From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China

Film, Documentaries

Time Out says

Far more than a tribute to the man and his music; as well as virtuoso violinist Stern on his 1979 tour of China, we also see a China eager to hear and learn about Western music. Chinese conservatory students' technically superb renditions of Sibelius and Brahms understandably lack the nuances of emotion customary in the West, but playing their own music, or in action at the Peking Opera and the gymnasium, they display dazzling talents. The enthusiastic, amiable Stern occasionally offers paternalistic judgments on Chinese musical abilities, and is thoroughly confused when asked to consider Mozart in a socio-political context. But he's a musician, and his violin sings passionately. Most remarkable, however, are a Shanghai professor's account of his incarceration during the Cultural Revolution, and some truly amazing child prodigies. An uplifting film, made with intelligence and love.

By: GA


Release details

83 mins

Cast and crew

Murray Lerner
David Golub
Isaac Stern
Tan Shuzhen
You may also like