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7 September 2015, 12:53
When the superstar violinist popped in to our studio, we couldn’t let the opportunity go by without asking him to tackle some of your trickier violin questions. From how to encourage children to practise to improving the sound of your double-stopping: here are six pieces of advice from one of the world's greatest violin virtuosos.
Joshua Bell is one of the greatest violinists alive today, his name is recognised the world-over – he’s even made an appearance on Sesame Street. And what's more, he's Classic FM's Artist in Residence, along with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, where he's music director.
We were given access to one of the group's rehearsals and filmed a run-through of part of Piazzolla's The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires:
Spring in Buenos Aires - rehearsal
Our amazing Artists in Residence, Joshua Bell and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields are taking to the stage in London on 11th Nov playing Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky & Mozart: http://classfm.co/BCZHnLA couple months ago they popped into Classic FM for a rehearsal of their summer tour - this is Piazzolla's The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires. Just stunning.Posted by Classic FM on Monday, 26 October 2015
And while he was in the studio, we knew we just had to put your questions to him. Here are the six questions he tackled.
Nancy Foster wrote to Joshua saying: “My daughter is 12 and she has been playing the violin for 5 years now. What advice do you have for a pre-teen to keep motivation?”
This was what Joshua suggested:
Beth got in touch to ask: “Hi Joshua, do you have any tips for double stopping and getting a “clean” sound?”
Here were his tips (complete with a some rather impressive Bach as a demonstration).
Wayne Brown got in touch to ask “Which is your favourite violin concerto? And which is the most difficult to perform?”
Here’s what Joshua had to say:
Via Facebook, Laureen Di Bisceglie asked: “How many bows do you have and do you have a preference of one over another?”
Rachel Thomas sent in this question: “I am starting my first year of college in the autumn, where I’ll be majoring in zoology and minoring in violin performance. I want to use my limited practise time wisely. Can you please give me some advice?”
And Joshua obliged:
On this very page, James Kellinger posted this question: “Is a Strad necessary to your sound? What was it like the first time you played a Strad?”
Here’s what Joshua said (while holding his own Stradivarius. Altogether now: oooooh):
Joshua Bell is Artist in Residence, along with the Academy of St Marin in the Fields. He’ll be presenting a special series to be broadcast on Classic FM later in the year – watch this space for more details nearer the time.