Thursday, April 12, 2007
The Washington Post reports: [edited]
No one knew it, but the fiddler standing against a bare wall outside the Metro in an indoor arcade at the top of the escalators was one of the finest classical musicians in the world, playing some of the most elegant music ever written on one of the most valuable violins ever made.
His performance was arranged by The Washington Post as an experiment in context, perception and priorities - as well as an unblinking assessment of public taste: In a banal setting at an inconvenient time, would beauty transcend?
The final haul for his 43 minutes of playing was $32.17. Some people gave pennies.
"Actually," Bell said with a laugh, "that's not so bad, considering. That's 40 bucks an hour. I could make an okay living doing this, and I wouldn't have to pay an agent."