Music Films

Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China, Directed by Murray Lerner, 84 minutes, 1981, USA

Isaac Stern visited Beijing, and Shanghai on his trip to China. Besides showing the violinist mentoring young Chinese students, the film reveals a disturbing history, the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), when western influences were opposed and the playing of classical music was forbidden. Ironically, in 1979, he was invited by the government to perform and teach the techniques of Mozart to Chinese musicians.
Academy Award, Best Documentary, Features, Murray Lerner, 1981

Standing in the Shadows of Motown, directed by Paul Justman, 2002, U.S.A.
If you like a good beat, you'll love this film. The Funk Brothers, Detroit musicians, backed the Motown artists who made it big, but those who listened to the music, didn't know who the back-up band was. This film is a history of those musicians. Great entertainment. Great music.

Jack Ashford

©Photo by Lois Siegel

Les Violons du Roy
"Ode to a Requiem"
Film directed by Don Winkler, produced by Craig Graham
Premiere CBC "Opening Night" Series
April 2007

The Winners
, directed by Paul Cohen and David van Tijn, 85 minutes, 1998, Netherlands
"One of the best documentaries about classical music ever made
 and probably the best about the limits of virtuosity." - Variety

"The Winners" explores what happens to four classical musicians who won the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels.  Winning is not a guarantee to a successful life or career in music.

First Prize Long Feature Documentary and Public Award, 1997
International Documentary Film Festival, Nyon, France
1998 North South Award, Gent, Belgium

The Winners: When Winning Isn't the Only Thing
By Stephen Holden

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