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Biography - Beethoven
A & E Entertainment
This video presents interesting and informative biographies of one of the most famous classical musicians of all time. 

Beethoven Lives Upstairs
The Children's Group
Christoph, a young boy living in 18th century Vienna, at first resents the eccentric new tenant in the upstairs apartment. However, as their relationship develops, he slowly comes to understand Beethoven's genius and the importance of his music. An award-winning family film. 52 mins. Rated G

Leonard Bernstein's Young Peoples' Concert
Kultur Video
From 1958 through 1973, Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic inspired young and old with his Young People's Concerts. Using narrative and music, Bernstein demonstrated the power and beauty of classical music in understandable terms. These programs helped to turn an entire generation into music lovers. There are ten tapes to this concert series and 25 concerts, on such topics as: What Does Music Mean? What Makes Music Symphonic? What Is Classical Music? What Is Orchestration? What is Melody?  Rated G

From Mao to Mozart
New Video Group
In 1979, Isaac Stern visited China. This movie records the concerts and master classes he gave while there. Stern amply demonstrates his great love for music as he works energetically and passionately with his audiences, both young and old. Jian Wang, a young cellist, also performs. Rated G

Mr. Bach Comes to Call
The Children's Group
A new film from the makers of Beethoven Lives Upstairs. Mr. Bach arrives unexpectedly at the house of a piano student, Elizabeth. Along with three of Bach’s choirboys, she learns about his life and listens to 20 pieces of his music, moving from skepticism to respect for Bach’s good-humored nature and musical brilliance. 54 mins. Rated G

Remembering Jacqueline du Pre
End/Emi Classics
Jacqueline Du Pre, who died tragically at a young age from multiple sclerosis, was one of the great cellists of this century. This movie documents her career, including interviews with Jacqueline herself and her teachers plus clips from some of her famous performances with such other luminaries as her husband, Daniel Barenboim, Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zuckerman and Zubin Mehta. The featured work is Elgar's Cello Concerto. Jackie's story is inspiring to musicians and non-musicians alike, who will want to watch this film more than once.  Rated G

Peter and the Wolf
Disney Studios
The Russian folk tale of Peter and the Wolf, set to music by Prokofiev, is the theme of this classic Disney film. It tells most endearingly the story of a little boy and his small band of animals, each illustrated by a different instrument, who set off bravely to seek and conquer the big bad wolf. Narrated by Sterling Holloway, this is truly a movie for those of all ages. Rated G

Peter Ustinov and the Orchestra
This film is in three sections. Peter Ustinov first describes the different emotions and feelings that music can elicit. He then demonstrates the sounds of the various instruments of the orchestra, using great examples from the classical repertoire as illustrations. Accompanied by clever cartoons, this is an excellent educational video.  Rated G

Composers' Specials
Sony Classics
There are several films in this series that discuss various composers, their lives and their music: Handel's Last Chance Bizet's Dream Liszt's Rhapsody Strauss: The King of ¾ Time Rossini's Ghost Bach's Fight for Freedom 50 mins. Rated G

Marsalis on Music
Sony Wonder
Wynton Marsalis, one of the finest trumpet players of both classical music and jazz around, talks about and demonstrates various aspects of music with the help of his jazz band and students at the Tanglewood Music Center led by Seiji Ozawa. His approach to music is delightful, entertaining and informative. There are four tapes in this series: Tackling the Monster describes Marsalis' twelve-step method of practicing Why Toes Tap discusses music theory Listening for Clues teaches students about musical form Sousa to Satchmo talks about the history and development of jazz.  Rated G

Biography - Mozart
A & E Entertainment
This video presents interesting and informative biographies of one of the most famous classical musicians of all time. Rated G

Feature Films

Les Choristes (The Chorus)
When M. Mathieu becomes the supervisor at a repressive reform school in France in 1948, things change and difficult students find a new outlet through song and the new school choir. in French with subtitles, 95 min. PG-13

Music of the Heart
Miramax/Walt Disney
Determined to make a difference, Roberta Guaspari overcomes the skepticism of everyone who doesn't think she should be teaching violin to students in a tough inner-city neighborhood to found an exceptional music program in Harlem. Despite its success, however, budget cuts threaten to shut the venture down. Her answer? A fund-raising concert at Carnegie Hall featuring her incredible students. 124 mins. Rated PG

Fantasia 2000
Disney Studios
Disney's classic film combines spectacular animation and storytelling with works from the classical music repertoire. Donald Duck makes a memorable appearance to the accompaniment of Pomp and Circumstance by Elgar and Mickey Mouse stars in The Sorcerer's Apprentice, a scene taken from the earlier version of this movie. Also featured is a unique rendition of George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. Rated G

The Sound of Music
Fox Home Entertainment
Based on a true story of the Austrian Trapp family, this classic movie features Julie Andrews as the nanny who encourages the group to sing, sing, sing.  Rated G

Lions Gate
Musicologist Dr. Lily Penleric is a student of English folk ballads. After a humiliating failure at her college, she travels to rural Appalachia where she hears -- and records -- outstanding folk music straight from the old country. The tunes are great, the scenery beautiful and the people of the mountains unique. 109 mins. Rated PG

New Line Studios
Shine tells the story of real-life classical pianist David Helfgott, an Australian who rose to international prominence as a young prodigy only to suffer a psychological collapse as a result of abuse by his father. The movie beautifully and emotionally relates Helfgott's effort to stage a comeback as an adult in a concert that features Rachmaninoff's incomparable Piano Concerto No. 3. Rated PG-13

Mr. Holland's Opus
Hollywood Pictures
Every school should have a Mr. Holland on its faculty to be sure that music is taught properly. Holland is a true musician with dreams of becoming a famous composer. However, reality and a pregnant wife dictate that he take a job as a high school music teacher. Frustrated at first, and angry, in time he realizes the impact his work has on the lives of his young students. 143 mins. Rated PG

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