10 Questions for Joshua Bell

Violin virtuoso Joshua Bell on conducting, gambling and traveling with a $4 million Stradivarius

David Johnson for TIME

You're now musical director of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. How do you play and conduct at the same time?
I sit in the first violin chair and lead everything while I'm playing. Sometimes I'm playing, sometimes I'm directing with the bow, sometimes it's just facial gestures.

Is conducting like directing in that everybody who's a performer secretly thinks he would be a great conductor?
This is true. That's really why I became a conductor--because I've been hearing the Beethoven symphonies we do on this new CD my whole life and thinking, I want to hear...

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