Actor Ethan Hawke was at a dinner party a few years back, where he met composer/pianist/ teacher Seymour Bernstein.
Hawke was struggling with his artistic direction and found the octogenarian’s insights from his most interesting life both inspiring and useful.
Deciding that the world needed to know more about this accomplished man, who I had never heard of, Hawke directed and coproduced Seymour: An Introduction. Read this New York Times article about that meeting, and the subsequent filming.
From Rotten Tomatoes, 100% positive from the critics and 88% positive from the audience:
“[Seymour] enjoyed a long and illustrious career as a performer before he gave it up to devote himself to helping others develop their own gifts. While Ethan Hawke’s gentle, meditative study is a warm and lucid portrait of Bernstein and his exceptional life and work, it’s also a love letter to the study of music itself, and a film about the patience, concentration, and devotion that are fundamental to the practice of art. Seymour: An Introduction allows us to spend time with a generous human being who has found balance and harmony through his love of music.”
Here is the trailer. Also, Ethan & Seymour talking to David Poland about life, happiness, and art.
When I saw Seymour: An Introduction with my friend Mary at the Spectrum Theatre in Albany in May 2015, it was already down to one showing, so you’re not likely to find it at a cinema. Assuming it comes out on DVR/on-demand, et al., I recommend that you watch it all at once – it’s only 84 minutes long – and get to know Seymour properly.
Recommended for those who perform or listen to music, teach or desire to be taught.