Senior Lecturer in Music (Violin; Chamber Music)
Joshua Bell is one of the most celebrated violinists of his era. His restless curiosity, passion, and multi-faceted musical interests have earned him the rare title of “classical music superstar.” Recently named the music director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, he is the first person to hold this post since Sir Neville Marriner formed the orchestra in 1958. Their first recording under Bell's leadership, of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 and Symphony No. 7, from Sony Classical debuted at number one on the Billboard Classical chart. Bell’s recording of the Bach violin concertos with the orchestra was released September 29, 2014, to coincide with the airing of the HBO documentary special Joshua Bell: A YoungArts MasterClass. He has recorded more than 40 CDs, garnering Mercury, Grammy, Gramophone, and Echo Klassik awards.
Other recent releases include Musical Gifts From Joshua Bell and Friends, French Impressions with pianist Jeremy Denk, the eclectic At Home With Friends, the Defiance soundtrack, Vivaldi: The Four Seasons, Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Berlin Philharmonic, The Red Violin Concerto, Voice of the Violin, and Romance of the Violin, which Billboard named the 2004 Classical CD of the Year, while naming Bell the Classical Artist of the Year. His discography encompasses critically acclaimed performances of the major violin repertoire in addition to John Corigliano’s Oscar-winning soundtrack, The Red Violin.
Bell has received many accolades. He was honored by the New York Chapter, The Recording Academy in 2013 and by the National YoungArts Foundation in 2012. In 2011, he received the Paul Newman Award from Arts Horizons and the Huberman Award from Moment magazine. He 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. In 2007, he was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize and recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame in 2005.
Bell serves on the artist committee of the Kennedy Center Honors and the board of directors of the New York Philharmonic. He has performed three times under the patronage of President and Mrs. Obama and returned to the capital to perform for Vice President Biden and President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping.
Born in Bloomington, Ind., Bell received his first violin at age four. At age 12, he began studying with Josef Gingold at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he is now on faculty. Two years later, he came to national attention in his debut with Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra and at 17, debuted at Carnegie Hall. His career has spanned over 30 years as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, and conductor, and he is an outspoken advocate for classical music and keeping music education in schools. He performs on the 1713 Huberman Stradivarius.