jbTwo years ago The Washington Post conducted a landmark social experiment on music appreciation. The paper asked a professional violinist to wear casual clothes and play music in a metropolitan subway station during rush hour. The performer was Joshua Bell, the same violinist who that very weekend had sold out two Washington D.C. concerts, while playing on his tremendously famous 1731 Stradivari violin. Did anyone recognize him? Seven passersby did. The rest tossed dollars and hurried on their way.

Bell, who has appeared on Sesame Street and performed the score for The Red Violin, is one of classical music’s busiest soloists and, despite the result of the Post’s experiment, one of its few recognized names.

This week, it’s Denver’s chance to appreciate the virtuoso. Tomorrow, Bell performs Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with the CSO in celebration of the composer’s 200th birthday. Also on the program are the Nocturne and Scherzo from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and Symphony No. 3, “Scottish,” both by Mendelssohn.

Thu, May 21. 7:30 p.m., , $20-$98

Boettcher Concert Hall, Speer Blvd. and Arapahoe St., 303-623-7876