[ EuroArts Blu-ray / DVD ]
Release Date: Tuesday 25 June 2019
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Virtuosity searches for the musical souls of the most gifted young pianists as they try to make a name for themselves at the 2013 Van Cliburn International Piano Competiton. The film focusses on this group of young musicians as they articulate their personalities through their music: brilliant, eccentric, tender, touching, dazzling, deadly serious, wildly entertaining. At the heart of this film is the courage it takes for a 20-year-old to go onstage alone before 2,000 people, and hundreds of thousands more online, and play a unique interpretation of one of the most difficult pieces ever written for the piano. The Competition requires not only a transcendent musical ability, but a mental toughness that must sustain the soloist through three straight weeks of performance. The Cliburn becomes as much a test of character as a musical proving ground. All of the onstage brilliance and backstage drama takes place in the year in which the inspiration and namesake of the competition, Van Cliburn, passed away - this film is a tribute to his memory, and to his particular genius. The production has been awarded the Czech Crystal Award for best documentary at the Golden Prague festival 2015.
"The film captures, with excellent camera work and sound, the agony and ecstasy of competition existence…virtuosity may be the focus - but music takes a back seat…and certain people in Warsaw, Moscow, Brussels and Leeds might take issue with the film's assertion that the Cliburn isn't just any competition, but 'the one'" BBC Music