Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 20, 2021

Crescendo! The Power of Music

Year: 2014
Country: United States
Run Time: 85 minutes

Crescendo! The Power of Music
Crescendo! The Power of Music
Crescendo! The Power of Music
Crescendo! The Power of Music
Crescendo! The Power of Music

“El Sistema” was created 38 years ago in Venezuela to help foster social change by building youth orchestras among disadvantaged children. It has grown into a musical movement, counting among its graduates Gustavo Dudamel, the charismatic Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. CRESCENDO! THE POWER OF MUSIC follows students in two “Sistema”-inspired youth orchestra programs: “Play On, Philly!” in West Philadelphia; and the Harmony Program in Harlem, New York City. The film’s young musicians struggle against significant emotional and cultural roadblocks, sometimes set up by their own families. We meet Raven, a natural violinist whose rambunctiousness gets her in trouble (“Fortissimo, y’all!”); Zebadiah, an introspective boy who makes friends via the viola; and Mohammed, whose father insists he quit the trombone if he keeps failing classes. Music educators Stanford Thompson and Anne Fitzgibbon are heroes in these kids’ lives, helping them and countless others unlock their potential through the inspirational power of classical music. – B.B.

CIFF39 Screenings

Tower City Cinemas

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 at 6:50 PM -
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 at 8:15 PM

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at 2:25 PM -
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at 3:50 PM

African Diaspora
Family Films

ReelWomenDirect Award for Excellence in Directing by a Woman
Music Movies Competition

Related Daily Postings
Inspiring Performances at Tower City Fountain


Jamie Bernstein

Jamie Bernstein is a narrator, writer, and broadcaster who has transformed a lifetime of loving music (nurtured by her father, conductor-composer Leonard Bernstein) into a career of sharing her knowledge and excitement with others. She travels the world as a concert narrator, appearing everywhere from Beijing to Caracas to Vancouver.


Jamie Bernstein, Elizabeth King

Ben Bloodwell, Claudia Raschke

Jonathan Oppenheim

Film Contact

Media Partner


Questions? >


Check out our extensive CIFF45 FAQs for answers to all your CIFF45 Streams questions.

Donate >


Your donation helps fulfill our mission to promote artistically and culturally significant film arts through education and exhibition.

Sign up for our email newsletter

  • facebook
  • twitter
  • instagram
  • youtube
  • flickr
  • alexa
  • foursquare



We promise you, it will make a difference!

Give Today