Daily Bow: Joshua Bell Announced as New Music Director


An American soloist is taking his career to new horizons. Joshua Bell, one of the world’s most famous and sought-after violinists, was recently named the Music Director for the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.

From the press release on Bell’s own site:

Joshua Bell…(is)… the first person to hold the title since Sir Neville Marriner who founded the Orchestra in 1958. With three weeks already in the diary for the 2011-12 season including an extensive US tour, Joshua Bell will double his time with the Orchestra over the course of his initial three year contract, as well as taking responsibility for the artistic direction of the Orchestra.

…Joshua’s appointment is a natural progression of the particularly warm relationship that he has with the musicians of the Academy and UK audiences: “I have felt a particular affection for the Academy of St Martin in the Fields ever since I made my very first concerto recording with them under the baton of Sir Neville Marriner when I was just 18 years old. Since then the orchestra has come to feel like family to me, as we have shared so many cherished moments together both musical and personal. Over the past several years I have begun to explore the great symphonic repertoire with the ASMF and I am thrilled that I will have the opportunity to continue this collaboration under the official title of Music Director.”

Bell has already done what many violinists and other string musicians aspire to. He has recorded over 30 CDs and won numerous awards, including a Gramophone in 1998 for his recording of the Barber and Walton violin concertos and Bloch’s Baal Shem. His album Romance of the Violin, in which Bell also played with St. Martin in the Field, featured some of the most popular melodies from classical music and became immensely popular with music buffs and casual listeners alike.

In addition, Joshua Bell was the recipient of the Avery Fisher Prize and named 2010 Instrumentalist of the Year by Musical America. Gramophone Magazine writes that “He will certainly lend glamour to an ensemble who have perhaps lacked a little of that quality of late.”

It will be interesting to see what Bell can do with the ensemble.

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One Response to Daily Bow: Joshua Bell Announced as New Music Director

  1. Cellimom June 1, 2011 at 8:30 pm #

    Interesting! I heard Hanna Chang also conducted orchestra a couple of times.

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