Joshua Bell & Academy of St. Martin in the Fields return to The Soraya on Thursday, March 10, to perform music by Rossini, Dvôrak, Price, and Mendelssohn.
Just days before the COVID-19 lockdown shuttered theatres and businesses worldwide, Joshua Bell & The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields took to the stage in what would be The Soraya’s final live performance for the next 18 months. Now, two years later, the sensational violinist returns to The Soraya for his eighth performance leading the renowned Academy of St. Martins in the Field for an evening of exquisite music making with Florence Price’s Adoration, Dvôrak’s Violin Concerto, Rossini’s Overture to The Barber of Seville and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4.
Thursday, March 10 at 8pm
The Soraya is located at 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330.
Tickets for Academy of St. Martin in the Fields start at $41 and are available at www.thesoraya.org and by calling 818-677-3000.
About Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
The Academy of St Martin in the Fields is one of the world’s finest chamber orchestras, renowned for fresh, brilliant interpretations of the world’s greatest orchestral music.
Formed by Sir Neville Marriner in 1958 from a group of leading London musicians, the Academy gave its first performance in its namesake church in November 1959. Through unrivalled live performances and a vast recording output – highlights of which include the 1969 best-seller Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and the soundtrack to the Oscar-winning film Amadeus – the Academy quickly gained an enviable international reputation for its distinctive, polished and refined sound. With over 500 releases in a much-vaunted discography and a comprehensive international touring programme, the name and sound of the Academy is known and loved by classical audiences throughout the world.
Today the Academy is led by Music Director and virtuoso violinist Joshua Bell, retaining the collegiate spirit and flexibility of the original small, conductor-less ensemble which has become an Academy hallmark. Under Bell’s direction, and with the support of Leader/Director Tomo Keller and Principal Guest Conductor Murray Perahia, the Academy continues to push the boundaries of play-directed performance to new heights, presenting symphonic repertoire and chamber music on a grand scale at prestigious venues around the globe.
When COVID-19 sparked lockdowns across the globe, the Academy established a digital campaign to fund the production of new performance videos. Films of Elgar and Shostakovich are out now, and future filming plans include recording with Music Director Joshua Bell. In addition, the orchestra launched a new concert series at its spiritual home of St Martin-in-the-Fields in London’s Trafalgar Square. The series – the first of its kind in the orchestra’s home city for many years – saw the Academy collaborate with internationally renowned artists on concert programmes devised by members of the orchestra. A second series ran from March-August 2021. Following an appearance at the 2021 BBC Proms with Joshua Bell, plans for the 2021/22 season include European and US tours with Music Director, Joshua Bell, the release of a new series of performance films by leading contemporary composers and concert tours in Europe with acclaimed soloists Julia Fischer, Lucas and Arthur Jussen, Pablo Ferrandez and Jan Lisiecki.
About Joshua Bell
Joshua Bell is one of the most celebrated violinists of our era and has performed with every major orchestra on six continents in his 30-plus year career. He was chosen to succeed the immortal Sir Neville Marriner as Music Director of the revered Academy of St. Martin in the Fields in 2011 and has renewed his contract through 2023.
With a career spanning over 30 years as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, conductor and director, Joshua Bell is one of the most celebrated violinists of his era.
Bell’s interests range from the repertoire’s hallmarks to commissioned works, including Nicholas Maw’s Violin Concerto, for which Bell received a Grammy® award. He has also premiered works of John Corigliano, Edgar Meyer, Jay Greenberg, and Behzad Ranjbaran.
Committed to expanding classical music’s social and cultural impact, Bell has collaborated with peers including Chick Corea, Wynton Marsalis, Chris Botti, Anoushka Shankar, Frankie Moreno, Josh Groban, and Sting. In Spring 2019, Bell joins his longtime friends, cellist Steven Isserlis and pianist Jeremy Denk, for a ten-city American trio tour.
Bell maintains an avid interest in film music, commemorating the 20th anniversary of The Red Violin (1998) in 2018-19. The film’s Academy-Award winning soundtrack features Bell as soloist; in 2018, Bell brings the film with live orchestra to various summer festivals and the New York Philharmonic. In addition to six Live From Lincoln Center specials, Bell is also featured on a PBS Great Performances episode, “Joshua Bell: West Side Story in Central Park.”
Through music and technology, Bell further seeks to expand the boundaries of his instrument. He has partnered with Embertone on the Joshua Bell Virtual Violin, a sampler created for producers, engineers, and composers. Bell also collaborated with Sony on the Joshua Bell VR experience.
As an exclusive Sony Classical artist, Bell has recorded more than 40 albums garnering Grammy®, Mercury®, Gramophone and ECHO Klassik awards. Sony Classical’s most recent release in June 2018, with Bell and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, features Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy and G minor Violin Concerto. Bell’s previous release, For the Love of Brahms in 2016, includes 19th-century repertoire with the Academy, Steven Isserlis, and Jeremy Denk. Bell’s 2014 Bach album, featuring Bell conducting the Academy in Beethoven’s Fourth and Seventh Symphonies, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard classical charts.
In 2007, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post story, on Bell performing incognito in a Washington, D.C. metro station, sparked a conversation regarding artistic reception and context. It inspired Kathy Stinson’s 2013 children’s book, The Man With The Violin, and a newly-commissioned animated film. Bell debuted the 2017 Man With The Violin festival at the Kennedy Center, and, in March 2019, presents a Man With The Violin festival and family concert with the Seattle Symphony.
Bell advocates for music as an essential educational tool. He maintains active involvement with Education Through Music and Turnaround Arts, which provide instruments and arts education to children who may not otherwise experience classical music firsthand.
Born in Bloomington, Indiana, Bell began the violin at age four, and at age twelve, began studies with Josef Gingold. At age 14, Bell debuted with Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and debuted at Carnegie Hall at age 17 with the St. Louis Symphony. Bell received the 2007 Avery Fisher Prize and has recently been named Musical America’s 2010 “Instrumentalist of the Year” and an “Indiana Living Legend.” He received the 2003 Indiana Governor’s Arts Award and a 1991 Distinguished Alumni Service Award from his alma mater, the Jacobs School of Music.
Bell performs on the 1713 Huberman Stradivarius violin, with a François Tourte 18th-century bow.
Find out more about Joshua Bell at www.joshuabell.com
About Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts (The Soraya)
The 2021-22 Season marks the 10th Anniversary for the celebrated Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts (The Soraya) located on the vibrant and diverse campus of California State University in the heart of Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley.
Under the leadership of Executive and Artistic Director Thor Steingraber, The Soraya continues its vigorous commitment to innovating, exceling, and amplifying access by offering a wide variety of performances that reflect LA’s many distinctive communities and featuring new and original work from the Los Angeles region as well as artists from around the world. In 2020, The Soraya’s online programs garnered attention from around the globe and from media such as The New York Times.
In addition to its LEED Gold certified venue—a rarity among performing arts centers—the 1700-seat Soraya has been nationally recognized for its environmentally sustainable practices and programs.
After enduring a year without live performances, the 2021-22 season will offer a joy-filled reunion featuring a vibrant program of nearly 50 classical and popular music, dance, theater, family, and international events that will further establish The Soraya as one of the top arts companies in Southern California that uplifts and inspires its audiences.