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Joshua Bell returns to his alma mater as senior lecturer

Joshua Bell, who has taken violin at the Indiana University School of Music since 8, will return to his alma mater as a senior lecturer in the school's string department.

One of the world's leading violinists, Bell received an artist diploma from Indiana in 1989. He will begin teaching in the fall of 2008, performing and working with students individually and in groups.

"I can think of no greater place ... to accept a faculty position," Bell said in a statement released Thursday by the university. "This continues an association that began ... when I first became a student of the legendary Josef Gingold, who had a profound impact on me as a musician and as a human being. I would only hope that I can impart even a fraction of his love of music and his wisdom to the students with whom I come in contact."

Bell, 39, was born in Bloomington and began playing the violin at age 4 after his parents noticed him plucking tunes on rubber bands that he had stretched around the handles of his dresser drawers.

He began his studies with Mimi Zweig, who is still on the faculty.

"Having known Josh from his very early days as a talented violinist in the String Academy and then to see him expand into the amazing artist he has become, it is very exciting that he will be joining us," Zweig said. "Returning as one of the world's great violinists, his knowledge, wisdom and presence will be an inspiration to our students."

By age 12, Bell was studying with Gingold, who taught at Indiana for more than 30 years until his death in 1995. Bell first came to national attention at age 14 when he made his debut with Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Last month, the three-time Grammy winner received the $75,000 (55,094 EUR) Avery Fisher Prize for lifetime achievement.