The Tchaikovsky Files – Confessions of a Composer

The film radically transfers Peter Tchaikovsky into the present time and draws an emotional psychological portrait. Tchaikovsky’s fate, being at the mercy of a homophobic environment as a gay man, comes up for current discussion. Additionally, renowned international artists and experts reveal their very personal approach to Tchaikovsky and his music.

“The Tchaikovsky Files – Confessions of a Composer” now on DVD!
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News

  • 10/2016 - "The Tchaikovsky Files" wins Echo Klassik Award

    Our radical music documentary about Peter Tchaikovsky has been awarded with the ECHO KLASSIK in the category “Music Production (Documentary)”. [...]

    Our radical music documentary about Peter Tchaikovsky has been awarded with the ECHO KLASSIK in the category "Music Production (Documentary)". Ralf Pleger received the award in the category “music-production (documentary)” from host Thomas Gottschalk at Konzerthaus Berlin on October 9. The ECHO CLASSIC is one of the most important and established music awards worldwide. The award ceremony is an annual get-together of the classical music scene.

    Details & Trailer
    Stream the Movie at Vimeo
    Echo Klassik


  • 04/2016 - The Tchaikovsky Files @ MiFo LGBT Film Fest in Miami

    Our film THE TCHAIKOVSKY FILES – CONFESSIONS OF A COMPOSER celebrates its international premiere at the Miami and Fort Lauderdale (MiFo) [...]

    Our film THE TCHAIKOVSKY FILES - CONFESSIONS OF A COMPOSER celebrates its international premiere at the Miami and Fort Lauderdale (MiFo) Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. It screens April 23 at 3:00 pm in the Regal Cinemas South Beach in Miami. The film radically transfers Peter Tchaikovsky into the present time and draws an emotional psychological portrait. Tchaikovsky's fate, being at the mercy of a homophobic environment as a gay man, comes up for current discussion. Additionally, international artists and experts reveal their very personal approach to Tchaikovsky and his music. The MiFo LGBT Film Festival shows different films, videos, and other media that offer historical and contemporary perspectives on the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender experience.

    MiFo LGBT Film Festival
    official page The Tchaikovsky Files



The Tchaikovsky Files – Confessions of a Composer

An emotionally charged psychograph of the most famous Russian composer on the occasion of his 175th birthday in May, 2015

The film radically transfers Peter Tchaikovsky into the present time and draws an emotional psychological portrait. Tchaikovsky’s fate, being at the mercy of a homophobic environment as a gay man, comes up for current discussion. Additionally, renowned international artists and experts reveal their very personal approach to Tchaikovsky and his music.

Tchaikovsky is regarded as Russia’s most famous composer. Works like “Swan Lake”, “Eugene Onegin” and the Symphony no. 6 “Pathétique” are among his global triumphs. He is celebrated as a national hero. And Tchaikovsky was gay – then as now a taboo in Russia.

With a radical cinematic artifice Tchaikovsky’s adventures are translated into the here and now. The composer’s struggle with his homosexuality, the serious consequences of his crisis, the fusion of life and work and the mysterious circumstances of his death are retold within modern scenarios. Not only Tchaikovsky’s fate, but also his artistic legacy is confronted with the present. The contemporary relevance of his case is taken into account as well as the – often underestimated – avant-garde quality of his music.

The film is based on interviews with leading international artists and experts, including the Russian ballet star Vladimir Malakhov, the American organ virtuoso and eccentric Cameron Carpenter. The dance and musical creations of these artists stand for a very original and contemporary treatment of Tchaikovsky’s works. In the interviews, the protagonists reveal their personal and sometimes very emotional access to Tchaikovsky and his music. Supported by the biographer Philip Bullock and the Tchaikovsky researcher Kadja Grönke, the film initiates an exciting and insightful debate on Tchaikovsky’s topicality.

Director Ralf Pleger is one of the most prominent German directors in the field of classical music. He has been honored for his work with numerous awards. Most recently, he has realized the films “The Beethoven Files” and “The Wagner Files“ with the gebrueder beetz filmproduktion. „The Wagner Files“ won the Audience Award at the World Film Festival in Montreal and was nominated for the International Emmy Award in 2014.

Director: Ralf Pleger
Camera: Tobias Albrecht, Jürgen Rehberg
Editor & Sounddesign: Frank Tschöke
Sound: Stefan Kochinke, Falco Seliger
Line Producer: Kathrin Isberner
Producer: Georg Tschurtschenthaler
Producer assistant: Zora Nessl
Production Manager: Nick Pastucha, Johannes Knoll
Comissioning Editor (ZDF/arte): Christopher Janssen
Executive Producer: Christian Beetz

Koproduktion

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  • The Tchaikowsky Files - Confessions of a Composer

    Kino International - Berlin
    02 June 2015 at 10:00 pm

  • The Tchaikovsky Files - Confessions of a Composer

    arte
    03 June 2015 at 10:05 pm

  • The Tchaikovsky Files - Confessions of a Composer

    ORF2
    16 August 2015 at 9:50 am

  • The Tchaikovsky Files - Confessions of a Composer

    ORF2
    17 August 2015 at 1:50 am

  • The Tchaikovsky Files – Confessions of a Composer

    3sat
    07 November 2015 at 10:35 pm

  • The Tchaikovsky Files – Confessions of a Composer

    Stiftstheater des Augustinum - Heidelberg, Germany
    15 January 2016 at 5:00 pm

  • The Tchaikovsky Files – Confessions of a Composer

    Kammermusiksaal der HfK Bremen - Bremen
    29 January 2016 at 6:45 pm

  • The Tchaikovsky Files - Confessions of a Composer

    Regal Cinemas South Beach - Miami
    23 April 2016 at 3:00 pm

  • Musik Web International

    "Pleger's film is […] of very much universal interest in the way it throws a distinctive light on Tchaikovsky as a human being." - Rob Maynard

  • Tschaikowsky-Gesellschaft

    "Pleger sets his film in the present day, forcing viewers to confront not just the historical fact of Tchaikovsky's homosexuality, but also its relevance for us now." - Philip Ross Bullock

  • Männer Magazin

    „An intense master piece“ - Kevin Clarke

  • CONCERTI

    „This film was long overdue. The documentary piece approaches the topic in a cool, open-minded and sophisticated manner free from any cliché. Biographical details and Tchaikovsky’s music are being discussed in an experimental and smart way opening new perspectives. Very enlightening!"