Stories » Joshua Bell Joins WTTW: 'Chicago Tonight' for Conversation and Performance

Top 10 for Aug

Joshua Bell Joins WTTW: 'Chicago Tonight' for Conversation and Performance

Bookmark and Share

Joshua Bell has been a classical music star since his debut at age 14. He has collaborated with everyone from trumpeter Chris Botti to opera star Renée Fleming, Alison Krauss, Josh Groban and even Vegas entertainer Frankie Moreno. Now nearing 50, the Bloomington, Indiana native talks with "Chicago Tonight" about his early years, the greatness of the Stradivarius and his favorite collaborators. He'll also treat us to a live performance with pianist Sam Haywood.

Bell and Haywood perform together this Friday evening in recital at Chicago Symphony Center. The program includes Beethoven and Fauré.






Bell brought to our studio his gorgeous violin, a Stradivarius made in 1713. We asked him to tell us about it.


"It's a pretty amazing thing. It's a work of art, it's also an incredible tool," he said. "They can't make them like this anymore, and I was very lucky to get this about 13 or 14 years ago.


"There's something so magical when you pick up a Stradivarius. The sound has a refinement that's hard to describe in words, actually. The projection of a Strad in a concert hall is something also very special. You'd think we'd be able to just copy it and make it ... There's something, maybe the aging, something about the climate at the time in Italy. Most of the great violins were made in a very small town in Italy around the same time period, so it's a little bit of a mystery still, why these are so special."