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Exclusive on Conversations with Yehudi Menuhin, a Three-Hour Film of the Iconic Violinist Interviewed by Director Bruno Monsaingeon

Bruno Monsaingeon, who has directed some of the most compelling films on classical music ever made, enjoyed a 25-year friendship with his former teacher, the prodigious violinist Yehudi Menuhin (1916-99). Menuhin famously made the first recording of Elgar’s Violin Concerto as a teenager in 1932 under the baton of the composer; he went on to make pioneer recordings of Bach’s solo works and much more for EMI during his 70-year career. He gave the premiere performance of Bartók’s sonata for solo violin, and he performed for the just-freed inmates of Nazi concentration camps with Benjamin Britten, as well as collaborating with such non-classical stars as Stéphane Grappelli and Ravi Shankar. Menuhin was also an educator whose pupils included Nigel Kennedy, and a devoted humanitarian. Monsaingeon’s 1996 retrospective Yehudi Menuhin: The Violin of the Century is the definitive film portrait, featuring intimate interviews with the artist. As a further tribute to this inspiring figure, Monsaingeon has now collected three hours of previously unreleased interviews for Conversations with Yehudi Menuhin, which is newly available as an exclusive video-on-demand program on  Special discounts on subscriptions and gift cards are available through December 25, 2014. More information can be found here.

In these warm, wide-ranging Conversations, Menuhin recounts his violin debuts and his first competition as a child prodigy, his encounter with composer-violinist George Enescu (his teacher in Paris), his support for German conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler, his musical partnerships with top conductors Arturo Toscanini, Bruno Walter and Paul Paray, his friendship with Russian violinist David Oistrakh, his visit to cellist Pablo Casals in Spain, and his relationship with Hollywood. Also, thanks to the mutual trust between Menuhin and Monsaingeon, the violinist talks about his private life and family, as well as his experience of World War II. This cornucopia of anecdotes allows us to newly appreciate Menuhin’s generous, open-minded spirit. In a sense, Conversations with Yehudi Menuhin brings this questing 20th-century icon back to life for today’s music lovers.

Monsaingeon – filmmaker, author and violinist – has made films about musicians from Glenn Gould, Sviatoslav Richter and David Oistrakh to Grigory Sokolov, Piotr Anderszewski and David Fray. Over 20 of his documentaries and artist portraits are available on (more information here). About Conversations with Yehudi Menuhin, Monsaingeon says:

For the purposes of The Violin of the Century, many hours of conversations with Menuhin had been filmed in his beautiful villa in Mykonos. Fragments thereof nurtured my film according to a carefully planned scenario. But, as is often the case with a festive meal, there remained leftovers even more copious than what had been consumed. I had long dreamt of making these leftovers available to the public. The present release made it possible to turn this dream into reality: out of it came a three-hour-and-six-minute continuous conversation with Menuhin structured in 26 chapters. The charm, the humor, the deeply poetic and unexpected statements that he displays in abundance will, I believe, be as irresistible to the onlooker as they were to me while filming these hours of conversation. Here, the genius of Menuhin, the man, is every bit as moving as that of Menuhin, the violinist.

Upcoming live webcasts on

December 19, 2014 – 2:00pm EST
Tugan Sokhiev Conducts Webern, Macmillan and Prokofiev – with Colin Currie
Live from La Halle aux Grains, Toulouse
More information here

January 5, 2015 – 12:30pm EST
Janacek: Kátia Kabanová
André Engel (stage director); Irène Kudela (music director); Kelly Hodson (Katia); Paul Gaugler (Boris);
Elena Gabouri (Kabanicha); Jérôme Billy (Koudriac)
Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, Paris
More information here

The four recent live webcasts in the partnership between Carnegie Hall and – concerts by Joyce DiDonato, Anne-Sophie Mutter, the duo of Leonidas Kavakos & Yuja Wang, and Daniil Trifonov – are all available for free for 90 days after the date of the live webcast. Watch the Carnegie Hall webcast series in replay here:
Daniil Trifonov’s piano recital (webcast Dec 9 and available for free until March 10, 2015)
Leonidas Kavakos & Yuja Wang (webcast Nov 22 and available for free until Feb 21, 2015)
Anne-Sophie Mutter (webcast Nov 18 and available for free until Feb 17, 2015)
Joyce DiDonato  (webcast Nov 4 and available for free until Feb 3, 2015)


Since its official launch in May 2008, has gained international recognition, bringing together a community of 200,000 music and arts lovers from 180 countries. In addition to offering live concert hall events that music lovers can experience on their computers and entertainment systems (Chromecast, Airplay, Smart TVs), offers a free application (available at the Apple App Store and at Google Play for Android) that makes it possible to experience world-class artistry on all mobile devices. In addition, more than 80 client universities around the world take advantage of, including Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Columbia University, Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music.

New partnerships include the distribution of a selection of content through major digital platforms including iTunes, Samsung, Amazon, Canal +, GVT in Brazil, and Shanghai Media Group, confirming’s role as the leading digital provider and aggregator of audiovisual classical music programs worldwide.

In addition to webcasts of more than 100 live events each year, has partnered with the world’s top artists and music institutions to offer subscriptions that give music lovers the opportunity to watch more than 1,400 video-on-demand programs. They include concerts, operas, recitals, documentaries, masterclasses, artist portraits and archival material by such legendary musicians as Maria Callas, Glenn Gould, Yehudi Menuhin, David Oistrakh, Sviatoslav Richter, Mstislav Rostropovich, Arthur Rubinstein, Georg Solti and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.


              Follow on:      is produced by MUSEEC, in partnership with ROLEX and is supported by the European Community (MEDIA) and the CNC.


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© 21C Media Group, December 2014

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