The Sudden Pianist is the remarkable story of composer and pianist Michael Hersch. While much has been written about Hersch's gifts as a composer, his astonishing abilities at the piano have been witnessed by few, as he shuns most public performances. Filmmaker Richard Anderson has created an intimate portrait, shedding light on this aspect of Hersch's music making with never before seen or heard footage of Hersch performing his own work at the piano - from his debut to the present day. There are also rare interviews throughout with Hersch. The film is a moving journey into the mind of one of America's most unique artists.
"... a startling talent." - The Baltimore Sun
"If the symmetries and proportions of Mr. Hersch's music evoke the grounded fixity of architecture, its dynamism and spontaneous evolution are those of the natural world. Its somber eloquence sings of truths that are personal yet not confessional ... Within the sober palette, the expressive power and range are vast."
- The New York Times
"The best insight came with Hersch at the piano ... a stunning vituosity
that dropped one's jaw."
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"profound, visionary ... Hersch writes as though his life depended on it, as
though everything were at stake."
- The New Criterion
“Hersch's language never hesitates to leap into the abyss - and in ways that, for some listeners, go straight to parts of the soul that few living composers touch.”
- The Philadelphia Inquirer
"... astounding facility at the keyboard."
- International Piano
"... a unique voice in American music: he doesn’t follow any formula,
just his own potent instincts."
- Atlanta Journal-Constitution