Pipe Dreams
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Pipe Dreams

  • BY Stacey Tenenbaum | IN Music
    Premiered June 22, 2020

About the Film

Who will come out on top at the Canadian International Organ Competition? Meet four ultra-talented organ players in the intense lead up to the CIOC, widely regarded as the Olympics for organ music and which attracts virtuosi under the age 35 from all over the world. In Pipe Dreams, these competitors grapple with personal pressures and anxieties as they push themselves to the limit.  MORE

Held every three years in Montreal, the prestigious CIOC demands the very best from young talent around the globe. Organists featured in Pipe Dreams are Yuan Shen, the daughter of China’s most famous organist, who believes that in order to win her will must be twice as strong as the strength and stamina of her competition; Alcee Chriss III of Texas, whose unique style and joyful playing is influenced by his musical background with gospel and jazz; Nick Capozzoli of Pittsburgh, who is willing to take big risks through performing obscure, modern music; and competitive newcomer 19-year-old Sebastian Heindl, the youngest person to ever compete in the CIOC, who taught himself to play at age 11 in the same town, Leipzig, Germany, as his idol and namesake Johann Sebastian Bach. 

Featuring personal at-home footage as well as a seat at the bench alongside these competitors at the CIOC, Pipe Dreams highlights the immense mental and physical discipline that the “king of instruments” demands from young musicians. Pipe Dreams challenges preconceived notions about an age-old instrument while introducing viewers to a new generation of passionate young organists, shining a light on the unexplored world of competitive organ playing.

The Filmmakers

Stacey Tenenbaum is an award-winning creative producer and director. In 2014 she founded H2L Productions, a boutique documentary film production company specializing in crafting character-driven stories shot internationally. H2L Productions’ first documentary feature The Art of the Shine, which Stacey produced, directed, and wrote, was broadcast on the Documentary Channel in the winter of 2018 and on PBS Independent Lens in the Spring of 2018. Pipe Dreams, a documentary feature about competitive organ players was broadcast on the Documentary Channel in 2019 and will air on Independent Lens. She is in development on Scrap, a character-driven environmental documentary, and Tough Old Broads, a film about groundbreaking women. Before turning her attention to film, Stacey worked in factual television for 16 years, producing and co-creating award-winning documentary series such as The Beat (CTV) and In Real Life (YTV). In 2012, Stacey was nominated for an International Emmy for In Real Life III. Stacey is known for her ability to find and connect with great characters around the world. She is passionate about making cinematic films filled with humor and heart. LESS

Film Credits

A Film by
Stacey Tenenbaum

Van Royko, CSC

Christina Clark
Van Royko, CSC

Director of Photography
Pierre-Etienne Bordeleau

Howard Goldberg

Original Music by
Tim Rideout

Line Producer
Sergeo Kirby

Sound Designer and Supervisor
Michel Gauvin

Sound Consultant
Emory Murchison

Sound Mix
Michel Gauvin

Dialogue Editor
Marie-Eve Livernoche

Sound Effects Editing
Bruno Ouelette

Additional Camera
Van Royko, CSC
Zacherie Fay
Sergeo Kirby

Emory Murchison
Lynne Trepanier
Carl-André Hernandez
Kim Nguyen
Pablo Villegas
Marco Fania
Julia Innes
Tobias Adam
Rowan October
Dave Sohanpal
Jianxi Zhang

Xiao Fei
Ricarda Kniesz
Hans Hartings

Production Assistants
Will Mackenzie
Guillaume Leuillet
Zion Saffer
Nick Frai
Allen Bleich
Bianca Malcolm
Toby Ennis
Richard Emmerson
Moritz Stern

Ricarda Kniesz
Hans Hartings
Toby Innis
Bianca Malcolm
Richard Emmerson

Trailer Editor
Nick Jewell

Post Production Supervision
Elisa Schwarz

Post Production Coordinator
Cara Di Staulo

Online Editor
Annaël Beauchemin

Charles Boileau, CSI

Assistant Colourist
Stéphanie Vaillancourt

Gwendal Creurer

First Assistant Editor
Gordon Hashimoto

Assistant Editor
Nick Jewell

Sound Mixer
Michel Gauvin

Li Li
Anna Hoppe

Christine Limoges

Nicolas Kalogeropoulos

E/O and Rights Lawyer
Vanessa Loubineau

Poster and Film Titles
Poster Comrades

Poster Photography
Emily Gan

Archival Materials Provided by
Alcee Chriss III
Annette Capozzoli
Crystal Cathedral Ministries & Hour of Power with Bobby Schuller
Dr. Thomas Heindl
Ethel Mitchel
Liya Ma
Matthias Knoch
Professor Shen Xiaoming
Reverend Alcee Chriss II

