Passionate, tranquil, haunting. The melodies stream effortlessly from Joshua Bell's 300-year-old Stradivarius violin-- an instrument he knows well.
I've been playing the violin since I was 4-years-old, said Bell. "It's really an extension of myself."
An extension Bell will lend to the Colorado Springs Philharmonic Monday night. But Philharmonic director Susan Green says getting the world-class musician to play with the world class orchestra wasn't easy.
"This has been a 3-year effort," said Greene. "He is now scheduling concerts for 3 years from now."
Greene says one reason Bell is in such high demand, the virtuoso is virtually changing the face of classical music. Young and energetic, Bell says he strives to bring a new voice to music centuries old.
"Played on the violin the words start to take a back seat," said Bell. "The music just becomes very pure and you can start to make your own story."
Greene hopes Bell will pack the house Monday night, saying it would be a shot in the arm to the still rejuvenating Philharmonic.
"If that happens it will be very important to the orchestra in terms of our ability to bring artists of Joshua Bell's caliber in the future."
A future Greene believes could include concert-goers who don't know what they've been missing.
"Once you come and see a live performance, a CD will never be good enough again."
Tickets are still available for Monday night's 8:00 PM performance. For more information, you can visit the Philharmonic's website at www.csphilharmonic.org.