“Chris Eley’s film is genuinely fascinating and gripping. Fascinating because it gives a rare insight into the hard grind of creativity, and gripping because of the strained dynamic between two people, both of whom are clearly on the side of the angels.” The Times
“For the viewer of this documentary about creation, which proved the old adage – one per cent inspiration, 99 per cent hard work – the opportunity to spend some time observing and hearing from such remarkable people was a profound pleasure.” The Arts Desk
“This engaging film shows what happens when a Pulitzer prize-winning jazz great collaborates with an acclaimed classical violinist.” The Guardian
This documentary explores a unique musical collaboration between American jazz legend Wynton Marsalis and Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti.
The film follows the two musicians as they embark on a journey that culminates in the creation and performance of a violin concerto written by Marsalis especially for Benedetti. The composition, which draws inspiration from the violin concerto’s first formation in the Baroque era to the 21st Century and African American spiritual music, explores Nicola and Wynton’s own musical heritage in Scottish folk and American jazz music respectively.
The film will follow Wynton and Nicola during the process of composition, rehearsals and performance, from the pair batting ideas and drafts back and forth across the Atlantic to rehearsals together in the UK and US and the world premiere of the violin concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican on 6 November 2015.
Nicola and Wynton: The Making of a Concerto was commissioned by Jan Younghusband, BBC Head of Commissioning for Music. It is produced and directed by Chris Eley, and executive produced by Neil Crombie and Joe Evans.