The Twelfth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition: In the Heart of Music was directed by Andy Sommer, director of the films In Search of Beethoven and In Search of Schubert, as well as a TV version of Peter E‹tv‹s's opera Le Balcon.
Sommer began shooting the documentary during the competition's preliminary screening rounds, held in several locations around the world, and continued filming through the first round, semi-finals, and finals in Fort Worth, Texas. He shot some scenes himself using a lightweight camera; others were shot simultaneously by up to ten cameramen.
The film follows the experiences of four competitors: gold medalist Alexander Kobrin, silver medalist Joyce Yang, finalist Davide Cabissi, and Maria Mazo.
"The main goal of the film is not only to give the usual account of the most characteristic moments of the competition," Sommer said in a statement, "but also to focus on specific questions, such as: what drives these young artists, and what makes them— apparently—so different from the rest of us? What about their inner world of emotions, sacrifices, and motivations? How do they prepare? How do they act? It tells the story of a few people who are experiencing music from the inside, trying to get into the heart of music."
In New York, In the Heart of Music will be seen on WNET Thirteen at 10 p.m. on October 4. Check local listings for other outlets.