World renown violin virtuoso Joshua Bell dazzled an audience at Kansas City’s Folly Theater this evening. Accompanied by pianist Jeremy Denk, the duo returned to the stage after a standing ovation for an encore performance of Meditation from Thais.
Having seen Bell perform with the Kansas City Symphony a year ago at The Lyric, my expectations were quite high for tonight’s performance. It was one year ago when I listened to the single best musical performance of my entire life. Could this evening’s concert match it?
While the symphony orchestra complemented Bell in a much different way than the pianist, and while the acoustics in the Folly balcony were probably not as good as from my seat at the Lyric last year, I have to say that hearing (and watching – Bell has a dramatic and impassioned stage presence, and even spoke to the audience for a couple minutes about one of the pieces) the violinist play was a sheer delight.
After the performance, Joshua Bell waited on a long line of autograph and picture seekers, including yours truly. He graciously greeted everyone who waited, shaking hands, signing programs and taking pictures with admirers. I’ll try to post the photos of my brother, my girlfriend and I meeting him. It was, as they say, a real treat.