Who was Carl Filtsch? Born in 1830 in Mühlbach, Transylvania, Filtsch was a musician and composer of exceptional talent, who captured
the imagination of some of the greatest minds of his time, including Frédéric Chopin, Franz Liszt, the Emperor Ferdinand I.
of Austria, and the young Queen Victoria. He filled concert halls and garnered high praise at an early age, rising comet-like
to the heights of international stardom – until fate struck. High expectations, a fast-paced lifestyle and an increasingly
demanding concert schedule exhausted him and cut short his triumphant career. In 1845, Filtsch succumbed to tuberculosis, just two
weeks shy of his 15th birthday.
Forty years ago, a group of forward-looking musicians and cultural experts rediscovered the life and extraordinary music of the
Transylvanian prodigy Carl Filtsch. But it was not until 1995 that an international competition for talented young and very young
musicians and composers was created in Hermannstadt (Sibiu), reawakening interest in the Transylvania Wunderkind.
Since then, the Carl Filtsch International Piano Competition has become a popular meeting place for music lovers and cultural
experts from around the globe.
WHY THIS SUBJECT TODAY?
We are eager to call attention to Carl Filtsch and his extraordinary music, because they not only represent our Transylvanian
identity, but the highest cultural achievement of a German minority that has shaped Transylvanian and European life over the past
800 years. But Filtsch’s dramatic life story also transcends borders, mesmerizing, confounding, and moving audiences the world over.
The subject of the highly gifted child is both timely and universal. It touches everyone, raising important questions about how far
to push a talented child and how to notice when he or she no longer playfully engages a talent, but is overwhelmed by it.
IT IS IN THIS SPIRIT that we want to create a film about this fascinating boy, who lived excessively and passionately, sacrificing
his life for his art; about his older brother, who mentored and lost him; about the beauty of music and the tragedy of life; about the
universal drama of great love and emotion.