One of the foundation’s most visible and successful programs is the Documentary Series, giving a behind the scenes view of the pianists and their families as they take part in the New York International Piano Competition. Selected for nationwide distribution by WXXI, an affiliate of PBS, the documentaries have been seen in over 100 cities nationwide. This trilogy of the diversified films includes, Speaking with Music (2002), Beyond the Practice Room (2004), and On a Personal Note (2008).
Speaking with Music captures the lives of the teenage pianists before they reach professional status; delving into their personal lives and shedding light on what drives them to pursue an artistic discipline that remains on the outskirts of our popular culture.
Beyond the Practice Room picks up where Speaking with Music leaves off; digging deeper into the contestant’s lives and their drive to succeed. The documentary also sheds light on the realities facing these young artists as they dedicate their adolescence to a field coming under greater pressure as its audience continues to shrink.
On a Personal Note addresses the contemporary world of classical music: How can young pianists make a real contribution to such an old and established art form? What drives a young musician to endure daily hours of rigorous training and practice in search of personal expression and identity? This film completes the trilogy of documentaries about The New York Piano Competition. Finally, it reveals the careers of Melvin Stecher and Norman Horowitz, duo-pianists, educators and authors who created the competition.