From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China

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From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China
From Mao to Mozart.jpg
DVD cover art for 2001 release
Directed by Murray Lerner
Starring Isaac Stern
David Golub
Cinematography David Bridges
Nick Knowland
Edited by Tom Haneke
Distributed by Docurama
NewVideo
Release dates
1979
Running time
114 min.
Country United States
China
Language English
Mandarin Chinese

From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China is a 1980 documentary film about Western culture breaking into China produced and directed by Murray Lerner. It portrays the famous violinist and music teacher Isaac Stern as the first American musician to collaborate with the China Central Symphony Society (Now China National Symphony Orchestra). The film documented Mr. Stern's rehearsals and performances of Mozart and Brahms violin concertos with the famous Chinese conductor Li Delun, who also acted as his guide and translator on his trip. The film also included footage of Mr. Stern's visit to the Central Conservatory of Music and Shanghai Conservatory of Music where he lectured to the Chinese music students on violin playing and the art of musical expression. Most of those musicians were playing mechanically, especially the String section, prior to the human improvements, concerning the qualities of the orchestras. One conductor was imprisoned in a closet for playing Beethoven, during the great Proletarian Cultural Revolution of the 1960s, when Western music was prohibited under Mao.Among many others talented players, young cellist Jian Wang (at the time only ten years old) is featured briefly. Jian Wang has gone on to international stardom.[1] The film won the 1980 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.[2] It was also screened out of competition at the 1981 Cannes Film Festival.[3]

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