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Joshua Bell to perform April benefit concert in IU's Musical Arts Center

NOTE: This concert is sold out.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 24, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music announced today (March 24) that Grammy Award-winning violinist and faculty member Joshua Bell will join acclaimed British pianist Sam Haywood in a recital on Tuesday, April 13, at 8 p.m., in IU's Musical Arts Center on the Bloomington campus.

The benefit concert -- in support of the local Monroe County Community School Corporation's elementary school instrumental music programs -- will include the Sonata for Violin and Keyboard in E Major by J. S. Bach; the Sonata for Violin and Piano, No. 7 in C Minor by Beethoven; and the Violin Sonata by Ravel.

Tickets are now sold out for this event. Donations can still be made to in support of the local Monroe County Community School Corporation's elementary school instrumental music programs with cash or checks made out to "Indiana University Foundation."

"On behalf of the Board of School Trustees, staff and students of MCCSC, we are so pleased to confirm that Bloomington High School North and IU Jacobs School of Music graduate Joshua Bell have stepped forward to perform a benefit concert to raise the dollars needed to support the elementary instrumental music programs for our elementary-aged students interested in music education," said Superintendent John Coopman. "Music is an integral part of our students' development and part of a well-rounded program. Our sincere thanks to Mr. Bell and the Jacobs School of Music for their partnership with MCCSC and music program development."

"The current crisis in public school funding in Indiana has placed many programs in the Monroe County Community Schools in jeopardy," said Lissa May, chair of the Jacobs Department of Music Education. "I am thrilled that Joshua Bell is presenting this concert and hope that others will step forward to help ensure that the children in Bloomington have access to a well-rounded and high-quality education."

This will be the first concert in a new partnership between Bell and Haywood that takes the duo on tour across the United States and Europe.

About Joshua Bell

Born in Bloomington, Ind., Bell began playing the violin at age four after his parents noticed him plucking tunes on rubber bands he had stretched around the handles of his dresser drawers. By age 14, he had appeared as a soloist in a highly acclaimed orchestral debut with Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra. After graduating two years early from Bloomington North High School, Bell attended Indiana University to continue his violin studies with the legendary Josef Gingold.

A Carnegie Hall debut, the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant and a recording contract further confirmed his presence in the music world.

Now in his early 40s, Bell has already performed with the world's top orchestras and conductors as well as a diverse range of popular artists on his latest recording, At Home With Friends, featuring Chris Botti, Sting, Josh Groban, Kristin Chenoweth and others.

In addition to his Grammy Awards, Bell has earned a Mercury Music Prize and Germany's Echo Klassik and has performed on the Oscar-winning soundtrack of The Red Violin. He recently received the esteemed Avery Fisher Prize, given every few years to a classical musician of outstanding caliber. In 2010, Bell was named Instrumentalist of the Year by Musical America .

Bell plays the famed Gibson Ex-Huberman Stradivarius, a nearly 300-year-old violin known for its resemblance to the human voice. Washington Post writer Gene Weingarten described Bell's mastery with the instrument: "In this musician's masterly hands, it sobbed and laughed and sang -- ecstatic, sorrowful, importuning, adoring, flirtatious, castigating, playful, romancing, merry, triumphal, sumptuous."

About Sam Haywood

British pianist Sam Haywood has performed to critical acclaim as concerto soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. He has recorded extensively for CD, radio and television, most recently with Steven Isserlis for a BBC documentary about Mendelssohn.

Haywood began playing the piano at the age of six, inspired by the magic of candlelit evenings listening to crackly Beethoven records with his grandmother in the English Lake District. His early teachers, David Bonser and David Hartigan, continued to inspire him, and, by the age of 13, he had won second prize in the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition. The Royal Philharmonic Society then awarded him its prestigious Isserlis Award, after which he studied in Vienna with Paul Badura-Skoda. His next major influence was the Italian Schnabel-pupil Maria Curcio, with whom he studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Haywood has given several recitals on Chopin's own Pleyel piano of 1848, on which he will be making a special recording to celebrate Chopin's anniversary year in 2010. He is also keen to include lesser-known works in his recital programs, including compositions by Rosetti, Elgar, Mozart's younger son Franz Xaver and John McLeod (a piano sonata commissioned and premiered by Haywood at the Scottish Sound Festival). He has also edited a new edition of piano works by Julius Isserlis and Carl Fruehling's Clarinet Trio.

Haywood is regularly involved in educational projects and has co-written a children's opera. To celebrate the Chopin anniversary, he recently completed a transcription of the Romance from Chopin's First Piano Concerto.