Review Quotes

Mr. Bell doesn’t stand in anyone’s shadow – The New York Times

Joshua Bell is the greatest American violinist active today – The Boston Herald

Most perfect interpreter of this generation – Houston Chronicle

Joshua Bell will be the one remembered in 50 years’ time – The Strad

Few people on earth can evoke as sweet a sound from a string instrument as Joshua Bell – The Kansas City Star

Impassioned playing – The Philadelphia Inquirer

Simply spectacular” – S.F. Bay Area Reporter
The American violinist with movie-star good looks has emerged as one of the finest musicians of his generation, whose interpretations can be seriously set beside and favorably compared to players twice his age. Dead players too. – The Washington Post

The presence of Mr. Bell, one of the world’s most popular classical musicians and a virtuoso refreshingly traditional in his preference for a sweet, singing tone and tasteful vibrato in Mozart, surely accounted for the boisterous crowd that attended the sold-out evening concert.” – The New York Times

Impeccable fiddling. – Gramophone.com

Few prodigies make it into musical maturity, but Bell has evolved from a technical whiz to a true artist and intellectual whose music feeds both your brain and your heart – Newsweek

Once every few decades or so, some great classical instrumentalist manages to capture the popular imagination. For this era in America, that musician has been violinist Joshua Bell – Santa Barbara Independent

The most celebrated American-born violinist of the modern era – Elle Magazine

Hot, young, and single, Joshua Bell makes classical music sexy – USA Weekend

One of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World – People Magazine

“Joshua Bell plays like a god” – John Corigliano’s acceptance speech upon receiving the Oscar for best film score, “The Red Violin,” performed by Joshua Bell.

(Bell’s playing) …does nothing less then tell human beings why they bother to live – Interview

Bell is dazzling: in the gentler pieces he is moving. If he can play like this at the age of 21, how is he going to play in 40 years time? – Gramophone Magazine

His recording of The Red Violin Soundtrack…moving enough to make even the most die-hard Metallica fan shed a tear – Glamour Magazine

Bell is a commanding, deeply musical, technically breathtaking performer. Wednesday night, he brought a combination of an enormous, malleable sound, absolute technical precision and artfully sculpted and colored phrasings to the concerto. He balanced striding, bold passages with moments of intimate, heart-on-his-sleeve expression, creating a gripping musical experience. – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Bell has been one of the world’s greatest violinists practically since childhood and is one of the few classical musicians to also achieve genuine and highly deserved popular celebrity. With this new album, (Bernstein: West Side Story Suite) Bell straddles the classical popular fence without in any way leaving himself open to accusations of creating a crossover product. That’s especially true here because Bernstein himself went back and forth over that fence throughout his career. – The Boston Herald

…the sound just flows from that fiddle, as close to perfection as anything on Earth. Bell’s tone is a thing of rare beauty, and he plays with such warmth and refinement that you wish the phrases would last longer. Pandemonium broke out in the house after the final Presto, which was followed by an encore - a movement from the high-spirited Mendelssohn Octet. For string fans, it was a night to remember. – The Seattle Times

The roar of the applause that filled Davies Symphony Hall at the conclusion of Sunday night’s concert had almost physical power, rushing forth like a river that had suddenly been undammed…the audience had just heard the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, led from the concertmaster’s chair by violinist Joshua Bell, tear through Mahler’s arrangement of Schubert’s D-Minor String Quartet, “Death of a Maiden.” It was a superb performance-dark, capacious and dramatically urgent…the music emerged with a glorious intensity that never ebbed. – The San Francisco Chronicle.

Joshua Bell, without a doubt the violinist of the century…a modern Paganini, bewitched the audience with the Chaconne, which sounds as if it were being played on a multitude of instruments simultaneously, not just one. The remarkable dark penetrating tone of the low register had immediacy and warmth, and the upper registers couldn’t have been sweeter and fuller. Bell played the incredibly intricate work with consummate control and no caution-he made it entirely his own. – Evansville Courier & Press

What most distinguishes Bell from other top talents of the day is that he transcends the pressure of trends, expectations, or typecasting that may be imposed on him. From the first note to the last, he’s simply constant to his personal response and understanding. The result is an unaffected, timeless musical experience so pure and intimate that listeners can’t help but be altogether immersed and influenced by his spell, long after his bow has left the strings. – Rocky Mountain News

One of the most successful artists in classical music history. – SF Classical Voice

Joshua Bell is a rock star. Boyish looks and daring musical choices – not to mention his exceptional talent and tone – have made Bell a charismatic classicist and a populist hero, a fan favorite of both old-school concert lovers and a new generation that appreciates his jazz and contemporary influences. – The Journal News

Bell’s penchant for drama made the bravura sonata by Grieg explode off the stage, and then his feel for blues and contemporary music pulled the audience in for every nuance of Ravel’s colorful work…Bell was extraordinary. – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

In the firmament of today’s young violin stars, few shine as long or as brightly as Joshua Bell. – Classical Voice.com

The virtuosic first movement cadenza [Mendelssohn Violin Concerto], which he let fly was composed by Bell himself. As an encore, Bell tore into Vieuxtemps’ Variations on ‘Yankee Doodle’ in jaw-dropping fashion. – The Orange County Register

The power of Bell’s communication is astonishing. The dazzling execution, powerful expression and beautiful tone are mesmerizing. If classical concerts always reached the exciting energy demonstrated by this partnership [with ASMF], moguls of the classical industry could stop worrying about how to keep the tradition alive. – The Australian

Bell towers over his field here and abroad…and it doesn’t hurt that the brilliant recording/performance star – lauded for having a halo gracing the hallowed veneer of his violin, and hailed as one who ‘plays like a god’ – happens to look like one, too. –The Exponent

“Bell demonstrated the easy virtuosity that has made him the contemporary equivalent of Pablo de Sarasate… His tone was supremely flexible: firm bowing in the first movement gave a rich, darkly lustrous sound, light skittering later on radiated silvery purity, and he ranged from one to the other effortlessly; his precise, blindingly fast left hand tore up the fingerboard and peppered the finale with pizzicato. Small wonder that the audience erupted in applause between movements and leapt to a standing ovation at the end. – The Oregonian

Bell fused impeccable agility, dexterity and artistry to thrill… Bell’s performance brought the house down, and he came out for four bows. – Oregon Music News

Bell – kinetic, charismatic, skilled and completely engaged – lived up to his high reputation. Bell dug into the music with incredible vigor, intensity and flair, to say nothing of a ferocious attach on the faster and more technically demanding sections that was nothing short of amazing; the more lyrical passages were beautifully expressed. It’s rare to hear this kind of sustained perfection outside a recording. – The Post-Dispatch

I spent an hour in heaven, watching him play and I still feel as if I’m walking on clouds today. – Culture Map, Houston

Much of the greatness of Bell is that the difficulty of whatever he plays is never evident. From the very first notes through the lyric beauty of his Adagio and the rip-roaring Finale, there was no question of right notes, right intonation, right dynamics – all you could hear was the beauty and power of the music. – San Francisco Classical Voice

Suave and technically commanding as ever, he brought splendid intonation and shapely phrasing to the music. – The San Francisco Chronicle