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Alice Herz-Sommer, World's Oldest Pianist (and Holocaust Survivor), Turns 110

By Classicalite Newsdesk on Dec 02, 2013 02:31 PM EST

This Chanukah, the world's oldest pianist is celebrating her 110th birthday. Alice Herz-Sommer, these days resident in London, survived the Theresienstadt concentration camp to enjoy a distinguished career.

Although many of her family died in the Holocaust, she has said that she is happy--cherishing every day she is allotted. Born in Prague in November 1903, she was one of twins and also had an older sister who was her first piano teacher. Even before the Germans rolled into Prague, she had begun forging a reputation as a fine pianist and stayed to look after her mother when many in her family left. Her husband Leopold was sent to Auschwitz and later died at Dachau. After the war, Hertz-Sommer moved to Israel, where she spent most of her life playing and teaching music.

There are two films about her life, and her biography features an introduction by the late President of the Czech Republic, Václav Havel.

Herz-Sommer also appears in Daniel Hope's documentary about Theresienstadt.

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TagsAlice Herz-Sommer, Theresienstadt, Prague, Auschwitz, Dachau, Czech Republic, Václav Havel, Daniel Hope

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