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Surviving the Holocaust - Alice Herz Sommer

by Martin Anderson
posted 23 May 2006

Now over 100 years old, the concert pianist Alice Herz Sommer has led an extraordinary life. She was born in Prague into a musical Jewish family - her mother played with Gustav Mahler as a child. 

Alice and her son Raphael, a gifted cellist, survived the Holocaust and moved to Israel and then to London.

Although Raphael sadly died in 2002, Alice continues to lead an extraordinarily active life, filled with her music and her studies, her friends and her family. To mark national Holocaust Memorial Day, she tells more of her own story to Judi Herman and plays her favourite recordings, including of some of herself and her son Raphael.

Here is the URL for Alice Herz Sommer’s Radio 4 interview, broadcast at the end of January: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/womanshour/2006_04_fri_04.shtml

Roundly amazing.

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The Jewish Music Institute is an independent Arts organisation based at SOAS, University of London. It is an international focus bringing the ancient yet contemporary musical culture of the Jews to the mainstream British cultural, academic and social life. Its programmes of education, performance and information highlight many aspects of Jewish music throughout the ages and across the globe for people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures.