Violinist Joshua Bell, “one of classical music’s biggest, most salable stars,” according to the New York Times, returns to Hodgson Concert Hall for a recital on Friday, Feb. 11 at 7:30 p.m. with pianist Peter Dugan. Their program includes sonatas by Beethoven and Ravel, and one of the towering masterworks of the violin literature, the solo Chaconne in D minor by J.S. Bach.
In a nearly four-decade career, Bell has excelled not just as a Grammy-winning soloist but also as a conductor. Since 2011, he has served as music director of the renowned Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, while maintaining an active schedule of international touring and recording. In 1998, he was the soloist in composer John Corigliano’s score for The Red Violin, which won the Oscar for best original score.
Dugan has been described by the Los Angeles Times as “stunning” and by the San Francisco Chronicle as “fearlessly athletic.” He is the host of the NPR program From the Top, which focuses on music making by young people. In 2020, he joined Bell for Joshua Bell: At Home With Music, a national PBS broadcast and album release on Sony Classical.
Bell and Dugan’s program at Hodgson Hall begins with a sonatina by the 19-year-old Franz Schubert, who — as program annotator Laurie Shulman writes — “is intent on having a rollicking good time … Graceful and sparkling, the entire sonatina is a joy.” Beethoven’s Sonata No. 7 in C minor follows, as does Ravel’s violin sonata, which includes a slow movement titled “Blues.” The program ends with a selection of short favorites announced from the stage.
In between comes Bach’s epic Chaconne, an early pinnacle of violin writing and a test of a virtuoso’s ability to balance tension and release. Over the course of a quarter hour, and with no accompaniment, the violinist spins out evolving variations on a stark theme. The piece is an unforgettable journey through unexpected landscapes. Bell has called it “not just one of the greatest pieces of music ever written, but one of the greatest achievements of any man in history. It’s a spiritually powerful piece, emotionally powerful, structurally perfect.”
The classical offerings in the UGA Performing Arts Center’s 25th anniversary season continue with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (March 1), the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra with conductor Donald Runnicles and Michelle Cann (March 4) and the genre-busting Austrian comedy group Mnozil Brass (March 29).
For a complete list of UGA Presents performances, click here.
Three Ways to Order Tickets
- Purchase tickets online 24/7 online here.
- Call the Performing Arts Center Box Office at (706) 542-4400, Mon.-Fri., 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
- Visit the UGA Performing Arts Center Box Office, Mon.-Fri., 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (5 minute parking is available in the drop off circle at the Performing Arts Center for purchasing or picking up tickets.)
For information about the Performing Arts Center’s current COVID-19 protocols, click here. Flexible ticketing will be in place for all performances occurring through May. Patrons may exchange tickets for another performance or receive a full refund until 12:00 p.m. on the day of the performance, if occurring on a weekday, or by Friday at 5:00 p.m. if occurring on a weekend.
Photo: Shervin Lainez