Joshua Bell's tenure as one of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra's first "Artistic Partners" comes to an end this weekend. The acclaimed violinist is one of a handful of performers who've essentially taken the place of a full-time music director with the SPCO. After working with the orchestra to plan and perform several programs in the last three seasons, Bell is about to bow out of that role.
Bell has been receiving quite a bit of attention recently. In April he won the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize for outstanding achievement and excellence in music. And in a much-talked-about Washington Post experiment, he played Bach outside a subway station and went virtually unnoticed by passersby.
Before rushing off for a post-rehearsal game of ping pong with a few SPCO colleagues, Bell told Minnesota Public Radio's Karl Gehrke that he's enjoyed having the opportunity to work closely with the orchestra over the past three years.