Maestro Joshua Bell!
In the days of Johann Strauss, during the 1800’s, it was frequently the violinist who was also the leader of the performing orchestra that was doing waltzes and other dances. Even many years later it was Willy Boskofsky who also led the orchestra in Vienna for many performances. Now… the legendary violinist Yitzhak Perlman is appearing more frequently as a conductor. He’s performed with the San Francisco Symphony for the past several seasons in that role, and his conducting repertoire keeps growing.
In keeping with this theme… here’s some news: The Academy of St Martin in the Fields has pulled off quite a coup by naming violinist Joshua Bell as the orchestra’s new music director. Bell is one of the world’s most sought-after violinists. He will certainly provide new excitement to an ensemble who have perhaps lacked a little of that quality in recent years.
The orchestra was founded in 1958 by Sir Neville Marriner. He subsequently made them world-famous with a vast number of recordings – at one point they were among the most recorded ensembles in the world.
Unlike some other soloists who have second careers as conductors away from their instruments, such as fellow violinists Nikolaj Znaider and Thomas Zehetmair, Bell will direct with his violin.
Here is the Academy of St Martin in the Fields in under Neville Marriner in Mozart’s “Figaro” Overture:
And here is Academy of St Martin in the Fields Concert with Joshua Bell (director and soloist), performing Beethoven:
Tags: Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Neville Marriner, Joshua Bell