Out of the studio, on to the stump

Every time he’s done something for money, David Foster has failed. It’s an indication, he hopes, that he might succeed in his new undertaking.

For, after more than 30 years in the music business, Foster, a 14-time Grammy award-winning songwriter and record producer who has worked with such pop icons as Barbra Streisand, Michael Jackson, Madonna and Celine Dion, plans to run for premier of his native Canadian province of British Columbia.

“I want to do it for the purest of reasons,” he says, “not for money — I’d do the job for a dollar. I have an extraordinary love for my home province. And what better way to help your country?” It almost hurts him, he says, “to see people so unhappy with their government, the high taxes”, while neighbouring Alberta is “flourishing, with no provincial tax”.

Is that quality amid the package?

Joshua Bell never meant to help redefine the image of the classical musician, but he might have done just that. For this acclaimed young violinist, who has performed with the world’s leading orchestras, is also renowned for his film-star looks, addiction to online stock trading and his passion for computer games.

“I like to have something happening every minute,” he says. “I don’t allow for much downtime, doing nothing. But if you like stress, you can fit in a lot of things. I’m even thinking of taking up yoga.”

He doesn’t trade nearly as much as when the stock market was going up, having lost money like everybody else. “I got addicted to seeing stocks move, rather than trying to invest for 40 years from now.” His love of computer games has resulted in two desktops and two laptops in his lower Manhattan apartment, where he gathers friends for gaming sessions.