If you are a musician, especially a string player, chances are that you’ve heard bad things about Joshua Bell. Everybody seems to hate his movements or something- I haven’t found out yet what it is that people hate the most from him. Many of my colleagues were discussing the other day how he always plays out of tune, how dramatic his expressions are and how much he sweats when he performs. I barely hear good things about this violinist other than the fact that all the girls love his hair.
I think that Joshua Bell is a great artist despite his ability to move all over the stage. He is confident in what he does, he works extremely hard and he has a good sense of what the business of music is. It is well proved that in all of his concerts he totally sells what he is offering not only by making an entire “show” while playing, but also with his capacity of being confident on stage. This shouldn’t be that hard for him since he has been doing it since he was 4. Anyway, Bell believes in what he does and although he knows a lot of people criticize his work, he remains intact. He practices every day, he records a new album every few months, he collaborates with pop artists and over everything he maintains the same stamina on the things he does. This may not have anything to do with his personality or how he treated you in that last concert where you couldn’t take a picture with him, but that is certainly why he has a 4 million dollar Stradivarius. He travels all over the world convincing an audience that he is the man. The one man who’s going to make you feel exactly what Bruch wanted to say in his second violin concerto or what Tchaikovsky meant in his Souvenir d’un lieu cher. It is obvious that he wants to connect with his audience in a unique way like any soloist.
My conclusion is that those musicians who gossip and talk about Bell in a bad way don’t understand his abilities nor appreciate those positive characteristics which made him the famous violinist he is and his successful career. They might be jealous of him- I thought, there is no other explanation for so many complains. He has been awarded many times and is considered one of the best violinist in the world by top reviewers, why in the world people say he is a bad violinist? I guess he is a bad violinist with a lot of luck, perhaps.
I believe it takes a lot of talent to do what he does- it also takes a lot of work to be giving as many concerts and also collaborating with the film industry and the pop world. He might not be the best violinist but if my mom watches him perform she will love him, and most of the people who go to his concerts are non-musicians, of course. He knows how to play the game of winning your heart, especially when it comes to convince the general public that he is the rock star of classical music. No matter what your fellow classical musicians think- he still has a 4 million dollar violin-and that means he knows how to run this business. That is why he is where he is today.