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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Joshua Bell Ignored!

My cousin Allegra emailed me this link recently. The news has certainly hit the blogosphere - check out Melodee's post here, stop by Anyssa's blog for her thoughts, and read Jeremy Denk for a good laugh. For a response to the situation from a subway busker, go read Saw Lady's perspective.

It is really astonishing to me that someone as renowned as Joshua Bell could go almost entirely unnoticed in this situation. JB is a person who has made himself known not only on the concert stage but also through involvement in film (he recorded the soundtrack for The Red Violin) and cross-over from the classical realm into fiddling with Edgar Meyer - and he was even chosen in 2000 as one of People Magazine's 'Most Beautiful People.' So while it's certainly culturally alarming that he wasn't recognized for his outstanding playing, it's also surprising he wasn't at least noticed for that lovely, symmetrical face that has so often moved in circles outside of the classical world.

I agree with Saw Lady's post; as a former busker myself (for four or five years I played regularly at crowded street fairs in my home town during tourist events) I can tell you that unless you're about five years old and super-cute, it's eye contact and other audience connection that will bring in the bucks. I generally earned more revenue than Josh Bell did according to the article... too bad I can't play as well as he can.


  1. I read the following on your blog and it made me smile:

    " I've been proudly blogging for three and a half years so that no thought of mine, no matter how irrelevant or unimportant, should ever go unpublished again. "

    Keep on blogging

  2. Oh Josh.

    In all the times I've met him, I've never followed my urge to jump him right then and there, but I must say, that were I not in Germany and were I lucky enough to have been passing through the DC subway, there would've been some hot and heavy shagging on that videotape!!!

  3. oh Anyssa, leave it to you to put an inappropriate comment on my blog for all my readership to see... :-P

    and yay, somebody likes my clever 'About Me' section.

  4. Sorry! But it's true!

    I'm usually not vulgar, dear readership.

  5. Anonymous2:40 AM

    On the subject of vulgar, it was a refreshing surprise to see a newspaper give proper credence to music in general and this event in particular. From my personal (lack of) perspective, the most exciting thing in music is the real lives and souls involved, and opinions/commentary from the likes of Brahms really bring home the reality of this music.


    Bell doesn't really do the trick for me (maybe with decent hair), but I can see how his looks wouldn't hurt the marketability of the music or the story =)