Films and Theatre Add to the Festival Experience

March 15, 2024

We love bringing new ways to celebrate the piano to the Festival. Two of our partners help us do just that, with films and musical Theatre.


The Kalamazoo Valley Museum has been gracious enough to host afternoon films during the festival again, presented in their beautiful Stryker theater. Admission is free, but pre-registration on the day of screening is encouraged at, as seating is limited.

Igor Levit: No Fear is a fly-on-the-wall documentary following 2018 Gilmore Artist Igor Levit from the final recordings of his Beethoven piano sonata cycle and into the beginning of Covid lockdown when public music-making stopped and Levit gave a series of concerts from his apartment in Berlin. The film offers a very good look at the day-to-day life of a world-class artist: going from concert to studio to sleep while feeding the social media beast, which will eventually become an important medium for Levit during the Covid lockdown. Run time 78 minutes. 

Silenced: Composers in Revolutionary Russia will explore the lives and the work of a generation of Russian composers that includes Arthur Lourié, Nikolai Roslavets, Alexander Mosolov, Leon Theremin, and Arseny Avraamov. This avant-garde group, which lived through World War I, the October Revolution, and the birth of the Soviet Union under Stalin, was banned, forgotten, or erased from the musical map. A look at Russia’s past and present, music and life, cultural and political contexts, and individual destinies.  Run time 55 minutes. 

Through the Eyes of Yuja: A Road Movie Take a journey with the 2006 Gilmore Young Artist who lives a nomadic lifestyle, performing upwards of 120 concerts annually. A travelog of exciting venues, glitzy cities, and encounters with extraordinary artists like Gustavo Dudamel, Gauthier Capuçon, and Leonidas Kavakos. The other side of that shiny coin includes fatigue, jet lag, pressure, doubts, hostilities, disorientation, and loneliness. With a bittersweet reference to the transience of life, the film reveals the artist in a very personal way. “Pianists have to be alone all the time, and it’s hard, it’s lonely. Being a musician is almost like a very isolated life, and the only time you actually get to communicate is on stage with music.” An intimate look at the artist who returns to the Gilmore for another spectacular performance at Chenery Auditorium on May 8. Run time 89 minutes.

Warsaw is My Name Gilmore Artist Piotr Anderszewski remains deeply connected to his hometown of Warsaw, though he lives in Paris. He has been haunted by growing up in a city that had, he said, “ceased existing” not long before his childhood, given the horrors inflicted on the Jewish ghetto under Nazi rule and the almost total annihilation of the city in 1944. With no specific narrative, the film unfolds in lingering shots of contrasting places and people. Making the film has helped Anderszewki come to terms with his conflicted feelings about his homeland, which has always been, he said, “a fascination and pain for me.” Run time 36 minutes. Stay after for a conversation between Pierre van der Westhuizen and Piotr Anderzewski. Mr. Anderszewski will not only perform twice during the Festival, a solo performance on May 9, and with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra May 11, he will serve as an artist-in-residence for our Festival Fellows program.  


Sondheim on Sondheim
Thursday, April 24 – Sunday, May 12

Our friends at Farmers Alley Theatre will present Sondheim on Sondheim throughout the Festival. The iconic composer redefined the Broadway musical through his genius lyrics, catchy melodies, and complex characters. His own words fuel this intimate portrait of the famed songwriter’s story and inspiration. Get an inside look at Steve’s personal life, artistic process, and legacy through exclusive video interviews and performances from 19 shows including West Side Story, Company, Follies, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Sunday in the Park with George, Merrily We Roll Along, Passion, and Into the Woods. 

Evening performances are Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 pm, with Sunday matinees at 2 pm. Tickets are available at

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