August 27, 2017, 7:16 PM · HELLO I am back with another question!

For those of you who've been a member for a while will know that I'm the biggest die-hard fan of Joshua Bell in the world... BUT HE IS COMING TO RICHMOND TO PERFORM ON SEPTEMBER!

I will be able to meet him, but I'm not sure how to make the most of the short experience so that I dont regret my decision in the future. Who knows when he will come back?

What should I do when I meet him? What questions should I ask that will benefit me the most, and what advice should I ask for so that it helps me? What item should I get signed? A CD or poster, etc.

Thanks for your help. Anything and any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Replies (27)

August 27, 2017, 7:20 PM · I think there is a thread somewhere in the archives on what you would ask Joshua Bell. I'd search it up and try and find similar threads.
August 27, 2017, 8:00 PM · I'd be more inclined to greet him as a person and not try to complete an on the fly interrogation of him. Lot of people are going to be pressing for his attention and you're not going to get a deep or detailed response with the few seconds of time you'll get.

I don't know what'd I'd get signed though. Maybe a light coloured (boxwood?) chin rest? That'd be something neat to have.

August 27, 2017, 9:24 PM · I have met him at a private reception backstage some 24 years ago. Back then, he had a really beautiful girlfriend, and he was too busy talking to her...
Edited: August 27, 2017, 9:48 PM · David, it's very personal and depending on the situation so I can't answer to your questions, but I believe get to know him as a boy might help:

Also, go try to read as much about him and watch some of his interviews on YouTube like this one so that your question will be more in depths and interesting:

I found this video was funny that he specifically talked about violinists and the Jews:

This is a long interview:

August 27, 2017, 10:19 PM · Print a photo or something? Ask him to autograph your tailpiece if you've got your violin with you? ;)
(I got an autographed photo)

But above all, like Michael said, he's a person, treat him as such, with respect and dignity.
Unless you're going out for lunch with him or some setting where you will have his attention, keep it simple.

August 27, 2017, 10:24 PM · Have him sign your violin :P
August 27, 2017, 10:45 PM · "Have him sign your violin :P"
...that might actually be insulting to some, John. ;)
Edited: August 28, 2017, 12:19 AM · Have him scratch his name into your violin. And not on the chinrest or tailpiece. On the spruce top. Willie Nelson has had other musicians scratch their names onto his guitar for many years. Why not you too?
August 28, 2017, 12:48 AM · Have you ever looked at Willie Nelsons guitar? A good reason not to do so. XD
August 28, 2017, 2:01 AM · If I had the opportunity to meet him I think it would be memorable to have someone take a picture of us together.
August 28, 2017, 4:38 AM · If you want him to sign something, I suggest taking a brand new shiny rosin cake.

Seriously "meet and greet" with someone like that normally means 15 seconds that it takes him to sign a CD that you're buying out in the lobby after the performance.

Don't ask him for advice. He doesn't know you and he's never heard you play. In 15 seconds you could introduce yourself as a violin student and say that you enjoy his recordings. He'll probably say something mildly encouraging in return. You might suggest to him that if he has any spare time in Richmond he should consider touring the Virginia Capitol because that's a very interesting place.

Edited: August 28, 2017, 6:07 AM · "I have met him at a private reception backstage some 24 years ago. Back then, he had a really beautiful girlfriend, and he was too busy talking to her …."

This reminds me of what singer-actress Shirley Jones said in her memoir about meeting one of her idols, Judy Garland, backstage in the early 1960s. Check out this page, last two paragraphs.

Whatever you do, as others have said, keep it short and simple.

August 28, 2017, 6:42 AM · For the autograph, you could ask him to sign a piece of paper. Later you can cut out the signature and have your luthier paste it next to your violin's label.
August 28, 2017, 6:46 AM · If you hand someone like that an 8x10 glossy photo and a Sharpie pen, they will ask you what you want them to write. Have something prepared like "David, keep going with violin, I look forward to hearing you someday."
August 28, 2017, 8:39 AM · I would probably try and pry into his personal life. People like when you just skip the small talk and throw a hail mary.
August 28, 2017, 8:51 AM · 8x10 isn't enough. Bring a life-size poster with Joshua Bell's exact height.
August 28, 2017, 11:02 AM · I waited in a long line once to meet Ann Sophie Mutter. What I found most interesting was watching her interactions with the people in front of me. She was extremely gracious with everyone in the very short allotted time we had. When my turn came, I told her I loved her playing and asked if she would record the Bach Sonatas & Partitas.
She replied that someday should would like to record them. Forty five seconds, but I'll never forget it. For J. Bell, be sure you take the whole experience in.
August 28, 2017, 12:52 PM · A youth orchestra I used to be in accompanied him for several concerts. Each time the female members would approach him, he was quite flirtatious. Notably, his autograph messages were much longer for the ladies than for the gentlemen. He also kissed the second chair violist on the cheek once. But overall, he seemed like an approachable person, and it was fun to be able to watch him so close up. I had never realized just how much he sweats. Look out!
August 28, 2017, 12:57 PM · Why not just simply thank him for working so hard for so many years to give so many so much pleasure?
August 28, 2017, 4:06 PM · I like Tom's idea. But he'll take a picture with you, if you ask, and it's always nice to get one of his CDs (it's supportive of his career after all) and have him sign that. If you have a CD player! :)
Edited: August 28, 2017, 6:10 PM · Ask him why he does not protect his precious Stradivari from excessive sweat. That will make it an incredibly short and memorable conversation. ..
August 28, 2017, 8:02 PM · Take page 1 of something he is playing(particularly if you have worked on it) for him to autograph.
September 1, 2017, 7:47 PM · Hand him a Perlman CD to sign and then ask him if he wants to go grab a few beers.
Edited: September 2, 2017, 5:32 AM · I once met him briefly after a concert of his. After the usual "bravo" to him, I gave him a copy of my first (and at the time only) CD. So far he still hasn't asked me to to play the Bach Double with him but...
September 2, 2017, 6:02 AM · Ask him if you can borrow his violin over the weekend
September 2, 2017, 7:54 AM · Seriously though, if i were advanced as a player and really wanted to ask him a question, id ask him for advice about something concrete that pertains to playing or practice. He's a good violinist, not a philosopher, a historian, a lifestyle guru (unless maybe it impacts violin teaching) etc.
September 2, 2017, 10:06 AM · Late to the discussion but I'll be very surprised if you have time to say anything more than "I really enjoy your playing." Meet and greets are not conducive to lengthy conversations, if for no other reason than courtesy towards others waiting their turn. I'd also be surprised if he responded to any sort of technical question with anything more than "Keep it up," "Ask your teacher," or "I'm glad you enjoy playing."

There are hundreds of people hoping to meet Josh Bell at any given concert and there is only one Josh Bell.

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