violinist Joshua Bell ignored




Have you guys heard of the violinist Joshua Bell? He was recently presented with the $75,000 Avery Fisher Prize, which is more than like an Oscar for a classical musician. People pay big bucks to hear him play.

The Washington Post conducted an experiment in which they had Joshua Bell play for tips at the Metro in D.C. They had him wear a baseball cap and dress down. An open violin case was at his feet. He played difficult classical pieces (Bach's "Chaconne" among others) using an 18th-century violin that belonged to the Austrian-born virtuoso Fritz Kreisler and that was borrowed from the Library of Congress.

Of one thousand people who passed him, only 27 gave him money, some in pennies. His total haul was $32. This is the article (long) and this is the later Q&A with the article's author.

Would I have stopped to appreciate the glorious music? If I were in a hurry to get somewhere, probably not. And even if I had time to stop and listen, I doubt I would have left him even a dollar bill for his efforts. I don't carry cash!