Obituary: “From Mao to Mozart” documentary filmmaker Murray Lerner, 90

Posted on: September 11, 2017

“Murray Lerner, a documentary filmmaker who captured key moments in the history of rock-and-roll, including Bob Dylan’s first electrically amplified performance in 1965, and who won an Academy Award for From Mao to Mozart, a 1980 film about violinist Isaac Stern in China, died Sept. 2 at his home in Queens (NY). He was 90,” writes Matt Schudel in Wednesday’s (9/5) Washington Post (subscription required). “Beginning in 1963, Mr. Lerner went to the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island … drawn by what he was saw as a burgeoning youth movement around a changing musical culture.… The resulting film, Festival, received an Academy Award nomination in 1968.… In 1970, Mr. Lerner moved to the Isle of Wight in Britain to film one of the last great rock festivals.… Nine years after the Isle of Wight, Mr. Lerner took his cameras to China to film a tour by Stern, one of the first western classical musicians to perform there.… Newsweek film critic David Ansen described From Mao to Mozart, which won the 1981 Oscar for best documentary, as ‘a stirring, lovely work that not only offers unusual glimpses of Chinese culture but also captures the teaching process.’ ”

Posted September 11, 2017