Subway Stradivarius

The Washington Post got world class violinist Josh Bell to play his Stradivarius at a subway stop to see how commuters would react. Turns out they didn’t react much.

In the three-quarters of an hour that Joshua Bell played,
seven people stopped what they were doing to hang around and take in
the performance, at least for a minute. Twenty-seven gave money, most
of them on the run—for a total of $32 and change. That leaves the
1,070 people who hurried by, oblivious, many only three feet away, few
even turning to look.

“At a music hall, I’ll
get upset if someone coughs or if someone’s cellphone goes off.
But here, my expectations quickly diminished. I started to appreciate
any acknowledgment, even a slight glance up. I was oddly grateful when
someone threw in a dollar instead of change.” This is from a man
whose talents can command $1,000 a minute.


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