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Alec Wilder Documentary Filmproject

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For those donating$50. or more, please contact me  by email. address at bottom.

 The Documentary Film project:

Some twelve years ago I began video recording interviews with friends and associates of American composer Alec Wilder. I then produced a twenty minute pilot film that included interview clips with Studs Terkel,
Gunther Schuller, Tony Bennett, Marian McPartland, Harvey Phillips, and Mitch Miller plus Wilder speaking.
Sadly,  7 of the 9 in the pilot have passed on as have many others too. Thankfully, I reached these individuals
and have them on film.

Alec Wilder, (1907-1980) was this country's unclassifiable composer. Our society likes to put labels on things and critics and reviewers could not place him in a slot. He never tried to follow 20th Century trends or styles, never tried to be fashionable, and wasn't avant-garde enough for that establishment. He just went his own way utilizing  some European techniques as he loved Debussy, and Faure, American folk music, jazz elements, and composed some of the most beautiful melodic  movements in his huge catalog of chamber music.

it is especially rewarding, Now, thirty eight years since his death to see a continual flow of new artists discovering, performing, and recording his songs and chamber music and quite heartening to see some of his chamber music becoming "standard repertoire" for flute, bassoon, saxophone, euphonium, and Tuba  and woodwind and brass quintet. This is rather remarkable since most of his chamber music was unpublished until near the end of his life. And, his chamber music is  regularly performed on recitals in colleges and universities throughout the United States.

Wilder  is uniquely American much in the same vein as Copland, Gershwin, and Bernstein but he never had the network support of those three. And, he did almost nothing to bring further awareness of his music, feeling "safe" composing primarily for his friends who he knew would not reject him. His lifelong shyness, lack of confidence in his composing, and abhorrence for promotion all kept him from gaining wider recognition.

The organization,  "Friends of Alec  Wilder" has presented annual tribute concerts of his music  
in New York City for more than thirty years. The group is helping keep awareness of Wilder's gifts and craft.

i submitted the pilot film several places over five years hoping to get an individual or company willing to produce a full length documentary film. All were very enthusiastic, but all said "if you can find the money."

It is my plan to produce a full length 55-60 minute film as I have an excellent film maker to work with.

All dollars received will go toward the cost of getting licenses, paying for use of songs, recordings, and photographs, pay for the actual film being made, possibly after filming audio enhancement, air travel,
postage, and possibly paying for a guest narrator.

it would be my hope that the finished product might
ultimately interest Public television, be shown at film festivals, and possibly receive international marketing.

I cannot begin to express what this film project means to me. First, with your help and the completion of this film we may be able to bring Alec Wilder much wider, long overdue  recognition,  For many of you who know me you're well aware of my efforts on Alec's behalf. He
was a great friend, mentor, and most influential in my life and career. Anyone wishing to know more of my association with him, just let me know and I will be happy to share details with you. Alec composed some
eight works for me (all recorded), and another three for my young daughter. I since have recorded three cd's of his music. Marimbist Gordon Stout and I formed the Wilder Duo in his honor in 1977 and performed and twice recorded the Suite Alec wrote for us.

For those unfamiliar with his music, please visit on-line:

alecwildermusicandlife and

Thank you for reading all this and supporting the project.  Please send me names and contact information
for anyone you think might be interested in supporting my project.

Together Now, WE can make this film HAPPEN!

As Alec often said, " I thank you from the top, middle, and bottom of my heart!"

Bob Levy

To receive awards for donations more than $50. please contact me directly:

[email redacted]


  • Judith Markovich
    • $100 
    • 4 yrs


Bob Levy
Long Beach, NY

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