Joshua Bell

(Joshua David Bell)

Quotes
Quote Topics Cited
A conductor can do wild things which can feel forced, but if you're directing from within the orchestra, you can't do that, things have to feel natural.
After every concert, I greet young people in the lobbies. And I see a huge surge of young people playing music. Music, Chants & Rapps
Although I hardly ever turn on the TV set unless it's football season, I do watch a lot of TV on my iPad - perfect for long airplane journeys.
Anyone who knows classical music and loves classical music has heard the Beethoven Seventh hundreds of times probably in their life. Life ;Music, Chants & Rapps
Art and music is part of what it means to be a human being. And if you're neglecting that, you're basically ignoring a huge side of the brain and a huge side of what it means to be human. Music, Chants & Rapps ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
As far as doing TV, I do think there's a big audience out there that could enjoy classical music, but they don't know how to find it, and sometimes by doing different things... crossover things probably make up about 5% of what I do. Music, Chants & Rapps
As far as I'm concerned, I want to do everything because life is short. So, when I did 'The Red Violin' film, I got to go to the Oscars, and I got to meet Samuel Jackson, and I got to do stuff that one wouldn't normally do in my world. Life
As far as I'm concerned, the stakes are always very high. Whether it's playing at the White House or playing for a group in my own house - you know, one of those soirees I play in. Once I start playing, the stakes are somehow higher, in a way, than any of the context.
As my career has gone on, I guess I've become more well known. I'm playing to fuller halls in general, which is a nice feeling. When you're doing that, you're going to have a certain number of people who are not just the hardcore classical fanatics, and this makes me very happy.
At a music hall, I'll get upset if someone coughs or if someone's cellphone goes off. Music, Chants & Rapps
Bach's music is really some of the greatest. I think, in some ways, Bach is the most profound composer of all. Music, Chants & Rapps
Beethoven's fourth and seventh symphonies have a certain amount in common. Well, of course they're both written by Beethoven, but besides that, I would say their overall effect and idea is to provide the listener with an incredible sense of joy.
Beethoven's symphonies are not 'relaxing.' They are the most exciting things that have ever been created by a human being.
Being a director or a conductor is a balance of many things. And to do it right is a very difficult tightrope to walk. I've come to the conclusion that there's really no way to be one hundred percent popular as conductor.
Conducting is a strange thing to teach.
Conducting is a strange thing to teach. There are very few great conducting teachers, and most great conductors don't teach. Look at Valery Gergiev - what he does is not teachable. A lot of it is on-the-job training, what works and what doesn't work. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Criticism is always hard to take - we musicians are sensitive. It's always hard when someone says something negative - but you try to learn to just let it roll off and not worry about it.
Everyone's definition of what God means can vary. But music is something that really takes you to that - 'sublime' is a great word. That thing that is greater than we are. The beauty, the magic of the universe. Music, Chants & Rapps ;Religion & God
For me, I'm sort of a wanna-be composer, and I love being involved with the arrangements. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
For me, music has been, in a sense, my religion, and it is what brings me closest to God or truth or whatever you want to call it. Truth ;Music, Chants & Rapps ;Religion & God
For some reason I can't explain, artist and musicians tend to look younger than our age. Being in music, you need this youthful sense of discovery and wonder for what you're doing and keep your imagination open. That's a youthful way of looking at life and I think that reflects in how you age. Life ;Music, Chants & Rapps
Good conductors know when to let an orchestra lead itself. Ninety percent of what a conductor does comes in the rehearsal - the vision, the structure, the architecture.
Good conductors know when to push and when to lay back. I've known so many great conductors that I'm still doing what I can to learn the craft of this role.
Great music was written by the great geniuses, and you want to do it justice. Music, Chants & Rapps
Hamburgers are my favorite thing to eat, period.
