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Joshua Bell's 'Man With the Violin' will make its Canadian premiere at National Arts Centre / Ottawa Citizen

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When famed U.S. violinist Joshua Bell busked anonymously at a Washington D.C. Metro stop a decade ago as a kind of musical experiment, more than 1,000 people rushed past him, most without a second look. But the multimedia concert based on Bell's experience that day as seen through the eyes of a child – kids were among the few who turned to look – sold out Washington's Kennedy Centre and had a crowd of 2,200 cheering. That show - called The Man With the Violin - will make its Canadian premiere this week at the National Arts Centre. The concert, a co-commission by the two capital-city orchestras, features music by Grammy-winning composer Anne Dudley.

Based on a children's book by Canadian Kathy Stinson, and with Dušan Petričić's illustrations turned into vivid video animation, the concert is the headliner of a night of Christmas magic for all ages that also includes unexpected pre-show buskers around the newly renovated NAC and choral classics sung by the Choirs of Christ Church Cathedral. In the edited interview below, Bell discussed what he learned from busking in the subway, how he chooses repertoire and why the father-of-three wants to play for kids and families.      READ THE FULL Ottawa Citizen Q&A