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Joshua Bell Kicks Off 34-City Tour On February 9

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) —

As he prepares to embark on a major recital tour of the United States, violinist Joshua Bell has a pair of CDs near the top of Billboard's Traditional Classical Chart – at No. 7, his live recording of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with Michael Tilson Thomas conducting the Berlin Philharmonic, released from Sony Classical on a hybrid Super Audio CD in September, holds its place in the top 10, along with his best selling 2003 release Romance of the Violin, at No. 8.

On February 9, Bell, joined by pianist Jeremy Denk, begins a winter U.S. tour that will include recitals at Carnegie Hall in New York and Disney Hall in Los Angeles. as part of a 34-city tour. In the spring he is scheduled to play the Tchaikovsky concerto in concerts with both the Boston Symphony and Chicago Symphony Orchestras.

Bell's new Tchaikovsky recording has been in the top 10 on Billboard's Traditional Classical chart since its release in September. His late-2003 release Romance of the Violin hit No. 1 on Billboard's Traditional Classical chart and stayed there for 12 weeks, remaining in the top 10 for almost two years following its original release. In December 2004, Romance of the Violin was named No. 1 Classical Album of the Year by Billboard, and Bell was cited as No. 1 Classical Artist of the Year. It was released as a DualDisc earlier this year.

"I live to perform, and to get the opportunity to record an album in front of a series of live audiences in Berlin – which captures that adrenalin induced by an audience – was an ideal recording opportunity," says Bell, who adds that he never tires of the concerto, which he has been performing for more than 20 years. "The Tchaikovsky concerto is often thought of as a big, romantic concerto, which it is. Of course, it has its extroverted, flashy and powerful moments, but the Tchaikovsky is also intimate, elegant and 'balletic.'"

Bell is an exclusive Sony Classical artist. In addition to the new Tchaikovsky disc, his most recent releases on the label are the soundtrack recordings of the films Dreamer and Ladies in Lavender, the latter nominated recently for England's Classical Brit Award.

Jushua Bell itinerary:

January 6 Oklahoma City Philharmonic

February 9 Saratoga, CA, Montalvo Arts Center

February 10 Davis, CA, Mondavi Arts Center, University of California-

February 11 San Francisco, CA, Davies Hall

February 12 Los Angeles, CA, Walt Disney Concert Hall

February 14 Scottsdale, AZ, Scottsdale Center for the Arts

February 15 Palm Desert, CA, McCallum Theatre

February 16 Aspen, CO, Harris Concert Hall

February 18 Poughkeepsie, NY, Bardovan Opera House

February 19 Newark, NJ, New Jersey Performing Arts Center

February 22 New York City, Carnegie Hall, Isaac Stern Auditorium

February 24 Daytona Beach, FL, New Journal Center

February 25 Melbourne, FL King Center

February 26 Gainesville, FL, Phillips Center, University of Florida

February 27 Fort Lauderdale, FL, Broward Center

February 28 Stuart FL, Lyric Theater

March 1 Fort Worth, TX, Bass Hall

March 3 Spring, TX, The Centrum

March 4 Flint, MI, Whiting Auditorium

March 5 Indianapolis, IN, Clowes Hall, Butler University

March 7 Portland, ME, Merrill Auditorium

March 9 Baton Rouge, LA, Louisiana State University

March 10 Huntsville, AL, Trinity United Methodist Church

March 11 Tuscaloosa, AL Moody Concert Hall, University of Alabama

March 12 Knoxville, TN, Tennessee Theatre

–Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen