“The Man with the Violin” Project

On Jan 12, 2007, when Joshua Bell, the famous violinist, took his priceless Stradivarius to L’Enfant Plaza Station in Washington, he was taking part in an experiment. A Washington newspaper wanted to see what would happen if one of the best violinists in the world performed there dressed like an ordinary street musician without recognition. He played for 43 minutes.

Over 1000 people walked past. Only seven stopped to listen for more than a minute. However, every time a child passed he or she wanted to stop but was rushed along by the parent.

In Joshua’s own words I clearly remember them turning their heads, straining to listen.

When he finished playing, there was $32.17 in his open violin case.

“The Man with the Violin” is a book by the award-winning Canadian children’s author Kathy Stinson and illustrated by the celebrated cartoonist and illustrator Dusan Petricic. This book has won many awards, including the Canadian children’s literature prize for 2014.

This story is about how it might have been for one of those children, a boy called Dylan, who heard Joshua Bell play in the metro station that morning.

The NAC Orchestra is co-commissioning with the National Symphony Orchestra a concert version of “The Man with the Violin” featuring Joshua Bell and two actors.

This will be the National Arts Centre’s first ever collaboration with the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The world premiere will be at the Kennedy Centre on Feb. 12, 2017. We are hoping it will be performed here at the NAC in 2018.

We, the Friends of the NAC Orchestra, have been asked to contribute $10,000 to assist in the creation of this new concert and your Board has agreed to this request.


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