147 Selected Cast and Crew
Dolores Wilber looks for ways to work with other people to make things together. How we live, work, abide and survive occupy her attention. Our physical bodies are always central to what she does. Intense research, site specificity, and multimedia activated by live interaction and collaboration are the methodology; culture, memory, the body, and connections to others are the content. She interrogates what is right rather than what is wrong, aiming to create historical documents that everyday people, artists and professionals, all experience the joy of doing together.
She is a Chicago artist, filmmaker and teacher at DePaul University. She has exhibited widely including in Chicago, Cleveland, Ann Arbor, London, Estonia, Portugal, Germany, and China. Her work has been supported through grants and fellowships from the Illinois Arts Council, the Chicago Park District Arts Partners Residency Program, the American Embassy Travel grants, the Ann Arbor Film Festival and a Peabody Award for the national public radio program This American Life.
Hodgdon has made over 20 independent short films which have won more than 30 national awards including: The Chicago International Film Festival, New York Filmmakers Expo, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Athens International Film Festival, Great Lakes Film Festival, etc. He has had one man shows at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C., and Chicago Filmmakers. Dana has produced and directed 100s of television commercials and corporate communications and training programs. Hodgdon teaches at DePaul University in the School of Cinematic Arts after teaching for 33 years at Northwestern University. While at Northwestern he created the MFA in Filmmaking program and chaired the committee which oversaw the design and construction of Louis Hall – Northwestern’s current Radio/Television/Film production center. During the summers he has worked for ESPN, ABC, and FOX as a Sports Producer and Videographer.
Won Jung Bae
Bae made her first film at the age sixteen and realized the power of visual storytelling. Her films have shown internationally and won all of the top honors a young filmmaker could dream of achieving in the US: the Directors Guild of America Award, the Kodak Cinematographers Scholarship, and the Student Academy Award. Spending her time between Chicago and Seoul, Bae has worked with Al Jazeera English, Sundance, and Kartemquin over the past 3 years.
Pete Biagi shoots narratives, commercials and documentaries. Recent projects include the feature films Thrill Ride (dir. Chris Parrish), The Drunk (dir. Paul Fleschner & William Tannoos), Leading Ladies (dir. Erika Randall & Dan Beahm), Under New Management (dir. Joe Otting) and I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With (dir. Jeff Garlin). Other features of note include Design (dir. Davidson Cole) and Stolen Summer (dir. Pete Jones) both of which were official Sundance Film Festival selections. Pete had the good fortune to operate camera on two Robert Altman films – The Company and A Prairie Home Companion.
Composer and Supervising Sound Editor
Robert Steel is a composer for cinema, theatre and other media. Recent credits include the films Junk Girl (Sound of Silent Film Festival 2015), 147 Pianos, Speed Dating, Sleepy Steve, Signals, Love at First Sight, Undocumented, Flat Chested, Scarlet, Reunion, The Mom Project, and Lobster Stew for Soprano and Virtual Instruments. Memorial for Soprano, Electronics and Video premiered at the University of Iowa in October 2013. He is on faculty at the School of Cinematic Arts at DePaul University where he runs the CDM Sound Studios. He is a recipient of After Dark awards, the DePaul University Excellence in Teaching Award, a University Research Council Grant, a Global Learning Experience Grant.
Joshua Russell has been a writer, director from an early age. Starting at 16, he spent ten years in an apprenticeship with world-class teacher and mentor Edward T. McDougal. Between 1997 and 2005 Josh ran two video production companies; wrote/co-wrote multiple screenplays; produced and directed several short films; received his BFA from NEIU; taught screenwriting and filmmaking in the states as well as abroad; worked as judge for the U.S. Film Festival and was a ghost writer and Unit Production Manager for the feature film DOG JACK. Joshua entered the indie film scene to immediate success after his directorial debut, FANCYPANTS, won a slew of festival awards and secured a limited theatrical release; his sophomore feature film, ABSOLUTION, has completed principal photography and will be released in 2015. Joshua has been a lecturer in the College of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University since 2007.
