11 user 6 critic

They Came to Play (2008)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Music | 25 October 2008 (USA)
2:37 | Trailer
Chronicles the Fifth International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs, hosted by The Van Cliburn Foundation. Players from all over the world, ranging from self-taught to ... See full summary »


Alex Rotaru
1 win. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Henri Robert Delbeau Henri Robert Delbeau ... Himself
Mark Fuller Mark Fuller ... Himself
Clark Griffith Clark Griffith ... Himself
Ken Iisaka Ken Iisaka ... Himself
Slava Levin Slava Levin ... Himself
Drew Mays Drew Mays ... Himself
Suzanna Perez Suzanna Perez ... Herself
Richard Rodzinski Richard Rodzinski ... Himself
Esfir Ross Esfir Ross ... Herself
Kathy Trafton Kathy Trafton ... Herself


Chronicles the Fifth International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs, hosted by The Van Cliburn Foundation. Players from all over the world, ranging from self-taught to classically-trained, aged thirty-five to almost eighty, convene in Fort Worth, Texas for a week of intense competition, music and camaraderie. The film the film provides an intimate look into the lives of these colorful, multi-faceted competitors as they strive to balance the demands of work and family with their love of music. Years of dedicated preparation culminate in critical performances before a professional jury and discerning audience during three nerve-wracking elimination rounds. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


When your dream calls will you answer?


Documentary | Music


Not Rated


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Release Date:

25 October 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

They Came to Play See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Vault See more »
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User Reviews

A Musical Delight
18 February 2009 | by symphonic_beSee all my reviews

This movie is a joy to watch and clearly shows how to live life well no matter what we do for a living. It was well received at both Lincoln Center at Juilliard and at Rockefeller University.

The film brings explores the blessings that music brings us and it lifts us up in unexpected ways. It shows us how the spirit inside of each of us can be reborn and filled with love and passion even when we are in our darkest moment addicted to drugs and having lost everything. And through the human spirit of triumph, music can bring people together and become married and it can even drive them away from each other as result of their differing passion for the subject.

The film also shows us how music brings joy to a man afflicted by aids who soul searches for why he is different. And yet his message is deep for why he is alive while his partner had passed on. The film shows the goodness of this man and how special he is.

The film also shows how the love of music triumphs becoming a fearless force so that nothing can kill the hope, the dreams that one has even if we struggle with our hearing because of cancer.

I, also personally witnessed how the film inspired the audience. When watching the film, I sat next to a former Van Cliburn professional contestant from 40 years ago and the film made him contemplate the thought of playing again after putting down a deep love and career many years ago.

So this film is a passion that does not leave us no matter how life gets in the way. It brings people together the way music does. Its nature is that of music and it inspires us to live life well.

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