Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

Violin Phenomenon JOSHUA BELL Makes Philadelphia Debut as Music Director of ACADEMY OF ST. MARTIN IN THE FIELDS, April 16

MARCH 15, 2012

Joshua Bell

Philadelphia Performance is Part of 15-City U.S. Tour, April 11-29

Violin phenomenon Joshua Bell makes his Philadelphia debut as music director of world-renowned Academy of St. Martin in the Fields on April 16, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. in Verizon Hall. Bell will also perform solo violin as part of the program, which includes Mozart’s Symphony No. 25 in G minor, K. 183; Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26; and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 in B-flat Major, Op. 60. This great orchestra kicks off its first major tour with Joshua Bell at the helm in London on April 5, and continues with 15-city U.S. tour from April 11 – 29.

Often referred to as the poet of the violin, Joshua Bell has enchanted audiences worldwide with his breathtaking virtuosity and tone of rare beauty. In September 2011 it was announced that Joshua Bell was named the second music director of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and will serve as both leader and soloist for this world famous ensemble. He is the first person to hold this title since Sir Neville Marriner, who founded the orchestra. 

Bell first came to national attention at the age of 14 in a highly acclaimed orchestral debut with Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and today is equally at home as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestra leader and composer. French Impressions, his new album with Jeremy Denk, was released in January 2012 and features compositions by Ravel, Saint Saëns and Franck.

Tickets for Joshua Bell and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields are available at $29 to $96, and can be purchased by calling 215-893-1999, online at, or at the Kimmel Center Box Office located on Broad and Spruce streets, Philadelphia, Pa. (open daily from 10am to 6pm, later on performance evenings).

“Joshua Bell will be the one remembered in 50 years time.”  The Strad

On the path to earning the rare title of “classical music superstar,” Joshua Bell’s restless curiosity and multifaceted musical interests have taken him in exciting new directions. In 2011-12 he has performed at the Ravinia, Tanglewood, Verbier and Mostly Mozart festivals; with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Montreal, Dallas, Colorado, Atlanta, and National Symphony orchestras; as part of the San Francisco Symphony’s 100th anniversary celebration; and as leader and soloist with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Other recent highlights include a recital at Carnegie Hall; a North American recital tour with pianist Sam Haywood; and extensive tours through Europe including cities such as Munich, Berlin, Vienna and Paris.

Bell is a native of Bloomington, Indiana and received his first violin at age four. By 12 he was serious about the instrument, thanks in large part to the inspiration of renowned violinist and pedagogue Josef Gingold, who had become his beloved teacher and mentor. Since his first LP recording at age 18, Bell has recorded more than 36 CDs. Recent releases include At Home With Friends, featuring Chris Botti, Sting, Josh Groban, Regina Spektor, Tiempo Libre and others; the Defiance soundtrack; Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons; The Essential Joshua Bell; and Romance of the Violin, which was named by Billboard as the 2004 Classical CD of the Year and Bell as the Classical Artist of the Year. Bell also collaborated with Wynton Marsalis on the Grammy-winning spoken word children’s album, Listen to the Storytellerand Bela Fleck’s Grammy Award winning Perpetual Motion. Bell can be heard on numerous other recordings, several of which have been nominated for Grammy Awards. He has also been seen onThe Tonight Show; Charlie Rose; CBS Sunday Morning; five Live from Lincoln Center Presentsbroadcasts; and two Grammy Awards telecasts, among others.

Bell is a recipient of the Avery Fisher Prize. His extensive list of honors includes 2010 Instrumentalist of the Year by Musical America; the Academy of Achievement Award for exceptional accomplishment in the arts; and induction into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame. He was also honored by Education through Music for his dedication to sharing his love of classical music with disadvantaged youth. Bell serves on the artist committee of the Kennedy Center Honors and is on the Board of Directors of the New York Philharmonic. In 2009, he performed at Ford’s Theatre before President Obama, which was followed by an invitation from the President and First Lady Michelle Obama to perform at the White House.

Academy of St Martin in the Fields is one of the world’s most celebrated chamber orchestras. More than 50 years since its formation, the orchestra continues its relationship with founder Sir Neville Marriner, whose early concerts with the ensemble were directed from the leader’s chair. More recently the Academy has developed a successful partnership with internationally renowned pianist Murray Perahia, who has been principal guest conductor since 2000. The concept of the conductor-less ensemble, however, has remained the guiding principle of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields’ artistic policy and, over the years has been strengthened through its associations with high-profile artists including Julia Fischer, Julian Rachlin, Janine Janson and Anthony Marwood.


Kimmel Center, Inc., a charitable, not-for-profit organization, owns, manages, supports and maintains The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, which includes Verizon Hall, Perelman Theater, Innovation Studio and the Merck Arts Education Center. Kimmel Center, Inc. also manages the Academy of Music, owned by the Philadelphia Orchestra Association, and the University of the Arts Merriam Theater. Kimmel Center, Inc.’s mission is to operate a world class performing arts center that engages and serves a broad audience which includes providing arts in education, community outreach and a rich diversity of programming. The 2011/2012 season is sponsored by Citi. For additional information, visit


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