Biography

With a career spanning almost four decades, GRAMMY® Award-winning violinist Joshua Bell is one of the most celebrated artists of his era. Bell has performed with virtually every major orchestra in the world, and continues to maintain engagements as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, conductor and as the Music Director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields.

Bell’s highlights in the 2023-24 season include an international tour of his newly-commissioned project, The Elements, featuring works by renowned composers representing each of the five elements. Composers include Jake Heggie (Fire), Jennifer Higdon (Air), Edgar Meyer (Water), Jessie Montgomery (Space), and Kevin Puts (Earth). The work will receive its premiere performances with the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Hong Kong Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Seattle Symphony Orchestra. Bell will also release his new album on Sony Classical, Butterfly Lovers, in summer 2023. The record features the Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto by Chen Gang and He Zhanhao, newly arranged for a traditional Chinese orchestra conducted by Tsung Yeh. Bell will also lead the Academy of St Martin in the Fields on tour in Australia and throughout the United States. Bell appears as artist-in-residence this season with the NDR Elbphilharmonie, and as guest artist with the New Jersey Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony and more.

In 2011, Bell was named Music Director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, succeeding Sir Neville Marriner, who formed the orchestra in 1959. Bell’s history with the Academy dates to 1986, when he first recorded the Bruch and Mendelssohn concertos with Marriner and the orchestra. Bell has since led the orchestra on several albums including Beethoven’s Fourth and Seventh Symphonies, an all-Bach album, For the Love of Brahms, and, most recently, Bruch: Scottish Fantasy, which was nominated for a 2019 GRAMMY® Award.

In summer 2020, PBS presented Joshua Bell: At Home With Music, a nationwide broadcast produced entirely in lockdown, by Tony and Emmy Award-winning director Dori Berinstein. The program included core classical repertoire as well as new arrangements of beloved works, including a West Side Story medley. The special featured guest artists Larisa Martínez, Jeremy Denk, Peter Dugan, and Kamal Khan. In August 2020, Sony Classical released the companion album to the special, Joshua Bell: At Home WithMusic (Live).

Bell has commissioned and premiered new works by John Corigliano, Edgar Meyer, Behzad Ranjbaran and Nicholas Maw, and his recording of Maw’s violin concerto received a GRAMMY® award.

Bell has collaborated with peers including Renée Fleming, Chick Corea, Regina Spektor, Wynton Marsalis, Chris Botti, Anoushka Shankar, Frankie Moreno, Josh Groban, and Sting, among others. In 2019, Bell joined his longtime friends and musical partners, cellist Steven Isserlis and pianist Jeremy Denk, for a ten-city American trio tour; the trio also recorded Mendelssohn’s piano trios at Capitol Studios in Hollywood, slated for release next season.

In 1998, Bell worked with composer John Corigliano on recording the film soundtrack for The Red Violin, which elevated Bell to a household name and garnered Corigliano an Academy Award. Since then, Bell has appeared on several other film soundtracks, including Ladies in Lavender (2004) and Defiance (2008). Bell commemorated the 20th anniversary of The Red Violin (1998) in 2018-19, bringing the film with live orchestra to various festivals and the New York Philharmonic.

Bell has also appeared three times as a guest star on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and made numerous appearances on the Amazon series Mozart in the Jungle. Bell is also featured on six Live From Lincoln Center specials, as well as a PBS Great Performances episode, “Joshua Bell: West Side Story in Central Park.” 

In 2021, Bell announced his new partnership with Trala, the tech-powered violin learning app. Bell maintains active involvement with Education Through Music and Turnaround Arts, and in 2014, Bell mentored and performed alongside National YoungArts Foundation string musicians in an HBO Family Documentary special, Joshua Bell: A YoungArts Masterclass. Bell received the 2019 Glashütte Original MusicFestivalAward, presented in conjunction with the Dresden Music Festival, for his commitment to arts education.

Bell’s ongoing partnership with Embertone, the leading virtual instrument sampling company, on the Joshua Bell Virtual Violin, a sampler created for producers, engineers, artists, and composers, is widely considered the best virtual instrument of its kind. Bell also collaborated on the Joshua Bell VR experience with Sony PlayStation 4 VR, which features Bell performing with pianist Sam Haywood in full 360-degrees VR.

As an exclusive Sony Classical artist, Bell has recorded more than 40 albums, garnering GRAMMY®, Mercury®, Gramophone and OPUS KLASSIK awards. Bell’s 2019 Amazon Originals Chopin Nocturne arrangement was the first classical release of its kind on Amazon Music. Bell’s 2016 release, For the Love of Brahms, features recordings with the Academy, Steven Isserlis, and Jeremy Denk. Bell’s 2013 album with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, featuring Bell directing Beethoven’s Fourth and Seventh symphonies, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts.

In 2007, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post story, centered on Bell performing incognito in a Washington, D.C. metro station, sparked an ongoing conversation regarding artistic reception. The feature inspired Kathy Stinson’s 2013 children’s book, The Man With The Violin, and an animated film with music by Academy Award-winning composer Anne Dudley. Stinson’s subsequent 2017 book, Dance With The Violin, illustrated by Dušan Petričić, offers a glimpse into one of Bell’s competition experiences at age 12. Bell debuted The Man With The Violin festival at the Kennedy Center in 2017, and, in March 2019, presented a Man With The Violin family concert with the Seattle Symphony.

Born in Bloomington, Indiana, Bell began playing the violin at age four, and at age twelve, began studies with his mentor, Josef Gingold. At age 14, Bell debuted with Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and made his Carnegie Hall debut at age 17 with the St. Louis Symphony. At age 18, Bell signed with his first label, London Decca, and received the Avery Fisher Career Grant. In the years following, Bell has been nominated for six GRAMMY® awards, named “Instrumentalist of the Year” by Musical America, deemed a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum, and received the Avery Fisher Prize. He has also received the 2003 Indiana Governor’s Arts Award and a Distinguished Alumni Service Award in 1991 from the Jacobs School of Music. In 2000, he was named an “Indiana Living Legend.” 

