Films about Composers 

Biopics of the great classical composers abound. It is a popular subject both with Hollywood and with TV producers. Quality and faithfulness to reality is very much up to the director and the audience he is catering for.

Two of the most prolific directors of the films about composers are the Brits Ken Russell and Tony Palmer. Both make documentaries and feature films. We have split the listings below as follows:
- Films by Ken Russell
- Films by Tony Palmer
- Films by Others

Films by Ken Russell

Bartók: - 50-minute Monitor special (1964)

Bax: - The Secret Life of Arnold Bax: South Bank Show documentary (1992)

Bruckner: - The Strange Affliction of Anton Bruckner: South Bank Show (1990)

Debussy: - The Debussy Film: 85 minute Monitor special (1965)

Delerue, George: - Don't Shoot The Composer: documentary for Omnibus (1966)

Delius: - Song of Summer: 72-minute film for Omnibus (1968)

- Elgar: 56-minute Monitor special (1962)
- Fantasy of a Composer on a Bicycle, a 52-minute South Bank Show (2002)

Jacob: - 17-minute documentary on Gordon Jacob for Monitor (1959)

Liszt: - Lisztomania, feature film (1975)

Mahler - Mahler, feature film (1974)

Martinu: - The Mystery of Dr Martinu, 60-minute fantasy (1992)

Prokofiev: - Prokofiev: 28-minute documentary for Monitor (1961)

Strauss, Richard: - Dance of the Seven Veils: 55-minute film for Omnibus (1970)

Tchaikovsky: - The Music Lovers, Glenda Jackson, feature film (1970)

Films by Tony Palmer

Adams: Hail Bop 1997 film on John Adams.

Arnold: Toward the Unknown Region - Malcolm Arnold(2004)

Berlioz: I, Berlioz - with Corin Redgrave (1992)

Brahms: Brahms and The Little Singing Girls - with Warren Mitchell (1996)

- Benjamin Britten & his Festival (1967)
- A Time There Was - a profile (1979)
- Death in Venice - opera (1981)

Chopin: The Strange Case of Delfina Potocka - with Penelope Wilton (1999)

Dvorak: Dvořak in Love? - with Julian Lloyd Webber (1988)

Handel: - God Rot Tunbridge Wells - by John Osborne, with Trevor Howard (1984/85)

Holst: - In the Bleak Midwinter (2011) BBC4 documentary 140min

Mahler: Mahler 9 (aka Four Ways to Say Farewell)- with Leonard Bernstein

Orff: O, Fortuna! - Carl Orff & Carmina Burana (2008

Puccini: - Puccini with Virginia McKenna & Robert Stephens (1984)

Purcell: England, my England - by John Osborne & Charles Wood; with Simon Callow and Michael Ball; music conducted by John Eliot Gardiner (1995)

Rachmainoff: The Harvest of Sorrow, a portrait (1998)

Shosatakovich: - Testimony - starring Ben Kingsley (1987)

Stravinsky: - Once, at a Border... - profile (1982) R

Vaughan Williams: O Thou Transcendent - The Life of Vaughan Williams (2007)

Wagner - by Charles Wood, music conducted by Georg Solti, photographed by Vittorio Storaro; with Richard Burton, Vanessa Redgrave, Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud, etc. (1983)
The Wagner Family (2009)

William Walton: At the Haunted End of the Day 1980

Films by others

- Immortal Beloved (1994) Director: Bernard Rose
- Copying Beethoven, (Klang der Stille) (2006) Director: Agnieszka Holland
- Beethoven Lives Upstairs (1992) directed by David Devine.(for children)

- Desire for Love (2002) Jerzy Antczak (Director)
- Impromptu: (1991) with Hugh Grant. Director James Lapine
- A Song to Remember (1945) Cornell Wilde, Merle Operon, directed by Charles Vidor, oscar nominated

Liszt: Song without End (1960) Dirk Bogard, directed by Charles Vidor

- Bride of the Wind (2001) Sarah Wynter, Jonathan Pryce, director Bruce Beresford

- Amadeus (1984) Director: Milos Forman
- Mozart's Sister (2011) Director: René Féret

- Notturno, ("Mit meinen heissen Tränen") Director: Fritz Lehner

- Spring Symphony("Frühlingssinfonie") (1983) Peter Schamoni (Director)
- Song of Love (1947) Katherine Hepburn, Clarence Brown (Director)

The Waltz King (1963) Steve Previn (Director)

- Coco Chanel & Stravinsky (2010)

- Tchaikovsky (1972): Igor Talankin (Director) oscar nominated

- The Life of Verdi (1984)

- Wagner - The Complete Epic (1983) Laurence Olivier, Richard Burton, Vanessa Redgrave.

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