Behind the Strings
Hop Film Event

Behind the Strings

The Shanghai Quartet Documentary Film
July 16, 2022

This event occurred as part of the 22/23 Hop Film Event season. This is an archived view.

An intimate look at the journey of this acclaimed quartet, from the Cultural Revolution to their lives today on stage and at home.

22/23 Hop Film Event

Shanghai Quartet Documentary Film Trailer: Behind the Strings

"I feel proud that we can be ambassadors of cultural exchange. No matter where you're from or whatever your nationality or ancestors, music binds you together." Fleeing post-Cultural Revolution China, the Shanghai Quartet began a lifetime of prestigious residencies and grueling tours. With its Chinese musical roots and Western classical training, the group is known not only for its core Western repertoire, but also for its internationally commissioned works, many from China and featuring non-Western instruments. For over 35 years the quartet has played nearly 3,000 concerts in 30 countries, most notably China (11 trips in 2018 alone) and 35 CD recordings. And all this success has come with a price.

Behind follows the group onto concert-hall stages and into their living rooms, inside a chicken coop and from a hospital bed, in rehearsal rooms arguing it out and in classrooms encouraging their students. What emerges is an intimate look at the lives of these extraordinary artists and human beings. D: Hal Rifken, 2020, US

A Zoom conversation follows with co-founder Weigang Li, director Hal Rifken and producer Michael Peroff. 

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