World-renowned violinist, Joshua Bell, graced Miami with his gravitational presence on Saturday, January 26th to join the Cleveland Orchestra in a near-sold out performance at the Adrienne Arsht Center’s Knight Concert Hall.
While spatially only two blocks away from the bass dropping (and pants dropping) of Justin Bieber’s concurrent concert, musically the two performances were two centuries apart. Listening to Joshua Bell’s spellbinding rendition of the Violin Concerto makes it difficult to believe Beethoven penned the composition so long ago. There is an imperative nowness to the way he plays that introduces the listener to the present. Most performances, whether music, sports or otherwise, involve paying attention and the incumbent stress of not wanting to miss a note or a shot. But with Joshua Bell’s, you freely give all your concentration without a single effort or decision.
Everything that does not matter goes mute and all you hear is the beautiful transcendent raw emotion that has charmed and haunted centuries of people. He makes complex musical arrangements universally accessible to classical amateurs and connoisseurs alike. Like the eternal tide of the ocean, he embodies forever-ness. When he signs autographs, he treats you like he’s known you forever – like you are someone he has never had to meet because you’ve always been his friend. On stage, he sways forewords and backwards with purpose, his fingers dancing up and down the strings with precision, with movements that feel natural rather than rehearsed. Invented rather than written; spoken rather than played.
This legend doesn’t need a signature hair flip to make his fans – of all ages – swoon. His charisma is indefinable. It’s a divine connection; like you’re a small asteroid honored to gravitate around the superstar, like that’s the course of nature and you’ve never known anything else.
But Joshua Bell’s modesty betrays his superstardom. Just as the solo melody converses flirtatiously with the main harmony, he turns to face the orchestra behind him with a look of camaraderie. Where another celebrity would wait in irritation, he smiles in gratitude. He shakes hands warmly with the orchestra conductor and claps in praise at the orchestra, while the rest of us show our own appreciation with a standing ovation.
words and photo_luisa andonie.