By CHRIS FENN-ANSTRUTHER
American violinist Joshua Bell will perform Friday and Saturday in a pair of Masterworks concerts with the Utah Symphony at Abravanel Hall.
Bell, 30, has been praised by some critics for possessing “poetic musicality.” He will solo with the Utah Symphony in Saint-Saens’ “Concerto No. 3” for violin. The orchestra, under the direction of Acting Associate Conductor Bruce Hangen, will also perform Rossini’s “Overture to Semiramide” and Shostakovich’s “Symphony No. 5.”
Bell gained national attention at age 14, when he won the Seventeen Magazine/General Motors competition. That same year, he made his orchestral debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Since that time, he has performed with the nation’s leading symphony orchestras and with well-known orchestras in London, France, Italy, Spain and other countries throughout the world. Bell has released over thirteen recordings on the London/Decca and Sony Classical labels.
Bell said he is most interested in the works of living composers, and has performed world premieres of two works written specifically for him: a violin concerto by British composer Nicholas Maw and “Air” for violin and piano by American composer Aaran Jay Kernis.
Bell is currently involved as Artistic Consultant for “The Red Violin,” a film featuring an original score by John Coriglano. The film and its soundtrack are due for release in spring 1998.
Bell is one of the first classical musicians to be the focus of a music video, which was broadcast on the VH1, Arts & Entertainment and Bravo networks. He has been featured on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson, “CBS This Morning,” a 1993 “Live from the Lincoln Center” broadcast on PBS, and in such publications as People Magazine, USA Today, Vogue and Esquire.
“Joshua Bell has lots of energy and is exciting to watch,” said Katie Sadler, marketing and communications assistant for the Utah Symphony. According to Sadler, Bell is exceptionally talented and has accomplished a great deal, especially since he’s only 30 years old. “He is right up there with the best,” Sadler said.
Concerts featuring Bell begin at 8 p.m. Tickets are priced from $12 to $31 and can be purchased by calling 533-6683, or at the Utah Symphony box office at 123 West South Temple in Salt Lake City.