3 Movies About Classical Music Conductors and Composers Every Fan Should See

In popular culture, it’s not often that classical music gets a spot in the proverbial spotlight. But more recently, two celebrated films have taken the subject up and earned critical and cultural praise—even many Academy Award nominations.

Videos by American Songwriter

Those films, Maestro and Tár, follow in the footsteps of another film from about 40 years ago, Amadeus, by depicting the burden and the beauty of some of the best at their crafts (albeit Tár deals with a fictional artist). Here below, we wanted to dive into these films to celebrate their efforts. Indeed, these are three films every classical music fan should see.

[RELATED: 3 Movies Every B.B. King Fan Should See]

1. Amadeus (1984)

This compelling, Oscar-winning movie tells the story of legendary Salzburg-born composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Though the film uses creative license, pitting the artist, who died at just 35-years-old, against another (though lesser) composer Antonio Salieri (played by F. Murray Abraham, who won the Oscar for Best Actor for his role), the general story of an oddball music writer with God-given talent shines through. This is a movie, really, for any fan of the cinema. But if you like classic music than stop what you’re doing and put it on now.

2. Maestro (2023)

The latest film from star director and actor Bradley Cooper tells the story of Lawrence, Massachusetts-born composer Leonard Bernstein. For his efforts, the film has earned Oscar nominations for Best Film, Best Actor and Best Actress. In it, Cooper plays Bernstein, a self-absorbed genius whose talent is both in composition and drawing attention. It’s a bit of a hard watch, as we see Bernstein’s wife Felicia Montealegre, played by Carey Mulligan, deteriorate as his career grows. Check out a trailer here below

3. Tár (2022)

Another recent film, this 2022 movie stars Cate Blanchett as fictional composer Lydia Tár. Like the two films above, this movie grapples with what it takes to become great. To what lengths should and could someone go to become the best in their field? The movie itself is incredible, earning Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress. Check out a trailer here below.

Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images

Leave a Reply

The Meaning Behind Huntley’s Pre-‘Voice’ Debut Single “Holdin’ On”