Documentary Projects

Daniel Vnukowski has taken part in numerous films in the role of pianist.

1) Walter Arlen’s First 100 Years. Stephanus Domanig’s portrait film covers the story of Walter Arlen’s life as he had experienced it in 1938/39 in Austria: the mental collapse and eventual suicide of his mother, the imprisonment of his father, and his own narrow escape to Chicago.
More information: https://www.viennale.at/en/films/erste-jahrhundert-des-walter-arlen
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39Jcvqrv9sg

2) Our Lady In The Kitchen (In production). Our Lady of the Kitchen chronicles what happens when Homeland Security Investigations Special Agents show up on the doorstep of a Los Angeles couple’s home to deliver the shocking news that one of their most cherished worldly possessions, a 16th century portrait of an unknown lady, had been looted by the Nazis from Poland’s National Museum in Warsaw.

3) Karol Rathaus. Daniel takes part in a special documentary produced in the U.S., honouring the life of exiled Polish composer Karol Rathaus. The documentary will trail the life of Rathaus from his humble beginnings in Tarnopol, to his studies in Germany and Austria, his harrowing escape journey throughout France and the U.K., and ending with his new life as a composer in exile in New York. Visit KarolRathausFilm.com for more information.

More Information about Karol Rathaus

Karol Rathaus is a fascinating composer, whose life remained permanently altered as a result of Hitler’s invasion in Europe. At one point, considered one of the greatest living ‘German’ composers of the early 20th century, his heyday proved to be ephemeral, and he eventually settled into a quiet academic life as an émigré teaching composition at Queen’s College in NY. It was upon hearing music from his ballet “Der Letzte Pierrot” that I became instantly captivated by the man and his art. This enthusiasm is something also shared by many of my colleagues upon hearing the score.

I am honoured to take part in this historically significant project. Each person on our cast has a similar mission in mind: to bring the story of Karol Rathaus to life. And then to share the process of discovery with our listening audience as we revel deep within the compositional intricacies that lie at the heart of his music.

Yet, Rathaus is neither quintessentially Polish, Austro-German or American. He is simply Rathaus – Rathaus, the great mind and true master of his craft. He is somebody who cannot be instantly categorized yet one can hear his very own, unique and personal voice emanate out of every phrase and harmonic conjunction.