Talent Has Hunger: Documentary delves deep in to the life of young musicians, and their teacher

Lev Mamuya and Paul Katz

There are no manuals for how to become a great cellist. It can’t be learned on YouTube. It requires hard work and immense dedication, and it also requires a teacher, one human, who will pour his/her soul into giving musicians the tools to find their own expressions of their own souls.

What a thing that is! It’s the ultimate example of oral tradition, an unbelievable testament to the power of one individual to impact the world. It’s a beautiful and fragile thing, because in today’s fast-paced and digitally wired world, one-on-one connection is rare. The power of that connection is one of the the reasons that music must remain, as filmmaker Josh Aronson said, “the thing that keeps the world sane.”

Aronson, the director and producer of the documentary, Talent Has Hunger, spoke to a capacity crowd at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston after the premiere of the film on March 11, and went on to say he hoped that his film would reach a wider audience than those in the room. After seeing it, we hope so too. 

Whether you are a musician yourself, or simply a fan, you’ll appreciate this window in to the life of aspiring young musicians, and the teacher who guided them. Talent Has Hunger features multiple From the Top alumni, including cellists Lev Mamuya and Sebastian Bäverstam. We follow Lev and Sebastian’s progression over seven years, as they are taught by the inimitable Paul Katz of New England Conservatory, one of the most sought-after and respected cello instructors in the world. You’ll even see some footage from Lev’s first appearance on our radio show, back in 2008.

Many other From the Top alums also make appearances, including Daniel Hass, Leland Ko, and Tony Rymer, to name a few. And you might catch a glimpse of our Education Program Manager (and cello alum) Michael Dahlberg

Check out the trailer below, and if you are in a market where this film is playing, we recommend it highly. It’s a lovely and immersive experience, that left us feeling incredibly grateful for teachers who help musicians become the best versions of themselves.

TALENT HAS HUNGER – Official Trailer from First Run Features on Vimeo.