Mona Golabek, the renowned and internationally acclaimed American story-telling concert pianist, will be in Cape Town in August for just one recital of a unique and compelling aspect of the life of a Kindertransport child who achieved fame as a brilliant pianist.
Ms Golabek, whose presentation of words, images and music has captured the attention of critics and audiences across the UK and America, will relate how her mother, the equally acclaimed concert pianist Lisa Jura, created a life and a career under dark circumstances with a message of hope.
Lisa Jura arrived destitute in London 81 years ago as a 14-year-old as one of 10 000 mostly Jewish children escaping the threat of the Nazis in Germany and Austria, and went on to inspire many.
The concert, the Children of Willesdon Lane, which forms part of a wider project to present the story to five thousand learners in Cape Town over two days, takes place at the City Hall on August 13 and has been an inspiration to hundreds of thousands across the world.
Mona Golabek – Children of Willesdon Lane
Ms Golabek, who is acclaimed not only for her story telling but for her technical expertise and musicality, will play music that sustained her mother in her time of crisis and adjustment to a new life, alone, away from family.
A poignant tribute, it includes passages from Golabek’s book of the same title which paints emotionally and graphically what her mother experienced. Golabek’s aim, she says, is to show there is no place for bigotry and hatred in the world. It is the story of a child who refused to let go of her dreams, to rise above the persecution and shine on concert stages internationally.
Called “powerful” by the Washington Post, the music Ms Golabek has chosen is integral to the story which traces young Lisa’s life from her Viennese home to her new beginnings in London as a factory seamstress, turning to the piano for sustenance and solace. Personal anecdotes abound, punctuated tellingly by meaningful music from Debussy and Grieg to Beethoven and Rachmaninov.
WHERE & WHEN: Cape Town City Hall, Darling Street, Cape Town 8001 at 19:30 on August 13
TICKETS: R165/R195 from Webtickets and include sponsorship to transport one learner from underprivileged schools to a schools’ performance. More information on the Cape Town performances from Dianne at 021 462 5553.
Ms Golabek is also presenting schools’ concerts to another 5000 children in Johannesburg and one recital on August 7 at the Linder Auditorium in Parktown at 19:00. More information from Janine on 082 565 7603.