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Favorite Son

Indiana Gov. Frank O'Bannon has named Bloomington native JOSHUA BELL one of five recipients of the 2003 Indiana Governor's Arts Awards. "Wherever he performs," O'Bannon said in his announcement of the award, "Joshua is an emissary for Indiana and a shining example of what is possible when innate talent is channeled and encouraged by parents, educators, and mentors." When he was four, Bell's parents gave him his first violin after observing their son plucking tunes on rubber bands he'd stretched over the handles of his bedroom dresser. He has since gone on to record more than 26 albums and is a multiple Grammy Award winner.

Third Time's the Charm

Violinist, composer, and inventor MARK WOOD has won an Emmy award for music he composed for CBS-TVs coverage of the 2002 Tour de France bicycle race. This was Wood's third Emmy nomination. The presenter at the awards show, held on April 21 at the Marriott Marquis in New York City, was builder and impresario Donald Trump. At press time, Wood planned to release a CD of music from the Tour de France this summer.

Rising Star

Cellist ERIK FRIEDLANDER has enjoyed considerable success on New York's underground downtown jazz scene thanks to his red-hot improvisation and innovative instrumentation, but now he's getting mainstream exposure and widespread critical acclaim, too. in May, his score to the two-part documentary series Kingdom of David: The Saga of the Israelites could be heard nationwide on PBS-TV stations. Meanwhile, the 2003 Downbeat Critics Poll named him as the No. 1 rising star in the miscellaneous instruments category.

Sony Signs Vogler

German cellist JAN VOGLER, 39, has inked a four-CD deal with Sony Classical. His recent releases on the Berlin Classics label include cello concertos by Haydn and Mendelssohn-rapturous performances that show why Sony took notice. In September, Vogler hits the road in the United States with his Moritzburg Festival, the celebrated chamber music series he cofounded a decade ago.

Arts and Croft

The LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA has teamed up with curvaceous cyber avenger Lara Croft to score a new video game. The iso-minute orchestral score to Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness was released this summer and marks quite a departure from the heavy metal, rap, and electronica soundtracks that usually accompany these products (though composer John Williams did score one of the Star Wars games). The Tomb Raider franchise is one of the most successful video game lines in the world.

CSO Celebrates Diversity

At press time, the CINCINNATI SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA planned a weeklong celebration of African-American heritage, from July 20-26, with three concerts by 16-year-old violinist GARETH JOHNSON, who won first place in the 2002 Sphinx Competition Junior Division. The concerts, held at black churches in the Cincinnati area, will feature the music of acclaimed composer WILLIAM GRANT STILL, popularly referred to as "the dean of African-American composers," as well as living composer, Adolphus Hailstork, and many others.

Home Sweet Home

Nearly 40 years after moving to the Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall (with its dubious acoustics), the NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC is poised to return to its historic home at the publicly owned Carnegie Hall (with its superior acoustics). The philharmonic made the surprise announcement in June, much to the chagrin of Lincoln Center officials, and expects to settle in to its old home in 2006.

Oregon Trail

A group of violin makers in southern Oregon has established the PACIFIC ASSOCIATION OF VIOLIN MAKERS to help promote the efforts of violin, bow, and string makers, as well as repairers and restorers in the region. Founding members of the PAVM are STEPHEN BACON of Ashland, JANICE and MICHAEL KLEIN of Grants Pass, GERRY PARE of Phoenix, and JOHN TAYLOR of Wilderville. For details, contact Michael-klein@msn. …

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