Newport Beach Film Festival - 2020

Beethoven in Beijing

Expired October 12, 2020 6:45 AM
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Beethoven in Beijing starts with a forgotten moment in history, when an American president wangled an invitation to have his favorite orchestra visit communist China and help change the world. The Philadelphia Orchestra’s 1973 tour was a tentative gesture of cultural diplomacy that resonates yet today, when China produces millions of musicians, erects dozens of new concert halls, and fills chairs in orchestras around the world.

How did this happen? This film shows the awakening in vivid stories from the people who lived it then—like the Chinese musicians who nervously greeted Maestro Eugene Ormandy—and who live it today, like Oscar-winning composer Tan Dun and renowned pianist Lang Lang, who credit the Philadelphians with inspiring their careers.

Archival footage from then and backstage access from recent tours create a vibrant tale of art, diplomacy and optimism.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    90 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    United States
  • Premiere
    West Coast Premiere
  • Director
    Jennifer Lin, Sharon Mullally
  • Screenwriter
    Jennifer Lin
  • Producer
    Sam Katz