When violinist heartthrob Joshua Bell played D.C. in 2007, he helped Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten win a Pulitzer. Passersby ignored the “street musician” and his Stradivarius outside the L’Enfant Metro stop in the Postie’s tale of urban life. But in the classical music world, Bell doesn’t have that problem—his skill at the instrument is undeniable; combine that with the fact that he’s particularly telegenic (he appeared in the movie The Red Violin) and his eternal bachelor status, and Bell easily stands out from the ranks of equally talented but often older or—let’s be honest—more homely virtuosos. Bell modestly shares top billing with pianist Jeremy Denk, a frequent collaborator with whom he has taken the stage for 80 concerts since the Spoleto Festival in 2004. In addition to performing, Denk also teaches at the Bard Conservatory of Music and maintains a blog, where he muses about Sarah Palin and the “broccolization of classical music.”
JOSHUA BELL PERFORMS WITH JEREMY DENK WEDNESDAY AT 8 P.M. AT THE STRATHMORE MUSIC CENTER, 5301 TUCKERMAN LANE, NORTH BETHESDA. $88–$105. (301) 581-5100.