I always have loved the Stradivarius. My teacher, Josef Gingold, he had a Stradivarius. As a treat, he would put it under my chin and let me play a few notes, and I remember that feeling of the overtones, the complexity of the sound. It's like a great wine. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
I approach everything as chamber music. Even with Beethoven symphonies, I lead from the violin and basically encourage the orchestra to think of it as a giant string quartet. Music, Chants & Rapps
I associate music with fun and joy. Music, Chants & Rapps
I can't play on a full stomach, so I save my eating for after the concert.
I do basically what a conductor does with a baton, except I also play along with the orchestra. So I have to juggle the roles of playing the concertmaster; sometimes I drop the violin and wave my arms.
I don't want to portray myself as a daredevil. I'm not at all.
I grew up in a musical environment. My parents played music and had it playing on the radio. They brought me to a concert at the age of 5, the same age I started violin lessons. Music, Chants & Rapps
I grew up in a musical family, but nobody was a professional musician. Families, Children & Parenting
I happen to love Saint-Saens in general. I think he's a brilliant composer and sometimes underrated in a way because people like to pass him off as fluffy and not being serious. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I hate YouTube sometimes because people put up things of mine that were never meant for consumption and also because of some of the comments people write about my videos.
I have visited schools that have music programs and those that don't. I see the way the kids act with each other. Music, Chants & Rapps
I hope I will always have the chance to play the violin. Hope
I kind of alternate between conducting and playing and kind of juggling those things, but I don't use a baton.
I know how to deal with jet lag, and I know just how much rest I need and when I need to take naps. When you walk on stage, you need your brain working at its highest and most fully-functioning, so it's not always easy, but I sort of figure it out.
I learned early on how to make best use of my time. You know, quality is more important than quantity when it comes to practice time. And unfortunately, I still need to practice a lot. Time
I like blackjack. I like the psychology of poker.
I like trying things, I am kind of adventurous and I like thrill seeking.
I like working with kids because I enjoy seeing the looks on their faces and, it's kind of selfish, I want a future audience. Future
I love celebrating music in different and unique ways. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Music, Chants & Rapps
I love pressure in a different sort of way; I enjoy the pressure of getting out and performing for the public. Being compared and judged doesn't seem quite right to me. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I love the outdoor festival feeling. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I love the outdoor festival feeling. When I'm on stage, it's very gratifying to watch people on the lawns enjoying the music with a glass of wine. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Music, Chants & Rapps
I mean, the great secret is that an orchestra can actually play without a conductor at all. Of course, a great conductor will have a concept and will help them play together and unify them.
I never had any real expectations about what sort of success I would have or all the publicity. Success
I started directing chamber orchestras, then adding bigger pieces, adding winds, adding small symphonies. I've always loved chamber music, and I've done a lot. Music, Chants & Rapps
I think - I'm always interested in reaching people in different ways, not by - not by just standing on a - randomly on a subway platform.
I think it's really important to always kind of stretch your boundaries and your limits and get out of your comfort zone. And for me, that's very important.
I think music should be the basis of an education, not just something you do once a week. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Music, Chants & Rapps
I think you can appreciate different interpretations. Art is not a contest. I can even appreciate hearing someone play something in a way that I wouldn't. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I think, as an artist, it's very important to continue to be challenged and feel challenged all the time. Time
I use Facebook quite a lot to keep up with my friends, although I had to delete 'Words With Friends' from my phone because it was wasting too much of my time. Time
I want to do everything. That's my problem.
I want to do everything. That's my problem. Life is short, and I hate the idea of turning down anything. You never know what interesting experience might happen. Life
I was lucky enough to have parents who started me on music very early, but most kids don't get that kind of exposure. Music, Chants & Rapps
I write arrangements. I'm sort of a wannabe composer.
If I read every comment on my YouTube videos, I'd go crazy with people that are saying negative things.
I'm addicted to the adrenaline of performing, and I think when you're used to having that high, you look for it in other things.
I'm happy if my music is being downloaded, whether it's legally or illegally. Music, Chants & Rapps
I'm having a blast being the music director at the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. It certainly is challenging for me, but I love challenges. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Music, Chants & Rapps
I'm in a position where, theoretically, I could play the same ten concertos and make a very good living bouncing around playing Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky and Barber, but I really think artists should keep pushing limits and trying new things.
