Friday, November 06, 2009

Joshua Bell, young performers at White House concert

Media sources, including the AP in a story run on MSNBC, report on a private concert this week at the White House featuring violinist Joshua Bell, classical guitarist Sharon Isbin, cellist Alisa Weilerstein and pianist Awadagin Pratt. Bell played the devil’s Paganini. There were also some young musicians in performance, including Lucy Hattemer, who with Pratt reportedly played the winsome Schubert F Minor Fantasy. I recall that this music was used in the background of the 2000 epic history film “Sunshine” by Istvan Szabo (with the Schubert adapted by Maurice Jarre). Of course, my favorite Schubert piano piece is probably the wild C Major Fantasy, really a one movement Sonata (in sections without pause), which Liszt would transcribe for piano and orchestra.

The MSNBC story link is here.

Joshua Bell has a prospective account of this happening on his own website here.

Here is a Bloomberg YouTube video of an interview with Joshua Bell before he appeared in the soundtrack of “The Red Violin.”

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