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Three Quick Lessons From The Violin Wunderkind Who Became A Master

"The key is to figure out what you're contributing," Joshua Bell says of playing chamber music.
"The key is to figure out what you're contributing," Joshua Bell says of playing chamber music.

Joshua Bell was once a boy wonder of the violin. Now, at 46, he leads nine young musicians in Masterclass. HBO's 30-minute documentary series pairs young artists with world-renowned mentors such as Placido Domingo, Frank Gehry and Patti LuPone, and gives both the teacher and the students opportunities to learn from each other. During an interview with NPR's Robert Siegel, Bell offers three solid pieces of advice to musicians new and old:

  • "[It's important to understand] your role in playing chamber music."
  • "The key is to figure out what you're contributing. If it's rhythm, then you don't want to drown everyone out. You want people to understand the rhythmic basis."
  • "To play with great energy and great character within [the soft dynamic] piano is something that one needs to learn how to do."
  • Joshua Bell's episode of Masterclass airs Oct. 14 on HBO.

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