I'm not a businessman, so I don't know how to solve the problems of the recording industry.
In 1987, I had no idea who Steven Isserlis was. We met at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina. It was originally just an Italian summer festival, but for the past 14 years, there's also been a spring festival in America.
In a way, the highest praise you could give to a composer like Bach was to take and make your own arrangement; it was sort of an homage to that composer and to his work, so it wasn't considered sacrilegious to do something like that. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
In art and music, particularly in the 20th century, there was a big period there where for something to be called profound you had to not be able to understand it. Music, Chants & Rapps ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
In concertos, I stand up, and I conduct with the bow when I'm not playing. During symphonies, I sit, but sometimes I stop playing to conduct. Being seated in a section allows me to feel more like we're playing chamber music, which is how I like to approach it. Music, Chants & Rapps
In those projects with Sting and Josh Groban and people like that, I see a very interesting effect: their fans coming to my classical concerts, people who've never been to a classical show at all.
It's been very exciting for me to start directing and conducting, exploring the symphonic repertoire, which I've always loved.
It's different for people who have not seen a symphony conductor conduct from a chair. I feel very connected to the orchestra in a way that a conductor sometimes does not feel. I think it's more visceral.
It's endless, the amount of things that music touches on that can help kids grow that are very, very practical. Music, Chants & Rapps
It's interesting about classical music that the more you hear something, the more you get to know a piece, the better and better it gets, period, which is just an interesting thing on it. Music, Chants & Rapps
It's very hard to find a pianist that's willing to play the so-called accompanist role on part of the program and yet be capable of being a great solo pianist that you would want for the big sonatas.
I've always been accused of moving around too much when I play concertos. Sometimes, conductors ask me which of us is leading.
I've been touring for 25 years. I'm used to it, so I love it. Although I feel the tug of home, as I have three little kids, I don't suffer like some artists who constantly complain about how much they hate traveling. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Music - you need the give and take from the audience, the feeling of attention. It's not about me: it's about the music itself. Music, Chants & Rapps
Music is a continual learning process. One finds new insights all the time. For me, it began at a very early age; from the beginning, there was something besides the notes. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Time ;Music, Chants & Rapps
Music is such an incredible tool for kids in general. They learn discipline; they learn how to express themselves. You learn math. You learn language. It's the ideal teaching tool, and that's why it's mind-boggling when any school superintendent decides that music is something we can kind of do without. Music, Chants & Rapps
Music teaches people to work together, which is maybe one of the most important skills. Music, Chants & Rapps ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
My father was - actually was an Episcopal priest as a young man. Became a psychotherapist, a psychologist. My mother is Jewish, so I grew up in a mixed background. But the common denominator was certainly music, and that was sort of emphasized in my household as music being sort of the spiritual force. Music, Chants & Rapps
My teacher, Josef Gingold, a student of the French school, always loved the music of Saint-Saens and Henri Vieuxtemps and all the French repertoire. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Music, Chants & Rapps
My whole life, I've been watching conductors. I was 7 the first time I played with a conductor. Seeing the ones that do it well, it's an amazing thing. Life ;Time
No one tells you what to do if you completely flop at the beginning of a performance.
Obviously, I want it to be legally downloaded, and I myself have spent a fortune on iTunes because, for me, that's the easiest way to get music. Music, Chants & Rapps
Over the years, I've collected a lot of musical friends.
Over the years, I've seen how being a soloist and having a family can really work. Families, Children & Parenting ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
People wrote the most beautiful things during the ugliest times.
Playing the Beethoven symphonies, for example, is a consummate experience for a musician because Beethoven speaks so directly to who we are as people.
So many times, I've seen conductors that, every time they have a thought, they stop the orchestra and say it, and I can see the orchestra rolling their eyes and saying, 'Oh, God, he stopped again.' So there's a technique to rehearsing. Time ;Religion & God
So much of performing is a mind game.
