The Soloist : When Steve Lopez sees Nathaniel Ayers playing his heart out on Los Angeles skid row, he finds it impossible to walk away. More than thirty years ago, Ayers was a promising student at Juilliard Music Academy - ambitious, charming and hugely talented - until he gradually lost his ability to function, overcome by schizophrenia. When Lopez finds him, Ayers is homeless and paranoid, but glimmers of his earlier brilliance are still there. Over time, the two men form a bond, and Lopez imagines that he might be able to change Ayers' life. For each triumph, there is a crashing disappointment, yet neither man gives up. Their friendship will change both of their lives in ways that neither could predict.