Jerusalem (MIJ) is a ballad to a unique city, Jerusalem, and to one of its equally unique native sons,
Ariel, 14 year old pianist, violinist, composer. At the heart of MIJ is the
interaction and nurturing relationship between the two: the exceptional child,
a product of the extraordinary city, now enriches the very venues that
nourished him with his presence and performance. It is a symbiotic relationship
in which the city and the child act like two characters embarked on a joint
MIJ follows the quest of Ariel to recreate one of the
masterpieces of the Baroque era as a gripping modern concert-length piece,
a task that would intimidate most career musicians. It requires not only
mastery of both classical and contemporary forms, but prodigious amounts of
invention, originality, and daring. To succeed he must compose, transcribe,
arrange, and perform at levels that will stand up on any stage. And he must be
prepared to fail.
In the crowded field of musical prodigies Ariel
marches to a different drum, refusing to compete and eyeing Carnegie Hall from
a different direction. Rather than polishing endlessly a few pieces in order to
impress juries at competitions, Ariel prefers to spend his time honing his
considerable skills as a musician. He is too busy to compete. He has
performances to prepare, for Europe and the US, discs to record, rehearsals to
attend. He plays in chamber groups both as pianist and as violinist. He plays
piano in a jazz ensemble and violin in a symphony orchestra. He sings in a
choir. And of course, he composes. “What competition did Stravinsky ever win?”
he asks. “Or Schoenberg, for that matter.”
not yet another showing of “Jerusalem for tourists,” with the walls, the
religious sites, and other attractions, but a Jerusalem rich in pluralistic
culture, deeply nurturing the arts, and offering educational opportunities on a
par with the greatest metropolises of the world.
is not another prodigy with fast fingers who can race through a Chopin Etude or
a Paganini Caprice at top speed, but a committed musician with a deep reservoir
of knowledge covering all genres of music and every period from the Renaissance
to the 21st century, combining performance, composition, and theory at the
subject of MIJ is the meeting between the city and the child – the formative
and nurturing function of the city and of its unique cultural and educational
venues. The emphasis, in both city and child, is on depth rather than breadth.
venues and programs offered by the city be sufficient to launch the young
musician on an international career? Ariel seems unconcerned for the moment. At
age 14 he has already dazzled audiences in Europe and US as a classical and
jazz pianist. But the piano is not Ariel’s only interest in music. He is
devoting equal time to the violin and to conducting, and above all he is a
composer. Ariel has been composing since age 7, and last year the
Conservatory’s symphony orchestra premiered his Sinfonietta. Ariel also writes
a blog on classical music and jazz.
documentary proposes to chart Ariel’s progress along the multiple paths he
follows, surrounded by his friends – all competing musicians – many of whom he
accompanies on their various competitions, and with whom he debates at lengths
the relative future prospects of competing vs. non-competing musicians.
For more information about the documentary, please visit our site at www.madeinjerusalem.org.
Ariel's site is at www.arielpiano.com.
Ariel's YouTube channel is at www.youtube.com/arielpiano.