Pipe Dreams

Pipe Dreams follows four young organists as they play to win the Canadian International Organ Competition. Who will come out victorious?

woman playing the organ
Independent Lens
Premiere Date
June 22, 2020
60 minutes

Stacey Tenenbaum

Stacey Tenenbaum is an award-winning creative producer and director. In 2014 she founded H2L Productions, a boutique documentary film production company specializing in crafting character driven stories which are shot internationally. H2L Productions’ first documentary feature Shiners, which Stacey produced, directed, and wrote, was broadcast Show more on the Documentary Channel in the winter of 2018 and on the PBS Independent Lens series in the Spring of 2018. Stacey is currently releasing Pipe Dreams, a documentary feature about competitive organ players which will be broadcast on the Documentary Channel in 2019 and on PBS Independent Lens in 2020. She is currently in development on Scrap, a character driven environmental documentary and Tough Old Broads, a film about ground-breaking women. Before turning her attention to film, Stacey worked in factual television for 16 years, producing and co-creating award-winning documentary series such as The Beat (CTV) and In Real Life (YTV). In 2012, Stacey was nominated for an International Emmy for In Real Life III. Stacey is known for her ability to find and connect with great characters around the world. She is passionate about making cinematic films which are filled with humor and heart. Show less

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The Film

Held every three years in Montreal, a city with a long-standing tradition of organ concerts, the Canadian International Organ Competition is open to virtuosi under age 35 from around the world.Pipe Dreams focuses on four of these ultra-talented organ players, each with their own pressures and abilities. For Yuan Shen, the daughter of China’s most famous organist, coming in second is not an option; she believes that in order to win against the boys her will must be twice as strong as their strength and stamina. Then there's Alcee Chriss III, from Texas, whose joyful playing is influenced by gospel and jazz. Alcee's friend and classmate, Nick Cappozoli of Pittsburgh, is willing to take big risks through performing obscure, modern music, such as a piece by John Cage. New on the competition scene is 19-year-old Sebastian Heindl, the youngest person to ever compete in the CIOC, who taught himself to play at age 11 in the same town, Leipzig, Germany, as his idol and namesake Johann Sebastian Bach.

Who will master the ‘king of instruments’ and come out victorious?