Joshua Bell
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Past Event

Joshua Bell & Sam Haywood

  • Friday, February 7, 2014, 8 p.m.
  • Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Avenue, San Diego
  • $35 - $99

Joshua Bell is a busy, busy, man but he will be coming to San Diego to give a solo recital on Friday February 7th. We all know and love him in San Diego for his solo violin playing in the big concertos, such as Tchaikovsky's last spring, but he’s starting down a different path in his exploration of music.

In 2011 he was made the Musical Director of the august Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. The ASMF has had one music director since 1958, its founder, Sir Neville Marriner. Yes, Joshua Bell is following a living legend and doing it quite well, I might add.

In keeping with the Neville Marriner tradition, who made over 2,000 recordings during his career, Joshua Bell has recorded Beethoven's 4th and 7th Symphonies in 2013 with ASMF.

In a phone interview, Mr. Bell shared that he is moving away from being a guest soloist with orchestras.

“I’d like to do less playing as a guest. The most satisfying things for me musically are directing, expanding my conducting repertoire, and solo recitals. Playing a solo recital, intimate music-making like that, is very satisfying. We [pianist Sam Haywood] spend lots of time together working on the details of the music. For me, the more intimate the music-making, the better.”

I asked about the combination of Beethoven and Stravinsky on his San Diego program and if there was a significance to including these two influential composers.

“There is no underlying theme. It’s just a nice cross section of music. The first piece is by Tartini. He was kind of the Paganini of this day [1692-1770]. His music is spectacular and I’m playing this crazy piece called The Devil’s Trill. The Beethoven Sonata No. 10 is my favorite. It is profound and poetic and contemplative. The Stravinsky actually lightens up the mood as the concluding piece of music.”

The concert on February 7th is a solo recital but Mr. Bell is accompanied by piano on these pieces. He spoke a little about his relationship with pianist Sam Haywood.

“We’ve been playing together for about three years and as we’ve opened up to each other musically, we’ve become better artists. He is not an accompanist, in a concert such as this, both musicians need to be accomplished artists.”

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