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Documentary “The Unanswered Ives” completed

Author: Accentus Music

Accentus Music has completed the first ever documentary about the most famous “weekend composer”, Charles Ives.

  • The Unanswered Ives | Copyright: © Accentus Music

    The Unanswered Ives © Accentus Music

  • The Unanswered Ives | Copyright: © Accentus Music

    The Unanswered Ives © Accentus Music

  • Charles Ives | Copyright: © Accentus Music

    Charles Ives © Accentus Music

As a teenager, he composes dance melodies as well as church hymns, becoming the youngest organist of all Connecticut at age 14. As a natural talent in sports, he is appointed captain of the football team at the elite Yale University before the former music student becomes the most successful life insurer in the United States. Charles Ives (1874-1954) is perhaps the most famous “weekend composer” of musical history – and is regarded today as the first composer of the modern age in America.

The phenomenon of the Yankee from Danbury is as paradoxical as his career: Ives decides to be a businessman and a “weekend composer”. While he is revolutionizing the insurance sector, his revolutionary compositions, which he creates in the evening and on weekends, were long ignored by the music world.

The Unanswered Ives is the first film about Charles Ives and a profound exploration of this extraordinary, multi-faceted personality. The 60-minute documentary sheds light on Ives' life and work in all its facets and inconsistencies. The film explores his musical world, with performances in churches, concert halls, or out in the open. Insurance brokers, musicologists, musicians and eyewitnesses give their own answers to the question which has hardly yet been answered today: who was Charles Ives?

The Unanswered Ives
A film by Anne-Kathrin Peitz
Produced by Paul Smaczny
Length: 52 minutes

A production of Accentus Music in co-production with WDR/Arte, supported by Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung.

Screener available!

Production Company Accentus Music GmbH
Co-Production Company WDR/Arte
Executive Producer Paul Smaczny
Producer Lothar Mattner
Director Anne-Kathrin Peitz

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