Joshua Bell was born December 9, 1967 in Bloomington, Indiana. He made his orchestral debut at the age of 14 with the Philadelphia Orchestra—becoming the orchestra’s youngest-ever soloist. From an early age, he was always keen and determined towards playing the violin. When he started taking his violin lessons at the minor age of just 4, he plucked out rubber bands out of nine dresser blocks, stretching them so that he could replicate the tune he had heard on the television. Then his parents got him a violin and began teaching him violin lessons.
Apart from the perfection in violin playing he also showed a major interest and excelled in sports and played video games, namely tennis and bowling, even placing in a national tennis tournament at the age of ten.
His first teacher was a widow named Donna Bricht. Afterwards second teacher was Mimi Zweig, and then he switched to the violinist and pedagogue Josef Gingold, where his parents assured the teacher that they don’t want to push their son to learn violin but just choose a best teacher to support and enhance his abilities to the maximum level. Gingold helped Bell to determine and implement the best techniques.
At the age of 14 Bell appeared as a soloist, and then he studied the violin at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and graduated from Bloomington High School North in the year 1984. After receiving an Artist Diploma for violin performance at Indiana University, he was also honored with a Distinguished Alumni Service Award by his alma mater only two years after his graduation. He also received the Indiana Governer’s Arts Award and also named an “Indiana Living Legend”.
Bell made his debut in Carnegie Hall in 1985, at age 17, with the St. Louis Symphony. Nicholas Maw’s violin concerto was dedicated to Bell and won a Grammy Award for his recording of his piece. He also performed the solo part for the Oscar-winning soundtrack for the film The Red Violin and was also featured in Ladies In Lavender. After making an appearance in the movie Music of The Heart, with other notable violinists, Bell took the violin playing to a whole new level.
Bell’s instrument is said to be a 300-year-old Stradivarius violin named Gibson ex Huberman, also known as Antonio Stradivari’s “Golden Era”. Bell is also an artistic partner for the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He was also awarded Avery Fisher Prize on April 10, 2007, in New York. He has also provided violin solos for the soundtrack of the movie Angels & Demons. Bell was named Music Director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and also performed the song “before My Time”, with Scarlett Johansson. The song received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Bell has three sisters, a son, Josef, was born to Bell and Lisa Matricardi, afterwards twin were born to them.
Joshua Bell Interview