BACH & friends Heads to San Francisco

Mike Lawrence’s two-hour documentary — featuring Simone Dinnerstein, the Emerson String Quartet, Joshua Bell, and Philip Glass, to name just a few — has its San Francisco premiere on July 14 at the Sundance Cinema Kabuki Theater.
Patty Gessner, executive producer of the San Francisco Classical Voice, set up the screening as a fund-raiser for the SFCV Web site, which was founded in 1998 and which sees itself as “the hub for classical music” in the Bay Area. (Gessner, the former director of marketing for the San Francisco Symphony, is “a big fan” of the film, Lawrence says.) The premiere’s media sponsor will be KDFC-FM, said to be the most popular classical station in the country.

Meanwhile, GREAT PERFORMANCES is considering the film for a PBS broadcast, and Sony Masterworks is exploring the possibility of distributing the DVD. Anya Grundmann, the executive producer of NPR Music, has requested a DVD. “And thanks to Mike Hawley‘s friendship with Steve Jobs,” Lawrence says, “Apple’s iTunes store is considering streaming the documentary.”

Whatever happens with those prospects, Bach & friends heads back East in the fall. The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, Lawrence’s alma mater, will sponsor the Baltimore premiere at the Charles Theater on Oct. 3.

Postscript: Michael Zwiebach’s interview with the filmmaker — “Shooting, and Loving, Bach” — pretty much tells it all, and it’s fun to read.

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