Vic Muenzer is Music Director of the Park Ridge Civic Orchestra (PRCO). Under his leadership the Park Ridge Civic Orchestra played to the first sold out concert in its history. Recent, highly praised performances conducted by Muenzer include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Orff’s Camina Burana. In 2016, he will conduct the Beethoven Violin Concerto with soloist Rachel Barton Pine and the Mahler Symphony No. 1, for the PRCO. Muenzer created three national radio series, each of which has had a long life on Public Radio. His company, CD Syndications, has specialized in creating radio shows that bring people into music and remove the mystery.
For Chicago-based artist Eric Reda, all things are music. His synesthetic response to the sounds of everyday life explores the intersection of music with language, performance and design. He has produced acoustic and electro-acoustic music, including opera, dramatic incidental music, orchestral works, instrumental and vocal chamber music, choral music, and musique concrete. Distinctly American and consciously accessible, his works often incorporate found texts and deconstructed aural samples
Reda was the founding Artistic Director of Chicago Opera Vanguard producing 2006-2013 from 2006-2013. His opera REAGAN’S CHILDREN premiered at Northwestern University in May of 2009. His second opera, THE SUITCASE OPERA PROJECT, a collaboration with solo performance artist David Kodeski, was workshopped at Queens University, Belfast, Norther Ireland, in 2011, and concert readings on the stage of the Pritzker Pavilion in 2012.
Savvas Paritsis a filmmaker, Editor, VFX artist, Colorist and Post Production specialist. Savvas has an MFA in Film & TV (NYU) and an MA in International Journalism (The City University, London). Before concentrating on editing and post, Savvas wrote, directed and shot several documentaries and short films, produced a live TV show and a weekly satire show in Greece and worked as a storyboarder (including VFX storyboards), cartoonist, comic-book artist, photographer, videographer, script reader, and so on. Currently teaching at DePaul University, Paritsis previously worked at Postworks NY as their Final Cut Pro online editor, colorist and post-production consultant.
StageTheophilus Jamal is a 2015 DVID Fellow with Kartemquin Films, and an Instructional Designer/ Video Producer for The Driehaus College of Business at DePaul University. He has worked professionally as an Camera Assistant for motion pictures and has managed for several prestigious film festivals including Sundance, South By Southwest, and Chicago International Film Festival. Theophilus is also a Second City-trained writer, coarse actor, torch-bearing film historian, drummer, world-traveler and an ordained minister with The Universal Life Church.
Pianist & Composer
Mikel Patrick Avery
Mikel Patrick Avery is a Chicago-based interdisciplinary artist, pianist and composer. He is also an established jazz drummer, recognized for his orchestral and melodic style of drumming that often involves the use of unconventional “non-musical” objects. A dedicated composer, photographer, producer and educator, in recent years, he has become an integral voice in Rob Mazurek’s, Moon Cycles, Joshua Abrams’, Natural Information Society, The Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, and Theaster Gates’, Black Monks of Mississippi. He leads several of his own projects including 1/2 Size Piano Trio, Mikel Patrick Avery *PLAY*. Mikel has performed at the Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park, the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), Documenta 13 (in Kassel Germany), Kepler Studio (Berlin), Guelph Jazz Festival, White Cube (London), MCA Chicago, and he has given a performance for President Barack Obama. For the 2015 Chicago Jazz Festival, Avery invented a piece that opened in the form of a parade and culminated with a stage performance…”a crazy parade – really connected to the neighborhood”. The commission to Avery is a collaboration with the Rebuild Foundation. The project has been developed in conjunction with the Hyde Park Jazz Festival’s Story Share Project, in response to stories collected with residents in the neighborhood around the Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative Chicago.
