Opening 9 Jul 2009
This German documentary features four exceptionally musically talented teenagers: Roman, Christoph, Michelle, and Jakobine. All were born in Darmstadt and began studying music at a young age. Eventually, they began to study composition in master classes in Darmstadt under German-Dutch Cord Meijering. Director Marian Czura filmed them over one year in class, practice sessions, and at the premiere of their finished works. All the youths are pianists, while Michelle and Roman also play the violin. Christoph’s speciality is the church organ. All have won European prizes in music, but still they are normal teenagers with other interests. Roman speaks Polish; Jakobine is learning Chinese; Michelle was won swimming championships and lived for a time in South Africa. They enjoyed an exchange with like-minded students in Norway and hosted them on a visit to Darmstadt. Teacher Meijering has no need to feel small beside his students: his biography is just as precocious with prizes and original compositions galore. However, he is truly interested in young people, and the film effectively shows him arguing, analyzing, jousting, even cooking, all to help these four find their own styles.
This film would be especially interesting to anyone interested in music and especially to teachers. They will recognize the problems and the solutions. The students definitely have a bright future. If nothing else they can always compose film music. Their works sounded better than most of the film music I’ve heard. (Becky Tan)