"In striking synchronicity, a mayor, a conductor, and a robust postwar generation of composers intersected to make the city a hub for visionary composition.” – New York Times

Elliott Carter© Elliott Carter

The documentary film Music Makes a City chronicles one of the most ambitious artistic projects ever mounted in the United States, demonstrating the transformative power the arts can have on a community. In the late 1940s, the charismatic mayor of Louisville, Kentucky, planned to save his hometown orchestra and bring prosperity to Louisville by commissioning new music on an unprecedented scale – a project which took the Louisville Orchestra to Carnegie Hall, created two celebrated collaborations with the legendary dancer/choreographer Martha Graham, and attracted international acclaim.

Narrated by Kentucky native Will Oldham a.k.a. “Bonnie Prince Billy”, Music Makes a City is a wonderful weave of archival footage and anecdotes from veteran Louisville musicians and civic figures. The film features an evocative soundtrack of selected commissions recorded by the Louisville Orchestra, as well as interviews with some of the project’s key participants: iconic American composers Lukas Foss, Chou Wen-chung, Gunther Schuller and Elliott Carter.



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(c) Owsley Brown Presents. All Rights Reserved.

Photos: George Bailey, Thomas V. Miller, Lin Caulfield, Al Blunk, James K Keen.  © The Courier-Journal, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Louisville Orchestra, Elliott Carter, Martha Graham Center, The University of Louisville Archives, Louisville KY.

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