In a career spanning four decades, Grammy Award-winning violinist Joshua Bell is one of the most celebrated artists of his era. Having performed with virtually every major orchestra in the world, Bell continues to maintain engagements as soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, conductor and music director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields.
Bell’s highlights in the 2022-23 season include leading the Academy of St Martin in the Fields on tour in South America to Sao Paulo, Bogotá, and Montevideo, as well in Europe, in Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Denmark, and the United Kingdom. He appears in guest performances with the Berlin Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, Sofia Philharmonic, Franz Schubert Filharmonia and a European tour with pianist Peter Dugan. This season in the United States, Bell will perform alongside the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Houston, Baltimore and New Jersey symphony orchestras.
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 back to 1986, when he first recorded the Bruch and Mendelsohn concertos with Mariner and the orchestra. Bell has since directed the orchestra on several albums, including Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, “Voice of the Violin,” “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, directed by Tony and Emmy Award winner Dori Berinstein. The program included core classical repertoire, as well as new arrangements of beloved popular works. In August 2020, Sony Classical released the companion album to the special, “Joshua Bell: At Home With Music.”
Bell has been active in commissioning new works from living composers and has premiered works by John Corigliano, Edgar Meyer, Behzad Ranjbaran and the Nicholas Maw Violin Concerto, for which his recording received a Grammy. Bell has also collaborated with artists across a multitude of genres. He has partnered with 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 10-city American trio tour; the trio recorded Mendelssohn’s piano trios at Capitol Studios in Hollywood.
An exclusive Sony Classical artist, Bell has recorded more than 40 albums, garnering Grammy, Mercury, Gramophone and OPUS KLASSIK awards. His 2019 Amazon Originals new Chopin Nocturne arrangement was the first classical release of its kind on Amazon Music. 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.
Born in Bloomington, Indiana, Bell began the violin at age 4, and at age 12, 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. Bell was named 2010 Instrumentalist of the Year by Musical America, a 2007 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and received the 2007 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 performs on the 1713 Huberman Stradivarius violin.
Please note: Biographies are based on information provided to the CSO by the artists or their representatives. More current information may be available on websites of the artists or their management.