In Saturday’s (5/24) Euclid Sun Journal (Cleveland), Peter Chakerian writes, “Retired Cleveland Orchestra bass player and music instructor Harry Barnoff has seen a lot during his career, but nothing moves or pleases him more than the recent events surrounding one of his former students—a child cello prodigy named Nathaniel Anthony Ayers, Jr. Ayers’ journey is explored in the film ‘The Soloist,’ starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr. … Ayers’ journey as a musical genius en route to the Juilliard School of Music and beyond started here with Barnoff, who lives in Highland Heights. Some scenes in ‘The Soloist’ were also shot in Greater Cleveland. ‘Nathaniel had a lot of this innate talent and ability,’ Barnoff said. ‘He seemed destined for greatness. I had students who became doctors or lawyers; I was convinced Nathaniel would thrive in music because of his love and passion for it.’ … In the film, as in real life, Ayers (played by Foxx) is discovered by Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez (Downey, Jr.). Lopez wrote for the Times about the tribulations of the young lost soul he befriended. … Ayers remembered many things, including Barnoff’s phone number. He gave it to Lopez, who quickly reached out to the musician’s former instructor.”

Posted May 26, 200