A man stood in the L’Enfant Plaza metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin. It was a cold, January rush hour morning. Over a period of 45 minutes, he played six Bach pieces. Only seven people stopped to listen. 27 gave him money but continued to walk. He collected $32 in tips. When he finished playing and silence fell, no one noticed.
The violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played some of the most intricate pieces ever written, on a violin worth $3.5 million. Three days before this, Joshua Bell had sold out a theatre in Boston where the average ticket price was $100.