Double Bell equals double fun for B-town

B-town has double the chance to connect with its favorite son this week.

Accclaimed violinist, Bloomington native and IU Jacobs School of Music faculty member Joshua Bell is in town to perform with the Cleveland Orchestra on Wednesday. In addition, IU Cinema is showing the 2012 documentary “Chasing Ice,” which includes the song “Before My Time,” performed by Scarlett Johansson and Bell.

The Cleveland Orchestra is here for its second residency at Jacobs, and is working with IU students as well as young string musicians at Fairview Elementary School. The orchestra will perform Berlioz’s “Symphonie Fantastique” and Beethoven’s “Violin Concerto in D Major” at 8 p.m. Wednesday at IU Auditorium, featuring Bell as guest soloist.

Joshua Bell

Joshua Bell

Meanwhile, IU Cinema is screening “Chasing Ice,” the story of environmental photographer James Balog’s plan to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers. The film plays at 9:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday and at 7 p.m. Saturday.

“Before My Time,” the original song written for the documentary by J. Ralph, is performed by actress Johansson and Bell. Director Jeff Orlowski told Elle he’d heard another song Johansson performed and “fell in love” with her “beautiful, beautiful voice.”

Meanwhile, Bell told Vanity Fair he doesn’t know whether he and Johansson will perform the piece at the Oscars ceremony, but he reminded the reporter it wouldn’t be a first for him.

“It happened for me with a film many years ago called ‘The Red Violin’ — the soundtrack for that won the Oscar, which I played,” he told VF Daily. “It’s always fun to be connected to something like that.”

So now’s your chance to hear Bell perform — and it’ll be worth it.

John Corigliano, who won an Oscar for the original score of “The Red Violin,” said in his acceptance speech: “You can write all the notes you want, but if someone doesn’t play them like a god, they’ll never sound that way. And Joshua Bell, the great violinist, played them like a god. Thank you, Josh.”

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