OK. Before you do anything else, click here to begin listening to the full recording, available on the Washington Post website, of the greatest performance ever to be ignored.
Here was the Post's idea. Take one of the world's most extraordinary musicians, put him in a subway station during morning rush hour, have him play some of the most transcendent music ever written, and see if anyone notices.
So Joshua Bell, a Grammy award-winning violinist who usually commands around $100 a ticket for live performances, agrees to be the guy. He shleps his $3.5 million made in 1710 Stradivarius to L'enfant Plaza station and plays nonstop for 43 minutes. The acoustics are excellent. He's loud. He's brilliant. The air fills with soaring, beautiful, pure emotion. 1,097 people go rushing by. Exactly seven of them stop to listen.
He earns $32.17. $20 of that is from the one woman who figures out who he is. She'd seen him a few months before at the National Gallery.
I guess everyone else had a train to catch. Read the remarkable story, with video clips of people walking by, at the Washington Post.