Joshua Bell, whose list of accolades have included “the greatest American violinist active today” and “without a doubt the vio-linist of the century … a modern Paganini” has been one of the world’s greatest violinists practi-cally since childhood and is one of the few classical musicians to also achieve genuine and highly de-served popular celebrity. He will make his Festival debut playing two beloved 20th century pieces for virtuoso violin: the Samuel Barber Violin Concerto and the Maurice Ravel Tzigane. The Barber Concerto was written in 1939 and has become one of the most frequently performed 20th century violin concertos. Tzigane, meaning gypsy, is unlike most of Ravel’s impressionist music. It is in a romantic style of violin showmanship more often seen with Paganini and Sarasate.
Also on the concert are Barber Overture to The School for Scandal, an 18th English century comedy. It was his first composition for full orchestra, written while still a student at Curtis. Rounding out the program are Sibelius’ tone poem The Swan of Tuonela with its famous English horn solo and the ever-popular Slavonic Dances by Antonin Dvorak.
The Bellingham Cruise Terminal has turned out to be such an ideal setting for chamber music, that the Festival has scheduled two very dif-ferent but exciting programs: July 15th at 4 pm will feature two familiar staples of the chamber music repertoire, the Beethoven Piano Quartet in Eb major and the Brahms Quintet for Strings in G major; July 19 at 7:30 will be a recital by the brilliant young Spanish guitarist Pablo Villegas who has been taking the world by storm since winning the Gold Medal at the Christopher Parkening Interna-tional Competition in 2006. He will play pieces by Bach, Rodrigo, Villa Lobos, Barrios and Domeniconi. Seating is limited so contact the box office now.
WWU Performing Arts Center Box Office
Vol. 2012, No.3
- Samuel Barber was only paid $500 for his concerto. When it was com-missioned he was promised $1000 but was never paid the rest.
- Barber’s first published composition was at age 7 and by age 12 he was the organist at the local church.
- Antonin Dvorak started his professional music career as a violist.
- Joacquin Rodrigo, one of the best known composers of guitar music of all time, was blind at age 3 from diphtheria, wrote all his music in Braille and never mastered the guitar. He was a virtuoso pianist.