Munkhshur Enkhbold (SHUREE), 23 year old a pianist from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, where she began her piano studies at age four. By age six she was accepted to the Music and Dance College, and at sixteen she went to the University of Culture and Arts for a Bachelor of Piano Performance. Shuree gave her debut at the Opera and Ballet House in her sophomore year, and in 2010, performed Prokofiev’s Concerto No. 3 with the Mongolian Philharmonia Orchestra, working as her own artist manager by fundraising, promoting, and marketing. Shuree completed her undergraduate degree and graduated from an art management program organized by the Arts Council of Mongolia after which she was invited to work as a general manager of the International Jazz Festival with Giant Steppes of Jazz. Shortly thereafter she went to Norway for the Oslo World Music Festival as part of a fellowship delegation. Shuree came to the USA in 2012 to pursue a Master’s degree at DePaul University, where she awarded with “Merit Scholarship” and studied with George Vatchnadze. In addition to two solo recitals, she performed in the Baroque Ensemble, 20th-Century Ensemble, and Wind Ensemble, DePaul Christmas Chamber Orchestra. She also performed at the “Keys to the City” piano festival, hosted at the Field Museum in Chicago. In 2013, she performed Chopin’s Scherzo No. 3 in the “147 pianos” documentary movie. Shuree is a proud candidate of the “Young Leaders Program 2014 – New York,” which was organized under the auspices of the President of Mongolia under the topic of “Prudent Public Financial Management.” Shuree recently joined the studio of Roberta Rust at Lynn University to pursue a Professional Performance Certificate where she received full-tuition scholarship. She won the Lynn Concerto Competition with Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G and performed under conductor Guillermo Figueroa with the Lynn Philharmonia Orchestra in 2014. Recently, she attended Rebbecca Penneys International Piano Festival in Tampa, FL representing Mongolia. She has attended master classes with Paul Lewis, Shinya Okahara, Rebecca Penneys and Tannis Gibson.
Marvin Tate is a performance poet, lyricist, published author, collected visual artist and educator. His recent collaborations with Sound-Artist Joseph C. Mills and Video/Performance Artist, Jefferson Pinder highlight his ability to combine spoken word and performance. His collaboration with singer songwriter Tim Kinsella in a project titled Tim Kinsella Sings the Songs of Marvin Tate with Leroy Bach and Angel Olsen, released on Joyful Noise Records (2013) is a testament to this. Tate was recently awarded a grant from the Poetry Foundation to teach poetry in The Statesville Correctional Center(for men), and was selected by The Propeller Fund to revisit his old neighborhood in North-Lawndale, Chicago to produce a series of performances called Public Singing. Tate is the founder and ringleader of the legendary funk band D-settlement, a funkadelic-infused band that continues to receive critical acclaim after forming in the late nineties.
Lukas Piano Owners
In my pre-teen years, the late 1940’s, music always touched me deeply—even before I had any education. A Tchaikovsky Symphony on the old table radio program—“Voice of Firestone” as my mother sat sewing in the evening—and on the other hand, the “rinky-tink “ sounds of barrel-house playing, and of course, all the many poetic tunes of the Great American Songbook, as coming from “Tin-Pan Alley “ inspirations—not to forget a few piano roll pianos around that were STILL operating (barely).
A neighborhood trend in the late 1940’s and early 50’s came around with accordion lessons looming in popularity in the ethnic neighborhood I was raised in—and some training in that instrument was my first formal musical experience, which was only a brief one. (I used to lay the accordion down on the edge of a bed, and WISHED it would allow me to play it THAT WAY, with both hands, WITHOUT opening and closing the accordion) After I entered high school however, I was approached by the orchestra leader asking IF i would like to follow in my brother’s footsteps as an orchestra member, and learned to play the cello. I was INTRIGUED and flattered, and applied myself earnestly, forming a LOVE of that instrument and Orchestral Music until THIS day.
But, I always had a lingering attraction to the piano—even from the most early years, in something as “minor “ as passing by a furniture store window, seeing a small piano displayed there—as IF a “piano-magnet “ had been turned on—and I was being “pulled toward it“! At fifteen years old, I bought a piano from a local newspaper ad, for $50 dollars—it turned out to be a player piano, no less—an acquaintance of my father, Mr. Bob—was called in to tune this piano, and he offered to teach me to play it also—the rest was history! The relationship progressed into training in repair and tuning, along WITH the piano playing lessons in the years that followed. I was “groomed “ in the style of “Stride Piano” playing—STILL, one of my All Time Favorites! (The Classical Taste in music, was NOT forgotten, but reserved for serious listening aside from piano playing). I often thought how poor it would seem NOT to have formed that taste for the Classics, too!
I was strongly influenced in these various musical experiments and enrolled as a Music Major in a Chicago at a Junior College—but, I found out that I was more “ attuned “ to the aura that the piano represented in my character —and I wanted to pursue the technology of repair & rebuilding of pianos MORE than being a professional performer—and my talent and motivation was very much evident , geared to those pursuits, rather than the usual musical pathways !
