Grammy winning violinist comes to the ‘Schnitz’

Joshua Bell

Oregon Symphony

Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

Oct. 19-20, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 21, 8 p.m.

Tickets available

Grammy Award-winning violinist Joshua Bell visits the Oregon Symphony on Oct. 19 and Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m., and Oct. 21 at 8 p.m. at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

Bell, who has been performing for more than 20 years is known for his “poetic musicality.” At the age of 14, Bell came to national attention when he made his debut with Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra. His subsequent performance at Carnegie Hall and his recording contracts have elevated him to the ranks of superstar. Newsweek stated: “Bell has evolved from a technical whiz to a true artist and intellectual whose music feeds both your brain and your heart.”

Bell, now in his 30s, has performed with almost every leading symphony orchestra and conductor, has recorded more than 26 albums and is nationally recognized as a Grammy Award-winning violinist.

Eager to further blur the lines between musical genres, Joshua combined his talents with longtime friend Edgar Meyer in 1998. Together they organized a quartet with legendary bluegrass musicians Sam Bush and Mike Marshall. This resulted in the Grammy Award-nominated “Short Trip Home,” which they performed on the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards telecast. Other “crossover” projects include collaborations with Wynton Marsalis on “Listen to the Storyteller,” a spoken word children’s album, and with Bela Fleck on “Perpetual Motion.” Both albums received Grammy Awards.

In 2001, Joshua received the Grammy Award and a Mercury Music Prize for the Nicolas Maw Violin Concerto. Written especially for Joshua, the concerto featured Sir Roger Norrington conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Additionally, Joshua’s recording of the Sibelius & Goldmark violin concertos with Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic captured the Echo Klassik Award for best concerto recording.

Conductor and music director James DePreist opens the concert with Ravel’s “Le Tombeau de Couperin” (The Memorial of Couperin), originally scored for piano. Composed during World War I, Ravel dedicated each movement of this work to the memory of a friend killed on the Western Front. Bell’s remarkable abilities as an interpreter are contrasted in the haunting and lyrical “Poeme” of Ernest Chausson and the fireworks of Ravel’s “Tzigane.” The second half includes Debussy’s “Nocturnes,” as well as Ravel’s “Bolero,” which was composed originally as a simple exploration of orchestral colors and timbres.

Performances are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 19 and 20 at 7:30 p.m., and Monday, Oct. 21 at 8 p.m. at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Tickets range in price from $16 to $72. Tickets may be purchased at the Oregon Symphony ticket office, located at 923 S.W. Washington, 503-228-1353; or through Ticketmaster, 503-790-ARTS.