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Illustration: Joshua Bell, plays the noted “Gibson ex Huberman” Stradivarius violin worth $3.5 million. He commands $1,000 a minute performances all over the world.

But the Washington Post wondered what might happen if Bell were asked to dress down and play as a street musician near one of the busy subway connections in DC. So Bell, dressed in jeans and a long-sleeved T-shirt, took his multi-million dollar Strad down to the Metro to play incognito for morning rush hour. He chose superb violin works unperformable by the less skilled. He played masterfully for the commuters.

The Washington Post has the whole tale (plus hidden camera video) in a fascinating story called “Pearls Before Breakfast.”

In truth, less than a dozen of the 1,097 people who passed by seemed to notice Bell’s presence. Fewer yet paused even momentarily to listen to the finest music in the world played by a virtuoso.

One vignette within this cautionary...

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