For the Left Hand

For the Left Hand

A profile of Norman Malone and his story of  becoming a concert pianist – despite a violent attack by his father that left his right side paralyzed at the age of 10. We learn of this singular Chicagoan’s steadfast journey to his own orchestral debut at the age of 79 as the subject of this feature directed by two veteran Chicago filmmakers.

Malone’s own 34 year career as a Chicago public high school music teacher – and the lives he touched are entwined in the film with his own quest to commission and discover more music composed for the left hand.

A central musical composition in the film is French composer Maurice Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, commissioned by Austrian pianist Paul Wittgenstein, who lost his right arm during World War I – we discover Malone’s experience as he  performed the piece during his 2016 symphony orchestral debut.

“…a full emotional and musical experience”  Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

Festival Note
Watch an interview (new window) with one of the film’s directors on the show Chicago Tonight at the WTTW website with the show’s host Brandis Friedman.

Awards and Nominations

Heartland International Film Festival 2021, USA, Audience Choice Award, Documentary Official Selection, Winner


Gordon Quinn and
Leslie Simmer



Film Details

2021, 74 min

Proudly supported by the city of Belleville

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