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Picture book inspires Joshua Bell 'Kennedy Centre' performance / CBC books

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Kathy Stinson's award-winning picture book The Man with the Violin, illustrated by Dušan Petričić, was adapted for stage in Washington, D.C., with a performance by celebrated violinist Joshua Bell. "Such a natural - to bring music to the story of The Man with the Violin," Stinson said in a press release. "I'm delighted with the wonderful talent that has been brought to bear in bringing it to a wider audience in this way."

The multimedia performance, which premiered to a sold out crowd of 2,200 on February 12 at the Kennedy Center, was set to music composed by Anne Dudley and performed by the National Symphony Orchestra with Bell. American journalist Michele Norris narrated the performance, while Petričić's artwork was adapted into animation by Montreal studio Normal. The Man With the Violin, winner of the 2014 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award, is about a boy named Dylan who's enraptured by a violinist performing at a metro stop. He wants to stop and listen, but his busy mother pulls him away.

The book was inspired by an experiment conducted by The Washington Post and Bell in 2007. Bell, an internationally renowned musician by this time, busked at a Washington metro station - and was largely ignored. Gene Weingarten chronicled the experiment in the article "Pearls Before Breakfast," which won the Pulitzer Prize.

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