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Violinist Joshua Bell performs at CCU on Valentines Day

January 12, 2005

Internationally-acclaimed violin virtuoso Joshua Bell brings the romance of his 1713 Stradivarius to Coastal Carolina University in a Valentines Day concert on Monday, Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m. in Wheelwright Auditorium.

Tickets are on sale now for $40 reserved seats or $25 general admission.

This will be the only South Carolina appearance this year for the multiple Grammy winner whose latest CD, Romance of the Violin, was just named Classical Music Album of the Year by Billboard magazine, which also voted Bell the 2004 Classical Artist of the Year. A magnetic performer who has also been dubbed one of the most beautiful people by People Magazine, Bell has recorded 27 classical music albums and performs more than 100 concerts each year, playing with the worlds greatest orchestras.

Performing with Bell is pianist Jeremy Denk of New York, an award-winning musician who met Bell at Spoleto last year in Charleston where they performed together. Denk is an accomplished musician with many music and performance awards to his credit.

Brahms Sonata No. 1 for Violin and Piano in G major, Op. 78, which Bell described as his favorite sonata, and Saint-Sans Sonata No. 1 for Violin and Piano in D minor, Op. 75 will be on the program, along with pieces by Jancek, Bartok and Wieniawski.

I like to have contrasting pieces that seem to work together, said Bell in a telephone interview from New York. Normally you wouldn't think Brahms and French music would work so well together, but Saint-Sans is very underrated, and I think the piece works well with the Brahms piece that is so pastoral and beautiful.

In the second half of the program, Bell and Denk will perform Janceks Sonata for Violin and Piano, Bartoks Hungarian Folk Tunes for Violin and Piano and Wieniawskis Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 15. Following the concert, Bell will meet and greet concertgoers in the lobby and sign recordings and programs.

Bell, who is originally from Bloomington, Ind., began playing at age four when his parents gave him an undersized violin after they found him plucking rubber bands stretched across the knobs of dresser drawers.

Call Wheelwright Box Office at 349-2502 to purchase tickets.