The Fiddler in the Subway
The True Story of What Happened When A World-class Violinist Played for Handouts-- and Other Virtuoso Performances by America's Foremost Feature WriterBook - 2010
Simply the best storyteller around, Weingarten describes the world as you think it is before revealing how it actually is--in narratives that are by turns hilarious, heartwarming, and provocative, but always memorable.
Millions of people know the title piece about violinist Joshua Bell, which originally began as a stunt: What would happen if you put a world-class musician outside a Washington, D.C., subway station to play for spare change? Would anyone even notice? The answer was no. Weingarten's story went viral, becoming a widely referenced lesson about life lived too quickly. Other classic stories--the one about "The Great Zucchini," a wildly popular but personally flawed children's entertainer; the search for the official "Armpit of America"; a profile of the typical American nonvoter--all of them reveal as much about their readers as they do their subjects.
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One biographically intriguing fact about Bell is that he got his first music lessons when he was a four-year-old in Bloomington, Indiana. His parents, both psychologists, decided formal training might be a good idea after they saw that their son had strung rubber bands across his dresser drawers and was replicating classical tunes by ear, plucking the strings and moving the drawers in and out to vary the pitch.
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