Small Wonders

Director: Allan Miller
Director of Photography: Kramer Morgenthau
Editors: Allan Miller and Donald Klocek
Producers: Susan Kaplan and Walter Scheur
Miramax; G; 120 minutes
Release: 10/96
With: Roberta Guaspari-Tzavaras, Isaac Stern, Itzhak Perlman, Midori, Mark O'Connor, Ani and Ida Kavafian and Arnold Steinhardt

This inspirational documentary deservedly earned a 1995 Academy Award nomination (it was formerly called Fiddlefest). Divorced mother Guaspari-Tzavaras taught music in the New York City school system until the budget ax eliminated her job. Dedicated to music and her students, she established a foundation and raised money to create her own violin program in three East Harlem schools. The film follows Guaspari-Tzavaras as she lugs her equipment from school to school, teaching students who range from young beginners to high-school students. The students' recitals include performing for an auditorium full of parents and playing the “Star-Spangled Banner” before a Knicks game at Madison Square Garden and a Carnegie Hall appearance accompanied by Isaac Stern and Itzhak Perlman.