Questions and answers: violinist Joshua Bell
Q: You've done a lot of TV, like VH1, and film, and I'm wondering whether you're consciously trying to bring more young people into the classical music fold.
A: Yes. It's hard to say what my main motivation is, but I'm definitely conscious of trying wherever I can to bring young people in, whether it's doing "Sesame Street" or going into schools. 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. And 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.
Q: Are you referring also to your recent "At Home With Friends" album?
What that was was a bringing together of all the recent collaborations I've done over the years with Edgar Meyer and bluegrass, and Sting and Josh Groban. I'd done things with most of the people on the album before, but I decided to bring them all together onto one duets album as documentation of that.
Photo: Bell in his Manhattan apartment. Credit: Jennifer S. Altman / For The Times