Part of: Great Artists II
With a career that spans more than 30 years as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, and conductor, Joshua Bell is one of the most celebrated violinists of his era. An exclusive Sony Classical artist, he has recorded more than 40 albums, garnering Grammy, Mercury, Gramophone, and ECHO Klassik awards. He is also recipient of the Avery Fisher Prize. Named music director of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields in 2011, he is the only person to hold the post since Sir Neville Marriner formed the orchestra in 1958.
In 2018, Mr. Bell tours with the Academy to the US, UK, Germany, and Asia; and, with pianist Sam Haywood, performs 10 recitals in Europe and the US. Further season highlights include dates with The Philadelphia Orchestra and Danish National Symphony Orchestra, and an all-Beethoven play-direct program with the Orchestre National de Lyon.
Recently, Sony Classical released Joshua Bell: The Classical Collection, a 14-CD set of albums of classical repertoire that displays Mr. Bell’s unique breadth, versatility, and breathtaking virtuosity. Slated for May 19, 2018, is his recording, with the Academy, of Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy and Violin Concerto No. 1.
Mr. Bell recently engaged in two technology projects: With Embertone—the leading virtual-instrument sampling company—the Joshua Bell Virtual Violin was created for producers, artists, engineers, and composers. He also teamed up with Sony for the Joshua Bell VR Experience, which features him performing Brahms’s Hungarian Dance No. 1 in 360-degree virtual reality. This experience is available for free download on Sony PlayStation VR.
Convinced of the value of music as a diplomatic and educational tool, Mr. Bell participated in President Barack Obama’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities’ first cultural mission to Cuba. He is also involved in Turnaround Arts—administered by the Kennedy Center—which provides arts education to low-performing elementary and middle schools. Mr. Bell has devoted himself to several charitable causes, most notably Education Through Music, which puts instruments in the hands of thousands of children in America’s inner cities.
Mr. Bell performs on the 1713 Gibson ex-Huberman Stradivarius violin.
Jeremy Denk is one of America’s foremost pianists. Winner of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship and the Avery Fisher Prize, he was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Mr. Denk regularly appears at Carnegie Hall and has recently performed with The Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, and Los Angeles Philharmonic, and toured with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Last season, he undertook a recital tour of the UK, including returns to Wigmore Hall and the BBC Proms.
This season, Mr. Denk returns to the San Francisco Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas, and Carnegie Hall with Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Returning in subscription to the Seattle Symphony, Mr. Denk embarks on a tour performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, “Emperor.” He continues as artistic partner of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in multiple performances, and presents a new piano concerto written for him by Hannah Lash. He appears in recital throughout the US, with performances in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Houston, Seattle, and Los Angeles. Abroad, Mr. Denk performs as artist-in-residence at the Barbican Centre’s Milton Court Concert Hall, and returns to play-direct the Britten Sinfonia in London and on tour in the UK. In Asia, he makes recital debuts in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Seoul. Future projects include a reunion with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, and a US tour with longtime musical partners Joshua Bell and Steven Isserlis.
Mr. Denk is known for his original and insightful writing on music. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, the New Republic, The Guardian, and on the front page of The New York Times Book Review. He is composer of an opera presented by Carnegie Hall and is working on a book to be published by Random House. Mr. Denk’s debut recording with Nonesuch Records paired Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 32, Op. 111, with Ligeti’s Etudes; his interpretation of the sonata was selected by BBC Radio 3’s Building a Library as the best available version recorded on modern piano. His latest recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations reached number one on the Billboard classical charts.