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Pint-Size Prodigy Surprised by His Idol on National TV

There’s a new star on New York’s Fifth—Dylan Hamme, an 11 year-old busking violinist. But Dylan isn’t just any ol’ busker. No. He’s a child prodigy on the fast-track to becoming a concert violinist. He’s busking to raise money for conservatory training.

But wait. It gets  better.

Dylan has a sign propped up in his open violin case for passerby donations that states he’s following in the footsteps of his idol, Joshua Bell.

So far it’s true…

11 year-old Dylan Hamme playing his violin on 5th Ave NYC

Joshua Bell started playing the violin at the age of three, the same age Dylan picked up the instrument. Joshua Bell went on to become a world-renowned violin soloist. So far, Dylan is heading in that direction as well. His expert musicianship (along with his sign), caught the attention of NBC News, and they featured him on the Today Show, complete with a surprise visit from his idol. If you don’t cry watching the video clip below, I don’t want to hear about it.

Going out of his way to encourage a young musician is not uncommon for Joshua Bell. He regularly supports projects that teach and encourage young musicians around the world. His philanthropic work with the National YoungArts Foundation over the years has been recognized nationally with high acclaim.


Joshua Bell’s Busking Experiment & Sensational Reprise

Joshua Bell is at home in a concert hall, but he’s no stranger to playing on the street. Or a metro station to be exact. In 2007, Joshua Bell posed as a common busker in a Washington D.C. metro station (during morning rush hour) as part of an experiment initiated by Gene Weingarten of The Washington Post. The purpose of the experiment was to see how many commuters would stop and listen to one of the nation’s greatest violinist in an everyday setting. Only one person recognized him. ONE. You can read the full story here.

You can let a situation define you, or you change the situation to reinvent the definition.

That’s just what Joshua Bell did. On September 30, 2014, Joshua Bell turned the tables on DC’s Union Station and created a the ultimate public experience for classical music.

Joshua Bell Encore Concert at Union Station Washington DC Sept 30, 2014

Joshua Bell played the same music he did as an incognito busker (2007), except this time he held a capacity crowd spellbound. You can read about the performance here, and listen to the entire concert on YouTube Here.