"Playing for Real" screened during Telluride Musicfest at Library, 6/29

"Playing for Real" screened during Telluride Musicfest at Library, 6/29

[click “Play” to hear Susan’s conversation with Josh Aronson and Adam Neiman]


Playinfg for Real poster Now in its 9th season, the Telluride Musicfest adds two new events to its 2011 lineup, a wine and dessert concert for all subscribers and sponsors to thank everyone for helping to ensure the Musicfest tradition of chamber music concerts in a private home continues – and a movie night.

Movie night takes place Wednesday, June 29, 6:00 at the five-star Wilkinson Public Library. The event features a screening of producer/director Josh Aronson’s inspiring one-hour documentary, “Playing for Real,” (2000), an intimate look at building careers in big-time classical music. The film showcases the extraordinary talents of 14-year-old Japanese violin prodigy Mayuko Kamio and 2011 Musicfest guest pianist Adam Neiman – when he was 22 and already one of the finest pianists in the world.

Josh’s particular talent is knowing where to point the camera and then getting out of the way. Ultimately he finds that sweet spot between the elation and challenges of lives lived in the limelight. By the closing credits, we have been uplifted by the music and have gotten to know the principal actors, warts and all: Mayuko has ambitions way beyond her years and training. Adam, well, he has no warts, just an extraordinary gift and the wisdom of an old soul. Susan Wadsworth, the legendary founder of Young Concerts Artists and mentor to both Mayuko and Adam, is a consummate professional, but at times she behaves like an over-caring Jewish mother.

Born in 1978, Adam Neiman captured the attention of audiences and critics alike since his concerto debut as a child prodigy – he was 11 years old –  at Royce Hall in Los Angeles. Today he is widely regarded as one of the premiere pianists of his generation, praised for a truly rare blend of power, bravura, imagination, sensitivity, and technical precision. With a burgeoning international career and an encyclopedic repertoire that spans over fifty concertos, Neiman has performed as soloist with the symphony orchestras of Belgrade, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Minnesota, Saint Louis, San Francisco, Umbria, and Utah, as well as with the New York Chamber Symphony and the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington D.C. And now he returns to town for an encore performance with Musicfest, where he presents Franz Liszt’s complete “Transcendental Etudes” over the three concerts.

After starting his career as a still photographer for Time Life, Aronson began directing television films and commercials. Through Aronson Films, he directed MTV videos, television pilots and specials and over 500 commercials before turning to documentaries. Since 1999, Josh has made award-winning documentaries on a fascinating variety of topics,  from the world of the deaf (“Sound and Fury”) to bull riding (“Bullrider”), transsexuals (“Beautiful Daughters,” “The Opposite Sex”)) – and music. In 2010 he began making his latest film on the subject of music, “Orchestra of Exiles,” about Bronislaw Huberman, the Polish violinist who founded the Israel Philharmonic.

Josh, a part-time Telluride local, is also a concert pianist, who regularly plays chamber music in New York City and at the Telluride Musicfest, the event he founded in 2002 with his wife, violinist Maria Bachmann, the artistic director.

Josh and Adam will be on hand at the screening to answer questions and talk about the challenges of making a career in music today.

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