With a career spanning almost four decades, Joshua Bell is one of the most celebrated violinists of his era. Having performed with virtually every major orchestra in the world, Bell continues to maintain engagements as soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, conductor and Music Director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields.
In a moment when COVID-19 has shut down the majority of live performances, Bell has joined the movement to bring world-class performances online. On August 16, 2020, PBS presented "Joshua Bell: At Home With Music," a nationwide broadcast directed by Tony and Emmy award winner, Dori Berinstein. The program includes core classical material as well as new arrangements of beloved works, including a West Side Story medley. The special features guest artists Larisa Martínez, Jeremy Denk, Peter Dugan, and Kamal Khan.
Additional performances during the summer of 2020 included an Independence Day concert with the US Air Force Band, a concert for the Tanglewood Online Festival with pianist Jeremy Denk, and a virtual program for the Saratoga Performing Arts Center with pianist Peter Dugan. In July, Bell gave virtual performances with soprano Larisa Martínez as part of the Casals Festival, and for the Virtual Verbier Festival with pianist Daniil Trifonov.
In 2011, Bell was named Music Director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, succeeding Sir Neville Marriner, who formed the orchestra in 1959. Bell's history with the Academy dates back to 1986 when he first recorded the Bruch and Mendelsohn concertos with Mariner and the orchestra. Bell has since directed the orchestra on several albums including Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Voice of the Violin, For the Love of Brahms, and most recently, Bruch: Scottish Fantasy, which was nominated for a 2019 GRAMMY® Award.
Bell has performed for three American presidents and the sitting justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. He participated in former president Barack Obama’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities’ first cultural mission to Cuba, joining Cuban and American musicians on a 2017 Live from Lincoln Center Emmy nominated PBS special, Joshua Bell: Seasons of Cuba, celebrating renewed cultural diplomacy between Cuba and the United States.
Born in Bloomington, Indiana, Bell began the violin at age four, and at age twelve, began studies with his mentor, Josef Gingold. At age 14, Bell debuted with Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and made his Carnegie Hall debut at age 17 with the St. Louis Symphony. At age 18, Bell signed with his first label, London Decca, and received the Avery Fisher Career Grant. In the years following, Bell has been named 2010 “Instrumentalist of the Year” by Musical America, a 2007 “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum, nominated for six GRAMMY® awards, and received the 2007 Avery Fisher Prize. He has also received the 2003 Indiana Governor’s Arts Award and a Distinguished Alumni Service Award in 1991 from the Jacobs School of Music. In 2000, he was named an “Indiana Living Legend.”