Detecting quality

by Russ Roberts on April 16, 2007

in Music

The other day in DC, a musician hung out at a Metro stop, playing the violin and entertaining the rush-hour commuters on the way to work.

No one knew it, but the fiddler standing against a bare wall outside
the Metro in an indoor arcade at the top of the escalators was one of
the finest classical musicians in the world, playing some of the most
elegant music ever written on one of the most valuable violins ever
made. His performance was arranged by The Washington Post as an
experiment in context, perception and priorities — as well as an
unblinking assessment of public taste: In a banal setting at an
inconvenient time, would beauty transcend?

What happened? Did a crowd gather? Was Joshua Bell ignored? How much money did he collect in the open violin case at his feet that usually housed the $3.5 million Stradivarius he was playing?  Find out here. (HT: Brandywine Books)


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