Concert violinist Joshua Bell performs at a Washington, D.C., metro station on Jan. 12.
Virtuoso concert violinist Joshua Bell plays more than 200 international bookings a year. But in January, he found himself performing during rush hour for morning commuters at a metro station in Washington, D.C.
Bell, who on Tuesday won the Avery Fisher Prize for outstanding achievement in classical music, talks to Michele Norris about the stunt, an experiment concocted by The Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten.
During the 40 minutes he played, Bell says only seven people stopped to listen — and only one person recognized him. He earned $59 — if you include the $20 the woman who recognized him left.