The Georgian Republic: An orthodox multi-ethnic mix in the wild Caucasus, the borderland between the East and West. The Zakaria-Paliashvili Music School for gifted children is located on a hill above the capital city of Tbilisi. The plaster is crumbling, and the stairs are riddled with holes. Hardly any instrument can be tuned anymore, and many teachers are so old that they could be the great-grandparents of their students.
Those who are allowed to step through the battered main entrance after the strict entrance examination do so with pride because former Paliashvili students regularly conquer the world’s stages. The violinist Lisa Batiashvili and pianist Khatia Buniatishvili were taught here. more
The first film about the most famous “weekend composer”: Charles Ives
As a teenager, he composes dance melodies as well as church hymns, becoming the youngest organist of all Connecticut at age 14. As a natural talent in sports, he is appointed captain of the football team at the elite Yale University before the former music student becomes the most successful life insurer in the United States. more
“Music is emotion; music is something we share from our life experiences, from our feelings, from our own discoveries and from the appreciation we feel when we are attentive and open to great masterpieces.” more
The great seminal catastrophe of 1914 was not merely a historical upheaval for politics and society. Music had also lost its political innocence. But can music be political? Already in the 19th century, an increasing number of composers and musicians had started to adopt political agendas, and to this day many musicians position themselves politically. more
Being a female conductor means being an exception. Even today. When a woman stands on the podium she is, in most cases, somehow “the first”: the first to lead a world-class orchestra, the first to conduct the “Last Night of the Proms” in London, the first to win the German Conductor Prize. For decades, this sensational character has been tradition. At the same time it seems that the world of the maestro is now in a state of upheaval.
The second part of the three-part documentary series “Music, War and Revolution” is dedicated to Russian composers of the late teens and early ’20s of the last century. The former “young wild ones,” composers such as Arthur Lourié, Nikolai Roslawets, Alexander Mosolov as well as Vladimir Deshevov and Lev Termen remain to this day relatively and unjustly unknown and their lives have remained largely unexplored. more
The first part of the three-part documentary Music, War and Revolution focuses on the enthusiasm for the war in the musical world: when musicians and composers became fervent patriots and soldiers. How did the composers and musicians handle these times of war? more
Music, especially the music of Bach, made it possible for Zhu Xiao-Mei to cope with the worst challenges of her existence. The pianist experienced all of the consequences of the Mao regime and the Cultural Revolution: years of indoctrination and “reeducation,” five years confined to a labor camp, a shattered family, hardships and harassment. In 1980, she emigrated and ultimately made Paris her new home.
Surrounded by ruins in Syria’s capital Damascus, Ayham Ahmad sings accompanied by an out-of-tune piano about migration, hunger, and death. Threatened by Assad’s regime and ISIS, the Piano Man is silenced and must flee – to Germany. The documentary film “Ayham Ahmad – The Pianist Of Yarmouk” tells the story of this Syrian refugee musician. After his arrival in Munich, we follow the life of a man who sang out against the suffering in his country until his instrument was destroyed.
He is the most performed contemporary composer in the world. Nevertheless, he also rarely ventures out in public, keeps quiet about his music, feels at home in the forests of Estonia and generates therewith – perhaps involuntarily – the impression of a recluse, which is attributed to him again and again: Arvo Pärt. more