A Concert Violinist on the Metro?

Concert violinist Joshua Bell performs at a Washington, D.C., metro station on Jan. 12.

Concert violinist Joshua Bell performs at a Washington, D.C., metro station on Jan. 12. Washingtonpost.com hide caption

itoggle caption Washingtonpost.com

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.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.