So much of performing is a mind game. You're memorizing thousands of notes, and if you start thinking about it in the wrong way, everything can blow up in your face.
Someone who directs a film, they have to see the overall picture, and they have to get the best performances out of the actors.
Stradivarius, in particular, was the most amazing craftsman and one of the great artists and scientists that ever lived because he figured out something with the sound and the science of acoustics that we still don't understand it completely. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
The beauty of a Stradivarius is that you can play in Carnegie Hall without any amplification, and it has this - the sound has, inside it, has something that projects, and it has multifaceted sound, something that kind of gets lost when you use amplification anyway.
The best way to refine an interpretation is by getting out and performing.
The great secret is that an orchestra can actually play without a conductor at all. Of course, a great conductor will have a concept and will help them play together and unify them. But there are conductors that actually inhibit the players from playing with each other properly.
The man on the street, he knows who Beethoven is, he knows who Mozart is.
The one thing in my contract that they have backstage for me is bananas. And usually my assistant will go and get me chicken broth.
The orchestra confides in me about their music director or their conductor, and I've never seen a conductor that's been liked by everyone. Music, Chants & Rapps
The real architecture happens within the works themselves, and that was done by the composer. That's where the real skill is. In putting together a program, you're more a curator, but that's important as well. And then the interpreting of it is where our big job is.
The symphonies are the things that, as a soloist, I've not gotten to play. I used to travel the world playing concertos, and then I would sit and listen to the symphony. Travel
The violin sings.
There was a time, early on in my career, when it was very important for me to be liked by everyone. It meant that I was musically less honest with myself. Time
There's nothing more frustrating than seeing a conductor say, 'Play softer,' as they're waving their hands in huge gestures.
We like to categorize things into showy things and deep things, you know, and things that are high music - important music - and shallow music. And I think that's dangerous, because there's often a mix of both. Music, Chants & Rapps
We live in a very chaotic world that sometimes we - it just seems like a mess. One of the reasons why we listen to music, and to great classical music in particular, is that everything is in an order and in a place and has a beauty that you see in nature, that you see and that people look for when they look for God. Nature ;Music, Chants & Rapps
We live in the least ugly time in history. Time ;History
What drew me to the violin was mastering the instrument technically, which I'm continuing to do.
What drew me to the violin was mastering the instrument technically, which I'm continuing to do. You want to push boundaries, to not always be in your comfort zone. If you don't, you get stale. So you have to find areas of growth.
When Beethoven's Seventh Symphony was premiered, after the second movement, they clapped so much that they had the repeat the second movement and do it again.
When I do things, like, with Josh Grobin, or he has so many fans, and I get people after my concerts, classical concerts, all the time coming back and saying, 'Never heard of you until I heard the song with Josh Grobin.' Then they're now classical music fans, which is something I think we need to reach a wider audience. Time ;Music, Chants & Rapps
When I hear people clapping at the wrong times, I think that's great. We have got a listener that's not used to going to - we have got a new listener.
When I was 12, that's when I went to college. All my friends were 20, 21, and I was 12. It didn't even occur to me that that was strange.
When you hear extraneous noise, they are bored in some way, so it makes me upset. Even coughing, I find, is passive-aggressive, usually.
When you play a violin piece, you are a storyteller, and you're telling a story.
When you play for ticket-holders, you are already validated. I have no sense that I need to be accepted. I'm already accepted.
When you start reading a piece together, you get a sense of someone's basic philosophy of music without saying a word. You realize the other person's approach, how they express themselves, the kind of restraint they show, all those things. Music, Chants & Rapps
You don't have to have lots of love affairs to know what love is. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
You might think that after 40 years of practice you wouldn't need to practice anymore, but sadly it doesn't work that way. You still have to keep chugging away and perfecting. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
You only live once, so I try to say yes to everything.
You're a constant student, as a musician.
You're really looking for the truth of what the piece is about. And that's going to be different for different people. Truth