Press Room

Pianomania, featuring Pierre-Laurent Aimard, now playing in US

Grammy Award-winning pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard is one of the stars of Pianomania, a new film that has captivated audiences and film festival juries in Europe and the US – including the San Francisco International Film Festival, where it won the Golden Gate Award for Best Feature Documentary.  Directed by Lilian Franck and Robert Cibis, Pianomania is a must-see for music-lovers, revealing a world where passion and the pursuit of perfection collide with artistic obsession and a touch of madness.  The film arrives in the United States this summer, opening at selected theaters in Boston and Chicago on June 24; it then heads to other cities around the country, including Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, DC.
Widely heralded as a key figure in the music of our time and as an important interpreter of piano repertoire from every age, Pierre-Laurent Aimard has been described as “one of those rare pianists who can make us feel that, yes, there are musicians now whose work is as true, as vital, as individual as the performances we can hear on treasured old recordings” (Paul Griffiths, New York Times).  By following piano tuner-to-the-stars Stefan Knüpfer, Pianomania offers rare, behind-the-scenes footage of several extraordinary musicians, including Aimard, Alfred Brendel, Lang Lang, Till Fellner, and others.
Stefan Knüpfer, as Steinway & Sons’ chief technician and Master Tuner in Vienna, is dedicated to the unusual task of pairing world-class instruments with world-famous pianists.  Pianomania accompanies him as he juggles the demands of the pianists, the pianos, and the pieces with enthusiasm, patience, and nerves of steel.  Tensions run high as performances loom, and Knüpfer is everywhere, tuning and re-tuning, as when he helps Aimard prepare for his seminal Bach recording The Art of Fugue (on Deutsche Grammophon).  The Boston Globe reports that “the film devotes a large portion of its 93 minutes to the year he [Knüpfer] spends perfecting a piano for the French musician Pierre-Laurent Aimard.”  The Financial Times called it “enthralling,” while the Guardian judged Pianomania “an excellent film.”
Co-director Lilian Franck’s first feature-length film was Jesus Loves You; Pianomania is her second.  Robert Cibis co-directed Disgustingly Healthy with Michaela Kirst and was awarded the Ekotopfilm 2007 prize.  The U.S. theatrical release of Pianomania kicks off on June 24 with openings at Landmark’s Kendall Square in Boston and the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago.
Chicago, Il
Gene Siskel Film Center
Opens June 24
Boston, MA
Landmark Kendall
Opens June 24
Seattle, WA
Landmark Varsity
Opens July 15
San Francisco
Landmark Opera Plaza
Opens August 5
Washington, D.C.
Landmark E-Street
Opens August 26

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