Joshua Bell and Jeremy DenkOn Our Show: January 21, 2012
Birth Year: 1967 and 1970
Origin: Bloomington, IN and Durham, NC
Website: www.joshuabell.com / www.jeremydenk.net
About Joshua Bell and Jeremy Denk:
Grammy-award-winning violinist Joshua Bell and his longtime friend and recital partner, pianist Jeremy Denk have performed approximately 200 concerts together, playing music for violin and piano. At last they have collaborated on a CD, called French Impressions. The duo offers a passionately nuanced interpretation of works by Saint-Saëns, Ravel and Franck.
With more than 36 original albums to his credit, Joshua Bell has captured the public’s attention like no other classical violinist of his time, enchanting audiences worldwide with his breathtaking playing and tone of rare beauty, as performed on his legendary 1713 Gibson ex Huberman Stradivarius violin and his late 18th century French bow by Francois Tourte. Equally at home as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestra leader, Bell has earned countless awards and honors for his work as a concert stage performer and recording artist. He has won multiple Grammy awards, was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize and named Instrumentalist of the Year by Musical America. Bell was recently named Music Director for the Academy of St Martin in the Fields becoming the first American and first person to hold this title since Sir Neville Marriner founded the Orchestra in 1958. Bell has been recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, he serves on the artist committee of the Kennedy Center Honors and most recently was named to the board of directors of the New York Philharmonic.
Often referred to as the “poet of the violin,” his 2004 album Romance of the Violin was named the “Classical CD of the Year” by Billboard Magazine, with Bell named “Classical Artist of the Year.” In the national spotlight since age 14 (when he made his acclaimed orchestral debut with Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra), and a recording artist since age 18. Acclaimed for the wide range of music he has chosen to record, Bell’s output ranges from collaborations with a wide range of artists on At Home With Friends, to mainstream classical concertos by Sibelius and Beethoven, a live recording with the Berlin Philharmonic (Tchaikovsky concerto), and including the bluegrass inspired Short Trip Home, the jazz influenced Gershwin Fantasy, and the Bernstein-inspired West Side Story Suite. His interest in film is particularly notable, having performed all the violin solos in The Red Violin, helping the film win an Oscar for the “Best Original Score” (written by John Corigliano). He was the first musician to have a classical music video played on VH1, appeared as himself on Sesame Street and alongside Meryl Streep in Music of the Heart. Gramophone has said “Bell is dazzling,” while the Washington Post has heralded Bell as “one of the finest musicians of his generation.”
American pianist Jeremy Denk has steadily built a reputation as one of today’s most compelling and persuasive artists with an unusually broad repertoire. He has appeared as soloist with many major orchestras, including the Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, New World, St. Louis, and San Francisco Symphonies, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and London Philharmonia. Last season he played concertos by Beethoven, Copland, Mozart, Schumann, and Stravinsky, whose Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments he performed under the direction of John Adams, first with the London Symphony Orchestra in London and Paris, and then as part of Carnegie Hall’s City Noir. He appears often in recital in New York, Washington, Boston, and Philadelphia. During the 2010-11 season Denk released his first solo recording, Jeremy Denk Plays Ives, on which he plays Charles Ives’s Piano Sonatas 1 & 2 (“Concord”). He also returns to Carnegie Hall for his second solo recital, in works by Ligeti and Bach, and a concerto appearance, featuring Liszt’s First with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Charles Dutoit, after performances together in Philadelphia. Working often with contemporary composers, Denk has participated in premieres by Jake Heggie, Libby Larsen, Kevin Putz, and Ned Rorem. He has recorded works by Leon Kirchner and Tobias Picker. “Think Denk,” the popular blog where he writes of some of his experiences and gives detailed musical analyses, has been praised by colleagues and the press. The New Yorker called him a “superb musician who writes with arresting sensitivity and wit;” theRichmond Times said “Mr. Denk is the ideal interpreter for music that defies easy classification,” and the Washington Post referred to his “Brilliant Playing at the Edge of Schumann’s Sanity.”
(All details from artist website. Photo by Lisa Marie Mazzucco.)