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Joshua Bell with the Calgary Phil


Revered, Grammy Award-winning violin virtuoso Joshua Bell is coming to share the stage with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, June 8. He’s coming for one sole night, and the chance to see this world-renowned musician is a big moment for classical music enthusiasts. We asked the Calgary Phil’s conductor, Rune Bergmann, for his thoughts on the evening.

What is special about having Joshua Bell come to play with the Calgary Phil?
The last time Joshua Bell performed with the Calgary Phil was during the 2014/2015 Season – almost 10 seasons ago! I joined the Orchestra in 2017, so that was a little before my time here, and I’m very much looking forward to sharing the stage at the Jack Singer Concert Hall with him. Joshua is one of the most renowned and well-known figures in classical music today, so I think it’s safe to say that we’re all excited to perform with an artist of his calibre for our final concert of the year.

What sort of a musical evening is in store for audience members?
A memorable one that you don’t want to miss! We’re structuring things a little differently. Normally the symphony is featured in the second half of the program, but this time around we’ll be opening with it and moving the violin concerto to the finale. Which makes sense given that we have a one of the world’s leading violinists on stage with us. That said, Joshua will be performing in both halves of the concert.

Can you share a bit about the pieces to be performed, please?
It’s going to be a little like Christmas. There are the presents you are expecting, and then those surprises. As mentioned, we’ll be leading off with a symphony – Gary Kulesha’s “Fourth Symphony,” to be precise. This work was co-commissioned by the Calgary Phil and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and our performance on June 8 is the Calgary premiere. It is one of two pieces we will be performing for the first time, the other being “Earth,” a movement from a five-part work called The Elements that was commissioned by Joshua Bell himself. Joshua’s solo violin and the Orchestra violins trade lyrical phrases in this piece, which is exciting.

Following intermission, we lead with Guiseppe Verdi’s “Overture to La forza del destino.” This is from one of the most famous and popular operas ever written and always an audience favourite. Finally, the evening concludes with Henri Vieuxtemps “Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Minor,” a thrilling conclusion to a stellar season which will leave no doubt as to why Joshua ranks as a true superstar.

Thank you, Rune Bergmann!

Very few tickets are still available for this concert. Find details at The Calgary Phil’s website.

“Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto: Adagio Cantabile” from Joshua Bell’s most recent Album, Butterfly Lovers: