Synopsis by Nathan Southern
The International Violin Competition "Premio Paganini" (named after the 18th and 19th century violinist-cum-composer Niccolo Paganini) officially began in 1954 with a threefold purpose: it sought to nurture gifted young violinists, usher them into the international spotlight, and establish the city of Genoa, Italy as a prominent cultural center. Over the ensuing decades, it indeed became a virtual hotbed of dynamic talent for young and aspiring classical violinists and definitively put Genoa on the cultural map. The documentary Heart and Virtuosity: International Violin Competition travels behind the scenes of this perennial event for a look at the many exhaustive preparations that go into its launch - from the initial arrival of the jurors and contestants, to the various performances themselves and the announcement of the overall winner. Throughout, the documentary also sheds an intimate light on the mixed emotions and trepidation of the contestants as they receive encouragement from legendary musical predecessors.