In Search of Beethoven

“[A] highly entertaining and informative biography, presenting Beethoven as a working artist rather than a caricatured grumpy genius.”


In Search of Beethoven

From Seventh Art Productions, the makers of In Search of Mozart, award-winning filmmaker Phil Grabsky returns with a new feature-length biographical film In Search of Beethoven.

In Search of Beethoven has brought together the world’s leading performers and experts on Beethoven to reveal new insights into this legendary composer. The line-up of performers and interviewees includes Gianandrea Noseda, Sir Roger Norrington, Riccardo Chailly, Claudio Abbado, Fabio Luisi, Frans Brüggen, Ronald Brautigam, Hélène Grimaud, Vadim Repin, Janine Jansen, Paul Lewis, Lars Vogt, and Emanuel Ax among others. The film will be narrated by Juliet Stevenson and young RSC actor David Dawson.

Phil Grabsky is one of the UK's leading film-makers. He has specialized in arts, biographical and historical documentaries for over 20 years for television and cinema. Recent highlights have included the award-winning cinema films The Boy who Plays on the Buddhas of Bamiyan, Heavy Water - a Film for Chernobyl, Escape from Luanda. As Time Out described it,“Phil Grabsky's In Search of Mozart can't be bettered...Gush-free, serious, but with an exciting sense of occasion”. Other highlights include historical programmes with Terry Jones for the BBC and Discovery, major films on Pelé and Muhammed Ali and more than 100 visual arts programmes with Tim Marlow for channel Five and Sky Arts. His arts programmes, which are informative, engaging and stimulating, reveal both a seriousness of purpose and his wide interests.
‘One of the finest movies about a great musician I've ever seen’
Philip French – Observer

‘A was so terrific I wept’
Angie Errigo - Mail on Sunday

‘a marvellous work’
Gapers Block

‘highly entertaining and informative - ****’
‘an extraordinary collection of musicians, conductors and musicologists’
Jonathan Lennie – Time Out London

‘an engrossing personal portrait’
Chicago Reader

‘clear, intelligent documentary-making…with some utterly refreshing laugh-out-loud moments’
Nick Breckenfield –

‘Superb…The film will give those who already know about Beethoven enormous pleasure, but it would also provide any receptive 12-year-old with an ideal introduction to the man and his music’
Rupert Christiansen – The Telegraph

Wonderful ... what emerges is an endearingly human biography, free of puffy idolatry or phony dramatization. I cannot imagine a classical music lover who wouldn't come away from this beautiful film having learned something new about Beethoven, his struggles and his music; novices are likely to be just as enthralled
Chicago Tribune

Wall Street Journal

‘Vivid…Four Stars’
Peter Aspen - Financial Times

‘A thoroughly researched and engagingly presented portrait of the composer’
Jon Fortgang, Film4

‘ impeccably researched ’
Matthew Turner ViewLeeds

‘Serious, thoughtful an enlightening’
Classic FM

‘Lively, informative and sometimes surprising’
Alison Rowat The Herald

‘In Search of Beethoven is fit for a maestro…As good as Grabsky’s In Search of Mozart which also took the usual cliches about the man and gently tore them apart’
Evening Standard

‘This film will make you rush to a concert hall or the nearest classical music store to savour Beethoven’s compositions’
Allan Hunter – Daily Express

Anthony Quinn – Independent

‘Everything you ever wanted to know about Ludwig Van Beethoven, plus a lot more’
Neil Smith – The London Paper

‘the music is sublime’
Philip Kemp - Sight and Sound

‘An elegant portrait of one of the world’s greatest composers’
Mike Polanyk – This is Leicester

‘A must-see’
Parky at the Pictures – The Oxford Times

‘Watching virtuosos at work is never dull’
The Guardian

‘Superb… Beethoven novices and connoisseurs alike will be enlightened, educated and entertained by Grabsky’s riveting script’
Joyce Glasser – Mature Times

‘Fascinating and intelligent documentary’
‘a film which will appeal to music lovers and cinemagoers alike’
The National Business Review

‘ 5 *****’
New Zealand Herald

‘Enormously insightful'
'lots of music exquisitely performed'
Time Out London

‘Phil Grabsky's beautifully shot film…hardly hit a wrong note’
Andrew Bidden – The Times

‘just what’s needed – recapping the life and work of the man simply regarded as the greatest composer’
David Stubbs – Independent

‘Phil Grabsky made a fine film about Mozarts and how he’s done the same with Beethoven, presenting a picture of a composer very different from the’ norm’
Simon Horsford – Daily Telegraph

‘Like Grabsky’s previous work, In Search of Mozart, this brings his subject to life with considerable verve and a light, human touch’
Daily Mail

Neville Hawcock – Financial Times

‘Excellent four-part biopic of Beethoven’
The Times

‘Today’s choice’
Sarah Dempster – Sunday Times

‘Fine series’
‘Phil Grabsky gives us a rounded biography with music – the perfect Beethoven Primer’
Geoff Ellis – Radio Times

‘A must-see’
Helene Wong – Listener

‘A marvelous work’

Not Rated
Documentary, Bio-pic, Music, Culture Vulture
Phil Grabsky
Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

With “In Search of Beethoven,” documentarian Phil Grabsky has created a splendid work that will be a revelation to the uninitiated and a joy to music lovers. As with his previous “In Search of Mozart,” Grabsky has gathered an array of major musicians and scholars to explore the dynamic relationship ...

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