Music Rights Clearance
Julie Girard

Original music composed and performed by
Tim Rideout

Soundtrack recorded and mixed at
Fibii Media

“Poêmes pour Orgues Extraits III”
Composed by Thierry Escaich
Performed by Yuan Shen
© Gerard Billaudot Editeur SA

“Totentanz: Jig for the Feet”
Composed by William Albright
Performed by Nick Capozzoli
© Editions Peters Group

“Blue Skies”
Composed by Irving Berlin
Performed by Alcee Chriss
© Irving Berlin Music Company

“Troisième Sonata, Caconne”
Composed by Raymond Daveluy
Performed by Yuan Shen

“Etude pour Orgue #3 Vision Fugitive”
Composed by Bruce Mather
Performed by Yuan Shen
© Bruce Mather

Composed by John Cage
Performed by Nick Capozzoli
© Editions Peters Group

“Saga No. 6 Ikarus”
Composed by Jean Guillou
Performed by Nick Capozzoli
Schott Music

“Toccata from Suite op. 5”
Composed by Maurice Duruflé
Performed by Sebastian Heindl + Alcee Chriss III
© Universal Music Publishing

“Chest Fever”
Composed by Robbie Robertson
Performed by François Globensky
Recorded by Tim Rideout
© Sony ATV Music Publishing

“Etude Heroique Op. 38
Composed by Rachel Laurin
Performed by Sebastian Heindl
© Wayne Leopold Editions Ltd.

“Epilogue Op. 50”
Composed by Rachel Laurin
Performed by Alcee Chriss III
© Wayne Leopold Editions Ltd.

“Toccata op. 9”
Composed by Jean Guillou
Performed by Alcee Chriss III
© Schott Music

“Etude No. 4: Sixtes”
Composed by Jeanne Demessieux
Performed by Alcee Chriss III
© Editions Alphonse Leduc

“Sonata Eroica Op. 94”
Composed by Joseph Jongen
Performed by Nick Capozzoli
© Editions Alphonse Leduc

“Au Maître de la Paix III “
Composed by Jean-Pierre Leguay
Performed by Yuan Shen
© Editions Schola Cantorum SARL

“Cello Suite No.1 in G Major”
Composed by Johan Sebastian Bach
Performed by Dominic Desjardins
Recorded by Tim Rideout

“Douze pièces pour grand orgue"
Composed by Gaston Litaize
Performed by Alcee Chriss III
© Editorial Avenue

Additional Music by Audio Network

Special Thanks
Aletheia Temple Church, Fort Worth
Ann & Bill Gaynor
Art Capozzoli
Basilique Notre Dame, Montreal
Brigid O’Shea
Broadway Baptist Church, Fort Worth
Bruce Cowley
Canadian International Organ Competition
Central Conservatory of Music Beijing
The Chriss Family
Christ Church, Rochester NY
Crossfit Griffintown
Defender Outdoors Shooting Center
Eastman School of Music
Église de l'Immaculée-Conception, Montreal
Église Sacré-Coeur-de-Jésus, Montreal
Église Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Montreal
Eliza Parkinson
Fitzy’s Putt n Go
Hochschule Für Musik und Theater, Leipzig
Hotel de Paris, Montreal
Jean-Willy Kunz
Laurel Land Memorial Park, Fort Worth
Maison Symphonique, Montreal
Michael Barone
Mona Rozdestvenskyte
Mrs. Jacqueline Desmarais
Our Lady Grace Church, Pittsburgh
Rachel Mahon
Ridglea Presbyterian Church, Fort Worth
Sacha Jerabek
Sarah Svendsen
Schulich School of Music McGill
St. Albans Cathedral, UK
St. Albans International Organ Competition
St. Mathias’ Anglican Church, Montreal
St. Matthias Kirche, Berlin
Thomas Gaynor
Thomaskirche Leipzig

For documentary Channel
Senior Director      
Sandra Kleinfeld

Production Executive
Jordana Ross

Produced with the participation of SODEC - Québec Film Production Services Tax Credit and Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit (CPTC).

Investment Support provided by Rogers Cable Network Fund.

Funding Provided by
Telefilm Canada and the Rogers Group of Funds
Theatrical Documentary Program
Canada Media Fund
Rogers Documentary Fund
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Fund

Original Series Funding Provided by
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Wyncote Foundation
The National Endowment for the Arts

Pipe Dreams is a presentation of H2L Productions Inc. in association with documentary Channel.

This program was produced by H2L Productions Inc., which is solely responsible for its content.

© 2019 H2L Productions Inc. All rights reserved.

Did you know anything about the pipe organ before watching Pipe Dreams? How did it make you think differently about pipe organ music? Have you ever competed in any similar high stakes competition?
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Did you know anything about the pipe organ before watching Pipe Dreams? How did it make you think differently about pipe organ music? Have you ever competed in any similar high stakes competition?