National PBS Special Lifecasters Features the Story of Hartford Composer Albert Hurwit

Release Date: 12/31/1969


 

National PBS Special Lifecasters Features the Story of Hartford Composer Albert Hurwit  

Premieres Thursday, February 7 at 9 p.m. on Connecticut Public Television (CPTV); encore broadcast on Sunday, February 10 at 10 a.m.

 

HARTFORD, Conn. (January 25, 2013) A local Connecticut man is about to receive some nationwide attention from a new PBS special profiling his life.

 

Lifecasters – premiering on Thursday, February 7 at 9 p.m. on Connecticut Public Television (CPTV) with an encore broadcast on Sunday, February 10 at 10 a.m. – is an innovative special that tells the stories of Americans who have discovered creative ways of realizing their dreams…a bit later in life. The one-hour special consists of three segments, each directed by pairs of award-winning filmmakers. Emmy-nominated filmmakers Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly (in association with CPTV) produced one of the segments called “The Gambling Man,” a portrait of Hartford’s Albert “Alby” Hurwit, an 80-year-old retired doctor who could not read or write music, yet composed an award-winning symphony.

For his whole life, Alby Hurwit heard music in his head. Except for a few years in his childhood as an unremarkable piano student, Hurwit had no formal musical training. Instead he became a successful doctor with degrees from Harvard and Tufts Medical School.

 

In 1986, Dr. Hurwit left a fulfilling medical career in order to pursue his dream of composing music. Using the technology of computers, software programs and synthesizers, he has been able to translate the music in his head into audible and written compositions. The result was his award-winning Symphony No. 1, a piece which won the 2009 American Composer Competition and has been performed in the U.S. and internationally.  The other two segments of Lifecasters also chronicle the inspiring stories of individuals pursuing their art late in life. Hollywood filmmakers Adam McKay (Anchorman, Funny or Die) and Shira Piven (Fully Loaded) produced and directed “The Beast and the Angel,” a short film profiling MC5 guitarist and punk pioneer Wayne Kramer, chronicling his journey of finding hope and comfort through the gift of music. Oscar-nominated filmmakers Steven Bognar and Julia Rechert created “Sparkle,” the story of African-American dancer Sherri “Sparkle” Williams, one of the oldest professional dancers still practicing in the United States.

 

Producer/Director Gita Pullapilly commented on the idea behind Lifecasters. “There are so many talented individuals across the country finding ways to inspire, help and motivate others to achieve their full potential in life,” commented Pullapilly. “We hope Lifecasters will be a model for supporting creative, innovative endeavors and allow others across the country to take a chance on themselves.”

 

In addition to the broadcast, CPTV is recognizing the accomplishments of Hurwit with a special event. On Monday, February 4 at 7 p.m., CPTV will present an exclusive screening and performance event at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, including a screening of Lifecasters and a performance by Hurwit’s piece “Remembrance,” the third movement of his Symphony No. 1, performed by members of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra (including HSO Concertmaster and Violinist Leonid Sigal) and conducted by Michael Lankester.

 

About Connecticut Public Television

CPTV is a media service of the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network (CPBN). It is a locally and nationally recognized producer and presenter of quality public television programming, including original documentaries, public affairs shows and educational programming. CPTV has built a reputation as a leader in children’s programming, including playing an historic role in bringing Barney & Friends™, Bob the Builder™ and Thomas & Friends™ to public television. The station offers 11.5 hours of positive, nurturing children’s programs each weekday, reaching 50,000 to 70,000 households daily. The Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network also includes WNPR, an affiliate of National Public Radio, Public Radio International and American Public Media. WNPR serves 260,000 listeners weekly in Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island with news and information. Its award-winning local programming includes The Faith Middleton Show, The Colin McEnroe Show and Where We Live. CPBN also includes two affiliate channels: CPTV4U, a 24/7 television channel featuring award-winning drama, news and talk programming, concert performances, independent films, nature shows, British comedy and more; and CPTV Sports, Connecticut’s only 24-hour local sports network, covering statewide high school, college, semi-professional and professional sports. For more information, visit cpbn.org

 

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