Watch 14-year-old Joshua Bell Tackling Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto

During a masterclass with Joseph Gingold in 1982, a teenage Joshua Bell (sporting a bowl cut) makes his way through the third movement of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto: that movement received a scathing review by Viennese critic Eduard Hanslick in 1981, who wrote that, unlike the previous movements, the violin is “no longer played, it’s yanked about, it’s torn asunder.”

It does not seem like it at all. While being accompanied by a piano in lieu of an orchestra, Joshua is being attentively observed by the other students: notice the stern expression of the blonde, wavy-haired girl sitting in the back row!

Right before Joshua plays the final bars Gingold musters a smile, but, at the end of his performance, the maestro observes that the tempo was, at times, a little bit too slow, and personally guides him through the passage that young Joshua found tricky.

Little glitches aside, we can clearly see that, at that young age, he was already a budding virtuoso. Oh, and we love that violin-shaped belt buckle.

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