"Composed is an essential work for anyone performing under anxiety -- musicians, actors, doctors, public speakers and more. The film opens a universe to those of us who welcome these solutions."

- Blair Tindall Mozart in the Jungle


Composed Documentary

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Through the lens of professional classical musicians, Composed explores the many ways we experience and can address performance anxiety. Faced with the judgment of peers, audience, conductors, and worst of all themselves, these musicians spend years trying to understand and overcome the physical and mental manifestations of their anxiety. Through their stories, we learn valuable lessons learned over a lifetime of professional performance; and we find that we are not alone in our quest to overcome the fear of failure and embarrassment. For anyone wanting to feel strength over fear and compassion over judgment, or simply seeking a closer look at anxiety and what makes us tick, Composed opens the door to a world of high stakes, high pressure, and peak performing.


“The film explores what without exception all of us, performers, have experienced and known well – first, love for our craft and stage, and then performance anxiety at the other end of this beautiful and exciting spectrum. Congratulations to the director John Beder and his team for completing this project and for inviting all of us to a meaningful and necessary conversation.”

– Maestro Christoph Eschenbach


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Composed offers a profoundly moving and honest exploration of some very familiar personal struggles, emotional limitations, and coping mechanisms told by classical musicians at various points of their careers. This film makes me feel that we are no longer left alone against our doubts, as I realize how many of these non-musical challenges we all have in common”


Composed reveals so much that I wish I’d known growing up as a performer: how the very best get nervous and find various ways to excel nonetheless. We need to be having these conversations out in the open, and Composed starts the process.


Performing artists know both the glories and the hazards of their vocation, but the challenges (be they physical, emotional, or psychological) are often confronted in loneliness and isolation. Composed will be a clear-eyed and multifaceted look into a broad issue affecting everyone in our field.”

JENNIFER MONTONE, Philadelphia Orchestra

Composed is an incredible gift to the world of performers! The wealth of information and opinions that John Beder has gathered will help all of us who feel performance anxiety while trying to play our best. I can’t wait to watch it and share it with my students!”

“The International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM) is proud to be a sponsor of John Beder’s groundbreaking film Composed. Orchestral musicians across the world contribute so much to communities everywhere, and play a vital role in education and economic development, all while enhancing the cultural environment of every city. To reach such a level of achievement as performers, musicians must confront many issues, and make many sacrifices in order to succeed. Composed will be an extraordinary film, personalizing musicians while allowing audience members to feel a closer association with their favorite performers. It will also be a uniting film for musicians. The full expression of any art takes bravery to explore human emotion. Musicians who overcome performance anxiety in order to aspire to make a statement of beauty for the world will be strengthened by the shared experiences revealed by this contribution to musical and artistic achievement.”

Bruce Ridge Chairman of ICSOM (2006 – 2016) 

The Cast of Composed

Eric Arbiter Houston Symphony, Dr. Robert Attaran Yale University, Leon Bosch Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Dr. Charles Brantigan Cardiology, Nathan Cole Los Angeles Philharmonic, Melissa Coppola University of Michigan, Mike Cunningham Mind Trainer, Matthew Decker Seattle Symphony, Brent Edmondson Lancaster Symphony, Christoph Eschenbach National Symphony, JoAnn Falletta Buffalo Philharmonic, Alison Gordon Mind Calm/Mind Detox Coach, Barry Green Author The Inner Game of MusicElizabeth Hainen Philadelphia Orchestra, Thomas Hooten Los Angeles Philharmonic, Eugene Izotov San Francisco Symphony, Max Michael Jacob Freelance Musician New York, Dr. Noa Kageyama The Juilliard School, Benjamin Kamins Shepherd School of Music, Gerald Klickstein Author The Musician’s WayRachael Lander Freelance Musician London, Jared Lantzy Hawai’i Symphony, Nate Martin Freelance Musician Maine, Kenneth Mirkin New York Philharmonic, Jennifer Montone Philadelphia Orchestra, Julie Jaffee Nagel Ph.D Author Melodies of the Mind, Louis Nagel University of Michigan, Peter Otto Cleveland Orchestra, Nicholas Pallesen Board Certified Hypnotist, Cindy Sadler Mezzo-Soprano Soloist, William Short Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin Detroit Symphony, Peter Slowik Oberlin Conservatory of Music, David Stewart Bergen Philharmonic, Brant Taylor Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Bill VerMeulen Houston Symphony, Robert Walters Cleveland Orchestra, Aaron Williamon Royal College of Music 

The Cast of Composed Continued

 Alan Baer New York Philharmonic, Costanza Casullo Freelance Musician London, Alison Chorn Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Germán Clavijo London Symphony, Emi Ferguson Flute Soloist, Tim Genis Boston Symphony, Anne Janson Vermont Symphony, Rob Knopper Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Maxine Kwok-Adams London Symphony, Daire MacMághnuis Freelance Musician Dublin, Giorgi Mikadze Jazz/Contemporary Pianist, Jeff Nelsen Jacobs School of Music, Diane Nichols The Juilliard School (formerly), Nicole Crespo O’Donoghue Freelance Musician London, Ruth Phillips Performance Coach, Paule Préfontaine Bergen/Ottawa Violinist, Douglas Rosenthal Kennedy Center Opera House/Washington National Opera Orchestra, Mimi Stillman Flute Soloist, Charlotte Tomlinson Performance Coach, Time for Three String Trio, Jim Wilt Los Angeles Philharmonic




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