I tried applying to the waning piano factories STILL remaining in the Chicago South Side area, but was turned away at the door, saying I was TOO YOUNG and INEXPERIENCED—so, again, through the efforts of Mr. Bob, was introduced to piano retailers that gave me work since I was very affordable to them, and had a “ sponsor “ to vouch for my abilities. This proved to grow into the “ experience “ that i could not find elsewhere—and AWAY I WENT!
In my “ insider “ piano circuit of dealers and piano workshops, I landed into my most viable & interesting “ specialty “ in piano rebuilding, which was “ restringing “ —which ALL worthy pianos need after a few generations out in the field, and especially dealers who want to resell them as good used pianos properly restored. I worked very diligently at the Niche i carved out for myself in that specialty—a task that many other techies, did NOT like, or NOT VERY GOOD AT, and WHICH was very hard work—so, i “ slugged-away “ at this for several DECADES as my main income producing aspect of the profession, postponing further application of effort to “ my collection waiting ! “
However. THAT part of a piano is only the “ critical HALF of what makes a piano SING & PERFORM WELL—the other HALF is all the Mechanical Action Parts that comprise the way to DELIVER the SOUND—which finally COMPLETES the round of piano makeup—
But, along the way of having a shop of my own, i began to collect numerous pianos that CAME MY WAY, NEEDING A HOME, BEFORE THEY WERE “TRAGICALLY“ DISCARDED—and, until I had TIME, perhaps in my later years– for the enjoyment of SEEING and HEARING them brought to their POTENTIAL AGAIN, sometimes EVEN IMPROVED with additional Love & Care that the original makers could NOT AFFORD the Time-Wise and Effort-Wise to LAVISH on them, when first made!
Along with MY work and interests on the many demands for complete rebuilding , came the long association of over 45 years I’ve had with my Co-Worker Sylwester, the important aspect of Artistic Piano Cabinet Refinishing, that COMPLETES the circle of how a piano IS supposed to LOOK, in it’s ENTIRE STATEMENT as being a Musical Instrument and Esthetic Work of Art, in many cases——When these units were first made, they were the products of highly experienced CRAFTSMEN whose LIFE was dedicated to their Art & Craft—which lent them RESPECTFUL DIGNITY in their day, for their efforts and what they produced—it’s an HONOR to think that SYLVESTER AND I can hopefully follow in their footsteps and PRESERVE what THEY CREATED, which will Never be Duplicated AGAIN, leaving some that “ PIANO MAGIC “ behind for OTHERS to enjoy and be infatuated with as WE WERE !
Sylwester Benedykt Czajkowski was born January 14, 1947 in Warsaw, Poland. He developed an early interest in music and took piano lessons during his childhood and adolescence. He played mandolin in the school orchestra and later took up the guitar, following his love of the blues and folk music. Throughout college years, while studying foreign languages (American English and Russian), his musical interests became increasingly more eclectic, to include jazz, R&B, rock and what later came to be known as world music. During that time he began free-lance work as translator and interpreter which eventually led to a full-time position as editor with Jazz Forum International Magazine, English Edition (1968-1974).
It was in 1974 that he obtained a Master of Arts degree in Applied Linguistics from the University of Warsaw, his Alma Mater. The subject of his thesis was African American Idiom, based on speech patterns and expressions predominant among jazz and blues musicians.
That same year he moved to the United States and made Chicago his home. Initially he did free-lance work as translator and legal interpreter. At the same time, he developed and interest in instrument building and completed a work-study course in guitar making, under private tutorship (1975-1977). In 1977 he began specializing in piano restoration which turned out to be his true calling. In 1978 he met Edward LIsauskas, a fellow piano enthusiast and a Chicago-based piano technician who, like Sylwester, considered piano work his labor of love. Thus began a long collaboration which, through several incarnations, led to the formation of Lukas Piano Service in 1992, at 1500 S. Western Ave. in Chicago. Together they have provided custom piano restorations for major piano dealers and institutions, as well as a large number of private piano owners and collectors in the Chicago area. They operate a full service piano shop which includes specialty installations of electronic player piano systems.
Thirty eight year later, Sylwester continues his pursuit of excellence in piano work—his craft and his passion.