“A lot of people say ‘prodigy’ to me, because they think I am good. ‘The 15-year-old prodigy.’ If someone has talent, if someone is good at what they do, they say prodigy. Personally, I don’t think that’s fair. People don’t get what is behind that one hour that you’re on stage. They don’t get that to be on that stage, I had to practice for ten years.”
Clarissa Bevilacqua, a 15-year-old violinist living in Italy, describes the double-edged sword of being dubbed a “prodigy.” She is one of the three young classical musicians who come together to perform as a trio in Hear Us, an hour-long program that first airs on WTTW this Monday, November 5.
The program features two more young musicians: 19-year-old American cellist Daniel Kaler, the son of two world-renowned violinists and 27-year-old Syrian pianist Rada Hanana, who was forced to flee her home country. Clarissa performed onstage to a packed Millennium Park crowd at Rahm Emmanuel’s 2011 Mayoral inauguration when she was just 9 years old. Daniel has appeared on WFMT’s Introductions and is a student at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Clarissa had known Daniel since she’d been a pupil of his violinist parents. She brought the trio together when she met Rada via an internet platform called Musical Overture, a website the trio later used to rehearse and perform.
We know the names of the great performers, and we marvel at the exceptional talent of young artists. We may think we know the young artists’ stories, but Hear Us takes us behind the scenes, immersing us in the process of becoming a world-class soloist and collaborating with artists from around the world.
The documentary shows each artist as they tell their early encounters with music and share what sparked their passion. The program then goes on to depict the trio’s continent-spanning musical collaboration, made possible through groundbreaking technology, and the obstacles they face in trying to bridge these gaps.
These difficulties far surpass the intensive musical training that the artists have excelled in. Rada, a Syrian refugee, had to flee her hometown of Damascus and has lived in seven refugee camps. She now lives in Germany.
Hear Us tells the story of how these three talented young artists overcome incredible odds to perform together.
Hear Us airs Monday, November 5 at 9:00 pm. For a full schedule of airings, click here.