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Los Angeles Times Q&A with Joshua Bell

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In town this week for four dates with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall, violinist Joshua Bell had been up since 5 a.m. when we spoke in his suite at a West Hollywood hotel. He had flown to L.A. and then appeared on "The Tavis Smiley Show." He has a new album out, "For the Love of Brahms" ("I know, corny title," he said), with an all-star trio,including pianist Jeremy Denk and cellist Steven Isserlis. There's also a "Live from Lincoln Center" special scheduled for Dec. 16 called "Joshua Bell: Seasons of Cuba," in which he performs with the Chamber Orchestra of Havana. For this edited conversation, Bell, 48, recalled Neville Marriner and discussed why he loves Brahms, his trip to Cuba and the thrill of acting with the Fonz.