Joshua Bell is one of the most celebrated violinists of his era, and his restless curiosity, passion, and multifaceted musical interests are almost unparalleled in the world of classical music. Selected as Music Director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields by the musicians in 2011, Bell is the first person to hold this post following Sir Neville Marriner, who formed the orchestra in 1958. An exclusive Sony Classical artist, Bell has recorded more than 40 CDs since his first LP recording at age 18 on the Decca Label, garnering Grammy, Mercury, Gramophone and Echo Klassik awards in the process.
Born in Bloomington, Indiana, Bell received his first violin at age four and at 12 began studying with the legendary Josef Gingold at Indiana University. At the age of 14 Bell began his rise to stardom, performing with Riccardo Muti and the Philhadelphia Orchestra and at age 17 making his Carnegie Hall debut and touring Europe for the first time. Perhaps the event that helped most to transform his reputation from ‘musicians musician’ to ‘household name’ was his incognito performance in a Washington, DC subway station in 2007. Ever adventurous, Bell had agreed to participate in the Washington Post story by Gene Weingarten which thoughtfully examined art and context. The story earned Weingarten a Pulitzer Prize and sparked an international firestorm of discussion.
Bell performs on the 1713 Huberman Stradivarius violin and uses a late 18th century French bow by François Tourte.