Bell has performed for three American presidents and the justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. He participated in former president Barack Obama’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities’ first cultural mission to Cuba, joining Cuban and American musicians on an Emmy-nominated PBS Live from Lincoln Center special; Joshua Bell: Seasons of Cuba, celebrating renewed cultural diplomacy between Cuba and the United States.

Bell performs on the 1713 Huberman Stradivarius violin.

Latest News

Joshua Bell joins conductor Dalia Stasevska and the INSO-Lviv Symphony Orchestra for a benefit concert for Ukraine on January 10 in Warsaw.

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This month, Bell continues on tour with NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra performing works by Vieuxtemps, Chausson, and Zemlinsky.

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This season, Joshua Bell joins the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra as the 2023/24 artist in residence.

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Upcoming Performances

Recital with Shai Wosner

Crans-Montana, Switzerland
Tickets & Info

Academy of St Martin in the Fields - USA Tour

Naples, FL
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Academy of St Martin in the Fields - USA Tour

West Palm Beach, FL
Tickets & Info

Academy of St Martin in the Fields - USA Tour

Vero Beach, FL
Tickets & Info

Academy of St Martin in the Fields - USA Tour

Miami, FL
Tickets & Info

Recordings

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Butterfly Lovers

cd / 2023

Featuring the Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra and Maestro Tsung Yeh.

Amazon Original: Chopin’s E-flat Nocturne

cd / 2019

Joshua transcribed and interprets Chopin's E-flat Nocturne

The Classical Collection

cd / 2017

A 14-CD collection from Sony Classical.

For The Love Of Brahms

cd / 2016

Academy of St Martin in the Fields · Steven Isserlis, cello · Jeremy Denk, piano

Musical Gifts

cd / 2013

Alison Krauss · Chick Corea · Kristin Chenoweth · Renée Fleming · Chris Botti · Plácido Domingo · Gloria Estefan · Michael Feinstein & more

Nobel Prize Concert

dvd / 2011

Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra · Sakari Oramo

For Colored Girls: Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture Soundtrack

cd / 2010

Music from the motion picture

At Home with Friends

cd / 2009

Chris Botti · Sting · Josh Groban · Regina Spektor · Edgar Meyer · Chris Thile · Marvin Hamlisch & more

Angels & Demons

cd / 2009

Music from the motion picture by Hans Zimmer

Corigliano: The Red Violin Concerto, Violin Sonata

cd / 2007

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra · Marin Alsop, conductor · Jeremy Denk, piano

Voice of the Violin

cd / 2006

Orchestra of St. Luke's · Michael Stern, conductor · Anna Netrebko, soprano

Live From The Spoleto Festival 1987

cd / 2003

Jeffrey Kahane · Carter Brey · Marvis Martin · Joseph Swensen · Scott Nickrenz

Mendelssohn, Beethoven: Violin Concertos

cd / 2002

Camerata Salzburg · Sir Roger Norrington

Bottesini: Gran Duo Concertante

cd / 2002

Edgar Meyer, double bass · The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra · Hugh Wolff, conductor

Heartland: An Appalachian Trilogy

cd / 2001

Sam Bush · Béla Fleck · Yo-Yo Ma · Mike Marshall · Edgar Meyer · Mark O'Connor

Bernstein: West Side Story Suite

cd / 2001

Philharmonia Orchestra · David Zinman

Sibelius, Goldmark: Violin Concertos

cd / 2000

Los Angeles Philharmonic · Esa-Pekka Salonen

Kernis: Double Concerto for Violin and Guitar / Air for Violin / Lament and Prayer

cd / 1999

The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra · Minnesota Orchestra · Cho-Liang Lin · Sharon Isbin · Hugh Wolff · Pamla Frank · David Zinman

Shostakovich, Messiaen

cd / 1997

Steven Isserlis, cello · Olli Mustonen, piano · Michael Collis, clarinet

Barber / Walton: Violin Concertos / Bloch: Baal Shem

cd / 1997

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra · David Zinman

Brahms / Schumann: Violin Concertos

cd / 1996

The Cleveland Orchestra · Christoph von Dohnányi

Prokofiev: Violin Concertos 1 & 2 / The Love of Three Oranges Symphonic Suite

cd / 1993

Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal · Charles Dutoit

Mozart: Violin Concertos 3 & 5, K. 216 & K. 219/ Adagio, K. 261/ Rondo, K. 373

cd / 1992

English Chamber Orchestra · Peter Maag

Chausson: Concerto for Piano, Op. 21 / Ravel: Trio for Violin

cd / 1991

Takács Quartet · Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano · Steven Isserlis, cello

Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto / Wieniawski: Violin Concerto No. 2

cd / 1990

The Cleveland Orchestra · Vladimir Ashkenazy

Saint-Saëns: Violin Concerto No. 3; Lalo: Symphonie espagnole

cd / 1989

Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal · Charles Dutoit

Fauré / Debussy / Franck: Violin Sonatas

cd / 1989

Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano

Presenting Joshua Bell

cd / 1988

Samuel Sanders, piano

Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1 / Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto

cd / 1988

Academy of St Martin in the Fields · Sir Neville Marriner

Contact

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David Lai

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Park Avenue Artists

Devi Reddy

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Park Avenue Artists

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+44 (0) 20 7957 5851

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Charlotte Lee

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Jane Covner is currently on sabbatical. For North American tour press please contact:

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