The "poet of the violin" Joseph Bell will be giving Johannesburg audiences a taste of his renowned talent, thanks to a series of concerts taking place at the Linder Auditorium next month.
As part of the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra’s third symphony season, Bell will be performing two shows with the company, which managing director Shadrack Bokaba says is a huge benefit to the orchestra as Bell is one of the premier violinists of his generation.
"[He] is without question one of the top soloists to have been presented by the JPO in its 12-year history. The orchestra is beyond excited to be hosting an artist of his calibre," he said
Bell’s talents have long crowned him a "classical music superstar", and he remains an internationally renowned violinist. Among his many achievements include awards such as a Grammy and the Avery Fisher Prize.
By the age of 14, Bell had already exhibited great musical talent and was performing as a soloist for the Philadelphia Orchestra. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1985, and continues to be recognised for his musicianship as well as his extensive charity work.
In addition to performing well-known pieces, Bell has also premiered several new works by composers such as Nicholas Maw, John Corigliano, Aaron Jay Kernis, Edgar Meyer, Behzad Ranjbaran and Jay Greenberg.
He was also featured in the Oscar-winning soundtrack for the film The Red Violin
and has since lent his talents to Ladies in Lavender
, a film starring Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, which was released in 2004.
In addition to the talents of Bell, the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra will also be enlisting in the gift of UK-based double bassist Leon Bosch, who is also an exceptionally renowned musician.
Conducting this concert is Polish conductor Michal Dworzynski, while guest conductor Bernhard Gueller who will be taking over for the last two weeks of the season’s concerts.
Bell will be the featured soloist on the August 29 and August 30 concerts of the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, where he will be playing the Brahms Violin Concerto, Op.77, D major