Axelrod Performing Arts Center (APAC) will pay tribute to its namesake, Dr. Herbert R. Axelrod, a longtime Deal resident who died this past May, with “The Concert of a Lifetime,” starring world-renowned violinist Joshua Bell and other musical stars on Sunday, Oct. 8, at 4 p.m. The concert also features violinists Pamela Frank and Daniel Heifetz, pianist Julia Zilberquit, Metropolitan Opera soprano Kelli Cae Hogan, cellist Peter Wiley, and vocalist Gabrielle Stravelli, as well as a rare performance by the Smithsonian Axelrod Quartet. The concert will present a range of music, from Bach, Mozart and Grieg to Puccini, Paganini, Rachmaninov, and Gershwin.
Bell, a multi-Grammy Award winner, has been performing as a soloist and chamber musician for the past 30 years, having played with most of the world’s major orchestras. Today an exclusive Sony Classical artist, Bell has recorded more than 40 CDs and is the music director of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Bell, the featured violinist in the Oscar-winning film “The Red Violin,” became a household name thanks to an experiment in which he played incognito in a Washington, D.C., subway station. Bell’s stint as a “street musician” became the subject of Gene Weingarten’s Pulitzer Prize-winning cover story in The Washington Post.
At age 14, Bell played with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Ricardo Muti and made his Carnegie Hall debut three years later with the St. Louis Symphony. Shortly afterwards, Bell was introduced to Herbert and Evelyn Axelrod, who loaned him his first Stradivarius violin to further his career.
In Monmouth County, Axelrod was known as the founder and owner of T.F.H. Publications, Inc., in Neptune City, the world’s largest publisher of pet books. Axelrod was regarded nationally as one of the foremost authorities on tropical fish and has over a dozen species named after him. As a collector of rare stringed instruments, Axelrod shared his instruments with a number of young artists, including Pamela Frank, Leila Josefowicz, Vladimir Spivakov, Elmar Oliveira, and Daniel Heifetz.
Members of the concert honorary committee include directors of the Smithsonian Institution, Curtis Institute of Music, La Scala, the New Jersey Symphony, the American Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Meridian Health, the Museum of the Violin (Cremona, Italy), Zurich Opera House, and APAC.
Tickets start at $96. Funds raised will be used to establish The Herbert R. Axelrod Legacy Endowment Fund to support programming at APAC, which will include classical music, opera, and dance in addition to the musical theater and youth programming, concerts, and educational programming currently offered. For information, visit axelrodartscenter.com or call the box office weekdays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., at 732-531-9106, ext. 14.