Hey, DC: Time for Bach or Chopin?

This article, won a Pulitzer Prize for best Feature story in 2008: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/04/AR2007040401721.html
And it’s one of the most engaging articles I’ve ever read–it feels like you’re sitting next to your grandfather and he’s telling you a personal story from memory–sprinkled with all the usual sidetracked anecdotes of the older generations.

Writers at the Washington Post asked violinist virtuoso Joshua Bell to play an assortment of quintessential Classical pieces on his 1730-era Violin in a DC Metro Station during rush hour. I’d personally be interested to see the outcome if this had been done during a leisurely Thursday evening–although I seriously doubt you’d get the traffic they were able to get that morning. Essentially,  the article poses the question of whether cultured music is a matter of taste that you must be told to appreciate. Or if this talent and sophistication can be recognized with a blind eye on a crowded Metro commute.

Only a handful of people stopped. And only one young woman recognized Joshua Bell, as the award-winning violinist.

It’s a bit lengthy. But read it regardless. If only to make you think some, and enjoy this story. If you must skip around, at least read the first two sections and then skip down to the final section and listen to the audio. I’m far from any expert, but it’s haunting. I’d like to think I would’ve stopped. But I doubt it.


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