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Joshua Bell and Sam Haywood display virtuosity and partnership / Kansas City Star

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Camaraderie and energy marked Joshua Bell and Sam Haywood's duo performance in Helzberg Hall on Saturday night, presented by the Harriman-Jewell Series. Violinist Bell has the celebrity, with his iconic performance style, virtuosic abilities and highly publicized accomplishments (his treasured violin is older than the United States). Yet pianist Haywood wasn't just an accompanist, but rather an equal collaborator with a gentlemanly demeanor.

Fully attuned to each other while playing, at the end of each piece they shared a friendly handshake before turning to the crowd for deferential bows to acknowledge the applause. The program featured a selection of primarily Romantic-era works, repertoire stalwarts that allowed for dramatic interpretations. Bell's workaday stage presence changed to one of confidence and flair when he brought the violin under his chin.  READ THE FULL Kansas City Star REVIEW