Airs Friday, January 24 at 10:00 PM on WVIZ/PBS
This film tells the inspiring story of an American city and its orchestra. In the late 1940s, Charles Farnsley, a visionary mayor in Louisville, Kentucky, embarked on an unusual scheme to save the struggling civic orchestra. His ambitious plan to commission and record new music from composers all over the world succeeded beyond all expectations—sparking a torrent of original offerings from both famous and emerging composers of the time. The commissioning project propelled the Louisville Orchestra to Carnegie Hall and international acclaim, and made a lasting contribution to musical history. And just as Farnsley had predicted, as the orchestra’s reputation grew, so did the cultural and economic life of Louisville. Narrated by Will Oldham, this story of the little orchestra on the Ohio River features interviews with composers Lukas Foss, Gunther Schuller, Elliott Carter, Chou-Wen chung and William Schuman, and a soundtrack of selected commissions recorded by the Louisville Orchestra.