This documentary is an informal portrait of the great modern composer Igor Stravinsky. Proudly American, though still very much an Old World figure with a long and alert memory for people and events in music, literature and art, Stravinsky is depicted here conducting the CBC Symphony Orchestra in a recording of his Symphony of Psalms.
This short documentary follows Glenn Gould to New York City. There, we see the renowned Canadian concert pianist kidding the cab driver, bantering with sound engineers at Columbia Records, and then, alone with the piano, fastidiously recording Bach's Italian Concerto.
In this short documentary, Canadian concert pianist Glenn Gould enjoys a respite at his lakeside cottage. This is an aspect of Gould previously known only to the collie pacing beside him through the woods, the fishermen resting their oars to hear his piano, and fellow musicians like Franz Kraemer, with whom Gould talks of composition.
This short documentary is a profile of Healey Willan, composer, conductor, choirmaster, organist and teacher. We follow Dr. Willan from his seat at his favourite organ in the church where he is choirmaster to his study where he works, and to a visit with his students at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Throughout, the sound of beautiful music accompanies Dr. Willan’s journeys.
This short film demonstrates how Howard Shore has distinguished himself as one of Canada's most accomplished - and versatile - composers.
During woodland rambles with his beloved dogs, Shore gives free rein to his ceaseless creativity. Whether composing delicate counterpoint or Oscar®-winning movie music, Shore is keenly tuned to a remarkable range of musical expression.
Produced by the National Film Board of Canada in co-operation with the National Arts Centre and the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Foundation on the occasion of the 2011 Governor General's Performing Arts Awards.
This documentary short is a portrait of violinist, composer and dreamer Maurice Zbriger, who shared his music with Montrealers for over half a century. He hired musicians and singers and conducted them in free concerts financed with income from his ownership of Schwartz's, the famous smoked meat restaurant. The Concert Man looks at Zbriger's life, his passion for music and the people who were a part of his dream.
This micro-epic short film is an inspired tribute to visionary avant-garde composer Walter Boudreau: his life, work, mischief, and boundless artistic curiosity. Both a documentary biopic and a wildly abstract hallucination, the film conceives of Walter Boudreau as a radical explorer, struggling against the inert mass of the cosmos, charting bold new paths of artistic freedom and audaciously expanding the frontiers of our known musical universe.
Produced by the NFB in co-operation with the National Arts Centre and the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Foundation on the occasion of the 2015 Governor General's Performing Arts Awards.
In this short film from Oscar® winner Beverly Shaffer, 9-year-old prodigy Xin Ben takes lessons from Daniel Mergler, a piano teacher at the end of his career. In this remarkable story about a student and her mentor, Xin Ben and Mergler meet 26 times over the course of one year. During this time, Xin Ben illuminates Mergler's final months as an instructor with her youthful talent, and he, in return, lovingly guides her towards a life in music.
A short film featuring pianist Anton Kuerti. The virtuoso demonstrates the inner workings of a grand piano, pulling out his tool kit to make minute adjustments before a performance. Made in 2008, it commemorates Kuerti receiving the Governor General’s Performing Artist Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement.
This short film pays tribute to distinguished violinist Andrew Dawes, one of the finest violinists Canada has ever produced. Dawes is known for his technical excellence, musical integrity, and exciting performances. In a career spanning half a century, he has inspired listeners, students, and fellow musicians around the globe. Here, poetic images bring to life Dawes' early years, as he muses on the ineffability of music and the discipline required to become an accomplished player.Produced by the NFB in co-operation with the National Arts Centre and the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Foundation on the occasion of the 2013 Governor General's Performing Arts Awards.
One of the world’s leading pianists and foremost interpreters of Bach’s music, Angela Hewitt appears in recital and with major orchestras throughout Europe, the Americas and Asia. This short film gives us a glimpse of Hewitt’s creative process as she interprets a Bach fugue—transforming the famed composer’s notoriously mathematical work into a musical experience that approaches the spiritual.
Bryan Adams is one of world’s most enduringly popular singer/songwriters. He is most at home in his Vancouver studio, surrounded by his collection of vintage microphones and guitars. Adams calls it “a very analog space in a very digital world.” In this short documentary, we witness an intimate rendition of his song “One World, One Flame” and hear him speak of his audience-centred approach to performance: “I want it to be fun, I want it to be real.”
Ages 14 to 17
Arts Education - Music
History and Citizenship Education - Culture and Currents of Thought (1500-present)
Study the 3 periods of Stravinsky’s work (Russian, neo-classical, serial); cite examples and characteristics of each. What does the diversity of Stravinsky’s music tell you about him? View performance of “The Rite of Spring”; identify what caused the audience to riot during its premiere in 1913. Have students make a live recording of their choice; compare to the recording session in the film; how is music recorded today? Compare live/recorded music.