ALL ARTS Documentary Selects

FULL EPISODE

Getting to Carnegie

After an international selection process, young cellists from Hungary, South Africa, South Korea and Cuba compete in a classical music competition. The audience votes for the winner, and the prize is the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform on the Carnegie Hall stage. The film encapsulates the passion and determination of the next generation of classical music artists.

AIRED: January 06, 2020 | 0:17:35
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TRANSCRIPT

Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

[ Knock on door ]

[ Piano playing ]

♪♪

-Hi, Anita. -Hi.

♪♪

[ Man speaking indistinctly ]

♪♪

Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

[ Cheers and applause ]

♪♪

Man: Contestant Anita!

[ Cheers and applause ]

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Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

[ Laughter ]

Gargiulo: I'm reminded of the famous Seinfeld joke

about how people's number-one fear is public speaking.

I mean, number two is death,

which means that at the average funeral,

most people would prefer to be in the casket

than actually giving the eulogy.

[ Piano playing ]

But there is no time for fear when sitting down to play.

Fear is the enemy of the performer.

[ Cheers and applause ]

Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

Anita had a particular strength about her,

the kind of strength that comes

from knowing what you're capable of,

strength from hard work, from talent, from lineage.

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Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

♪♪

Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

♪ Da-da-da-da dum bum

♪ Da-da-dum bum ba-ba

Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

♪♪

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♪♪

Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

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Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

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I had a pretty unusual musical career, I would say.

I was not born into a musical family,

unlike most professional musicians,

who usually start by the age of 5

or, if you're Russian, still in the womb.

I developed this obsession,

and I started practicing four to six hours

because I guess what I was trying to express

was only able to come out through my music,

through my piano.

So from age 13 to 19,

pretty much all I did was practice, practice, practice.

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I always had this feeling like I had to make up for lost time.

I remember when I was in high school,

I would come home, and my mother would prepare the food for me,

and I'd basically be eating with my right hand

and practicing with my left hand.

That's why I was able to do the Italian Conservatory program,

which is 10 years, in 6,

and I did the Peabody master's degree,

which is two years, in one.

And I'm even trying to edit this movie in a week.

♪♪

Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

♪♪

Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

When I go into schools, I always tell kids the same thing --

"Only do music

if you can't imagine yourself doing anything else."

Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

It's a crazy profession,

and we seriously don't need any more loonies.

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Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

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Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

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Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

Okay.

[ Up-tempo piano plays ]

Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

♪ Da-da-dee doh-doh-doh da-da-da ♪

♪ Da-da-da

♪♪

Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

[ Laughter ]

Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

-Oh, you're putting it under. -Yeah, yeah.

Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

Thank you.

[ Laughter ]

Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

J.P. is extroverted and unfiltered

in a way that is both appealing and frightening.

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Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

♪♪

Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

♪♪

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Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

[ Laughs ]

Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

Sorry. Sorry.

Four finalists are chosen to come to New York

and compete on the Carnegie Hall stage,

performing a composition in four parts written by me.

So I wanted to create a different kind of competition...

Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

[ Laughter ]

Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

...something which made the whole experience

more interactive.

Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

So it becomes an experience

not that they are being subjected to,

but rather an experience that they are directly involved in.

The world premiere of a new sonata.

The audience votes for the winner.

Simple and fun.

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Is the competition fair?

Of course, the part of the sonata you end up playing

has a role in how you will do, so, no.

I would say this competition isn't fair,

but at least it's representative of how life isn't fair,

so in that sense, it is fair.

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Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

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There's an intensity to Chae won's playing,

a tremendous musicality, a relentless creativity.

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[ Cheers and applause ]

Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

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Isn't it a bit shameful to sell these kids on a future

that doesn't really exist,

to have them imagine that sitting in a practice room

for hours and hours and hours

will magically lead to somebody knocking on their door

and inviting them to play at Carnegie Hall?

Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

[ Laughter ]

My concerts now are completely different

than what I originally trained for,

which was classical concert pianist.

I would say, if anything, my career hinges

on the fact that I'm different,

that I try to make my concerts funny and interactive,

and I know I don't sound very funny right now,

but, you know, trust me.

[ Applause ]

Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

♪♪

What does it take to keep you practicing hour after hour

after hour to be a true artist?

What is it that ever pushes us to do anything important?

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Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

[ Laughs ]

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Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

[ Notes play ]

Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

[ Notes play ]

♪♪

Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

That's funny.

Yeah.

♪♪

Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

Okay.

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♪♪

Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

[ Applause ]

Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

[ Cheers and applause ]

Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

[ Cheers and applause ]

♪♪

It doesn't matterwhat you do.

It mattershow you do it.

It's about the journey more than the destination.

Performing at Carnegie Hall

is arguably the ultimate achievement for any musician,

but with any luck, someone may even tip you in the end.

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Man: Please make your way backstage. Anita, backstage, please.

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