We’ve written about this terrific Louisville musical history flick, but check this feature in the New York Times:
A singular harmonic convergence is recounted in “Music Makes a City,” Owsley Brown III and Jerome Hiler’s enlightening documentary about how Louisville, Ky., became a locus for contemporary music in the mid-20th century. In striking synchronicity, a mayor, a con- ductor and a robust postwar generation of composers inter- sected to make the city a hub for visionary composition.
Louisville had been battered by a flood and the Depression when Robert Whitney, a young Chicago conductor, arrived in 1937 to build what became theLouisville Orchestra. When it hit financial trouble, Charles Farnsley, the mayor and a be- liever in the Confucian notion that high culture attracts wealth and power, boldly proposed commissioning works from modern composers while honor- ing the traditional repertory.
The personalities here are as noteworthy as the soundtrack. Whitney was a tireless leader. The charismatic Farnsley, an intellectual with a populist style, after a term as a congressman (where he helped create the National Endowment for the Arts and was a proud signer of the Voting Rights Act), retired from politics to host an overnight classical-music radio program in Louisville.
The film opens today in New York.
Good news for Louisville, eh?