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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 7, 2003

Violinist Bell Performs In Hancher Feb. 28

Violin superstar Joshua Bell, described in an Elle magazine article as "the most celebrated American-born violinist of the modern era," will perform at 8 p.m. Feb. 28 in Hancher Auditorium on the University of Iowa campus.

With the accompaniment of pianist Simon Mulligan, Bell will perform Beethoven's "Kreutzer" Sonata, the Violin Sonata by Janacek, Wieniawski's Variations on an Original Theme, op. 15 and works to be announced from the stage. The program will also feature the Chaconne from Partita No. 2 in D minor for unaccompanied violin by J.S. Bach.

Following the concert, Bell will autograph programs and recordings in the lobby.

A native of Bloomington, Ind, Bell began his career at a child prodigy, making his orchestral debut at the age of 14 with the Philadelphia Orchestra, followed by a Carnegie Hall debut and a major recording contract.

Now, only in his 30s, he has an international career of more than two decades, including more than 25 recordings. His versatile and poetic musicality has won several Grammy Awards, and a Newsweek article declared, "Bell has evolved from a technical whiz to a true artist and intellectual whose music feeds both your brain and your heart."

His Grammy-winning recording of Bernstein's "West Side Story" Suite was spotlighted by a performance on the 44th Annual Grammy Awards telecast, and was later featured on a PBS "Great Performances" special, which received an Emmy Award nomination. In 2001 Bell received a Grammy for Nicolas Maw's Violin Concerto, which was composed specifically for him.

Bell has been eager to blur the lines between musical genres, leading to a collaboration with multifaceted bassist Edgar Meyer and bluegrass legends Sam Bush and Mike Marshall. They performed a selection from their "Short Trip Home" recording on the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards telecast. Other "crossover" efforts have teamed him on Grammy-winning projects with Wynton Marsalis and mandolin player Bela Fleck, as well as collaborations with Bobby McFerrin, Chick Corea and James Taylor.

A three-year involvement with the film "The Red Violin" resulted in an Academy Award, leading composer John Corigliano to proclaim, "Joshua plays like a god."

Bell co-hosed the Trio Arts Cable series "Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concerts" with John Lithgow and Whoopi Goldberg; performed on the "Korbel Celebration of the Olympics" on NBC; and has been a popular guest on national TV shows including "The Tonight Show," "Sesame Street," "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," "CBS This Morning," "Evening at the Pops" and "Live from Lincoln Center."

People magazine profiled Bell in its "50 Most Beautiful People" issue, and he has also been the subject of features on National Public Radio, the BBC, Bravo, and both popular and classical music magazines.

Bell's Hancher concert is part of a busy 2002-2003 schedule that includes a tour soloing with and directing the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields; headlining appearances at the Aspen, Verbier, Tanglewood, Saratoga and Blossom music festivals; and engagements at major venues in Europe and Japan.

Tickets for his Feb. 28 Hancher concert at $35, $32 and $30 ($28 and $10 for UI students; $28, $25.60 and $24 for senior citizens; and half price for audience members 17 and younger).

Hancher Auditorium box office business hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial (319) 335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Tickets may be ordered on-line 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Hancher's website:

Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail: <>.

Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Center is the corporate sponsor of the Joshua Bell concert, with media support from the Iowa City Press-Citizen.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail,

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073,

PHOTOS are available at

OTHER INFORMATION: Bell's media representative is