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Joshua Bell’s new album showcases his deep respect for all musical forms. The US violinist talks to Amanda Holloway about the challenges of making classical cool, and of broadening his professional skills
London in July: it’s 31 degrees outside, but Joshua Bell and friends are shut in an icy studio in the backstreets of Battersea, recording tracks for a Christmas album. It’s slow going – Bell is communicating with his producer in New York via Skype, which keeps breaking down, and the process is taking a while to gel. Bell is on a flying visit to London: he’s playing a BBC Prom tomorrow night and seizing the opportunity to record two tracks with cellist Steven Isserlis, a friend and long-time colleague, with contributions from pianist Sam Haywood and organist Francis Grier.
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