 23, 2008 at 05:48 PM · >Brian Hong, hey just wanted to say it probably wasn't the best comeback to tell them your age. (...) Now they will say, "Well, even more of reason why you should not posting in this discussion of parenting!

Don't worry, Jasmine, I would have given an adult childless male trouble for posting that comment as well. (And I'd guessed Brian was a teen. That's cool with me.) I always hated it, being childless for many years, when people would get all lofty and say "Just wait till you have kids," but whaddya know, here I am doing it.

BTW, Brian, it was me, not Scott, who made the kid comment. I agree. Please don't try having a kid. Not just yet! Thanks for the apology, and I'll offer you mine in return for my snarky retort. And Jasmine, nice mediation words of wisdom.

January 23, 2008 at 05:44 PM · Hi everyone - from what I understand, the situation is more 'unconventional' than the toledoblade article makes it seem. That is, the article called Matricardi "a long-time girlfriend" and fails to disclose that the two haven't been together in eight years - except, apparently, as 'together' as they had to be to conceive the child!

From a BBC Music Magazine Interview (at least, according to Wikipedia): "This child... was planned with... and we are not together. This is happening 15 years after we first met. We've been not together, as a couple, for eight years now, but we planned to have a child -- I've always wanted to be a father, though marriage has been a challenge, because of my totally crazy schedule. I feel I'd like to have some influence on a child."

And from a joshua bell forum (http://www.joshuabellforum.com/jb/viewtopic.php?t=3877), a post that seems to be authentically from Josh himself:

"A little background is necessary here. Many years ago I had a girlfriend named Lisa Matricardi. We were together for seven years, up until 1999. Although we are not together anymore as a couple, we have remained close and I think of her as family. A few years ago we discovered that we both had a keen interest in having a child. Of course having a child takes two people, and since neither of us had a proper ‘significant other’ up to the task, we arrived at an unconventional but certainly not unprecedented solution. We decided to try to have a child together, even though we both knew that we would be living our separate lives outside of sharing our parental responsibilities (and our deep friendship of course). I will keep the details to a minimum here, but to make a long story short, on July 31st Lisa gave birth to our baby boy."

So if these sources are accurate, obviously Josh isn't living with his son because he isn't together with the mother anymore.

Now you can all start throwing stones over the unconventional parenting situation! :)

January 23, 2008 at 05:39 PM · Amen sister, Terez, I hear you. It's a paradigm shift, for sure, and it happens over time. It's pretty much impossible to keep up the same schedule as you did before kids. You don't even want to. And if you take on too much and are absent for a while, your family gets sick. Suddenly fights are happening on the playground, the math homework isn't turned in for a week, someone falls off the monkey bars, etc. Children will get the attention they need, for better or worse; better to be proactive about it.

January 23, 2008 at 05:52 PM · One more source - from Times Online (http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/music/article2864494.ece):

The other is “the scariest decision I’ve ever made” – a new son, the result of what’s being described as a “planned arrangement” with Bell’s former girlfriend, the violinist Lisa Matricardi. “Yes, it’s unusual,” he admits, “but in this day and age there are so many different kinds of families. This was unique in it being a planned baby with two people who were together for many years. It’s an ideal situation for me – the way it fits with my life. And it’s given me something grounding here in New York.” So he’ll be a full-on dad? “I plan on being actively involved.”

As for whether little Josef (named after Bell’s great tutor, Josef Gingold) will soon be clutching a bow, Bell plays true to gregarious form. “He’ll want to play,” he says confidently, “but I just want my son to be a well-rounded person.”

It seems clear that the mother of the child at least knew what she was getting into with this unique arrangement!

January 23, 2008 at 05:55 PM · Laurie, I know for a fact that your children are absolute ANGELS, because I've seen their beautiful, smiling cherub faces here at v.com. That's the other funny thing, isn't it? How smiling photos can paint such a dramatically different picture of parenting than reality produces?

Sarah Marie - WOW! on the second half of the story. Boy. That certainly says a lot more. Well, I'll save the best of my wishes for the mother, because she's the one who's going to need all the help she can get. And who knows, maybe she has it. Again, I'm hearing a story and projecting my own little stressed mommy impressions onto it. Funny, that. 50 different people reading this post will produce 50 different mental scenarios. I'm sure someone out there is thinking this is the most romantic thing ever. I'm thinking: hello sleep deprivation; bye bye mommy's violin practice and performing routine.

January 23, 2008 at 06:24 PM · Brian,

Absolutely, have a child. However, I'd suggest that you get as much practicing in NOW. My practicing has been very sparse this past year, and probably will be for several more. On the positive side, it's made me be very efficient. This weekend I have to perform Scheherezade, and I've had to squeeze in the practice when I can. Luckily, I've done a lot of practice on it in the past for auditions, so the notes are mostly there. All those etudes, scales, and Sevcik your teacher is making you does add up.

Scott

January 23, 2008 at 06:49 PM · Terez, don't be fooled by angelic photographs of children. As kids my brother and I looked like two little blonde obedient angels. Needless to say these photos are all total lies and completely betray our true natures (although my brother has become the opposite of me in the last 5 or so years).

January 23, 2008 at 07:52 PM · Pieter, will you please post that picture of you and your brother? This I've got to see.

And Scott, oh how funny, I read your comments and, well, when you told Brian to "practice now" before having a child, I thought you were referring to, er, a different kind of practice, and boy, that made the thread rather entertaining. ; )

January 23, 2008 at 07:57 PM · Terez there are many, but I'm far from home and wouldn't have a way to get one.

January 23, 2008 at 09:46 PM · To me, it now looks less unconventional. Certainly less selfish. I think it's great and wish them the best. The baby must be 6 months old. Does anyone know how it has been going?

Ihnsouk

January 23, 2008 at 10:09 PM · *retracted*

lol

January 23, 2008 at 11:00 PM · >Terez there are many, but I'm far from home and wouldn't have a way to get one.

Guess I'll just have to use my imagination then to visualize an angelic little Pieter Viljoen. I'm visualizing blonde curls and a toga...

January 23, 2008 at 11:09 PM · Pieter Viljoen may not respond.

He is currently employed by the New York Times as a music critic [hopefully].

January 24, 2008 at 12:29 AM · My brother had the very girly curls, I think mine went away a lot earlier.

January 24, 2008 at 12:49 AM · Terez,Scott: our Bryan practicing prebirth parenthood. Do you mean for him carrying a 5 pound sack of potatoes under his shirt going where ever he goes for 9 months and knowing where every bathroom is within a 5 mile radius from home and school?

January 24, 2008 at 02:28 AM · The most courageous people in the world humbly apologize, Mr. Hong. Thank you very much.

January 24, 2008 at 02:35 AM · Good gravy.

January 24, 2008 at 02:41 AM · Oh, they also say thank you. Hehehe...

January 24, 2008 at 03:16 AM · Royce,

Only if Brian will be carrying the child and giving birth himself. I hope he keeps us informed of his new gig.

Scott

January 24, 2008 at 03:26 AM · I know some fifth graders who can hook you all up with Tamagotchis....

January 24, 2008 at 03:43 AM · ouch

January 24, 2008 at 04:30 AM · Good Lord! Are Tamagotchis still around?? ...flashback....

January 24, 2008 at 04:35 AM · wowzers, that's a pretty busy site...should I shop or have a seizure?

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