Joshua Bell Awarded Avery Fisher Prize April 10th

Sony BMG Masterworks Releases the Essential Joshua Bell April 3rd


Violin virtuoso Joshua Bell was presented the 2007 Avery Fisher Prize by actress Glenn Close at the Stanley Kaplan Penthouse at New York's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts on April 10. Paying tribute to Bell, who received a $75,000 honorarium and his name added to the list of past winners on a marble plaque installed at Avery Fisher Hall, were Nathan Leventhal, Chairman of the Avery Fisher Artist Program, Frank A. Bennack Jr., Chairman of Lincoln Center, Charles Avery Fisher and Nancy Fisher. Bell was previously honored with an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1986.

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Held in the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse of Lincoln Center's Samuel B. and David Rose Building, the evening featured a tribute video to honor Joshua Bell by "Live From Lincoln Center's" John Goberman and tribute remarks from Glenn Close. The performances by Career Grant recipients and tributes to Prize recipient Joshua Bell were recorded/produced by WQXR-96.3 FM and nationally distributed by the WFMT Radio Network; hosted by Jeff Spurgeon.

Said Bell: "I'll never forget when Avery Fisher called me in my home in Indiana 20 years ago to tell me that I had been chosen to receive an Avery Fisher Career Grant. It was the highlight of my career at the time and now I've been blessed with another -- with the coveted Avery Fisher Prize. I have watched with admiration as my musical heroes have received this award over the years, and now to have my name added beside those of Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, and Emanuel Ax is a great honor."

Just days before on April 3rd, SONY BMG Masterworks released "The Essential Joshua Bell," a two-disc collection of excerpts from the violinist's greatest recordings, bringing a new dimension to the critically acclaimed, best-selling "Essential" series that celebrates the greatest names in recorded music. Bell himself assisted in choosing the repertoire for this release, featuring his favorite tracks, making it the definitive Joshua Bell collection.

Grammy® Award winner Joshua Bell has been captivating audiences worldwide for over two decades since coming to national attention at age 14 with his highly acclaimed orchestral debut with Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Named Billboard Magazine's "2004 Classical Artist of the Year" and a Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame inductee, Joshua joined Sony Classical, a SONY BMG Masterworks label in 1996. His latest recording, "Voice of the Violin," debuted at #1 on the Billboard Charts, and his recording of the "Red Violin Concerto" will be released September 4th.

His recordings of "West Side Story Suite" and the Nicholas Maw Violin Concerto received Grammy Awards, and the Sibelius & Goldmark violin concertos captured the Echo Klassik Award. Best known for his work on "The Red Violin" which won the Oscar for Best Original Score, Joshua plays the 1713 "Gibson ex Huberman" Stradivarius. Bell holds an artist diploma in violin performance from Indiana University. He has been named an "Indiana Living Legend" and received the Indiana Governor's Arts Award. The only U.S. musician to be singled out by the World Economic Forum, he was named one of 250 Young Global Leaders in 2007. Bell currently serves on the artist committee of the Kennedy Center Honors.

The prestigious Avery Fisher Prize is awarded for outstanding achievement and excellence in music. The late Mr. Fisher's devotion to music and performers was immortalized with a gift to Lincoln Center in 1974, establishing the Avery Fisher Artist Program. Thirty-three years later, this Program continues to provide recognition to outstanding U.S. instrumentalists and, since 2004, chamber ensembles, in two categories: the Prize and Career Grants. The Prize recipients are chosen by the Executive Committee. Previous recipients also on the marble plaque include: Emanuel Ax, pianist; David Finckel and Wu Han, Artistic Directors of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; Henry Fogel, President of the American Symphony Orchestra League; Anthony Fogg, Artistic Administrator, Boston Symphony Orchestra; Pamela Frank, violinist; Ara Guzelimian, Dean of The Juilliard School; Nathan Leventhal, Chairman of the Avery Fisher Artist Program; Reynold Levy, President, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; Yo-Yo Ma, cellist; Zarin Mehta, President and Executive Director of the New York Philharmonic; Jane S. Moss, Vice-President of Programming at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; and Joseph W. Polisi, President of The Juilliard School. Mrs. Avery Fisher, Charles Avery Fisher and Nancy Fisher are advisors.

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