Mona Golabek, the renowned and internationally acclaimed American story-telling concert pianist, will be in Cape Town in August 2019 for just one recital of a unique and compelling aspect of the life of a Kindertransport child who achieved fame as a brilliant pianist.

Mona Golabek

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, titled The Children of Willesden Lane, forms part of a wider project to present the story to five thousand learners in Cape Town over two days.

Refusing to let go of dreams

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, and rose above persecution to 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.

What: Mona Golabek: The Children of Willesden Lane

Where and when: Cape Town City Hall at 7.30pm on 13 August 2019

Book: Webtickets

Additional: Mona Golabek will also present schools’ concerts to another 5000 children in Johannesburg and perform one recital on 7 August 2019 at the Linder Auditorium in Parktown. More information from Janine on 082 565 7603

WS