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November 19, 2012 | Theatre,

Check out these Films, Books & Music related to THE PIANIST OF WILLESDEN LANE


Into the Arms of Strangers (2000)

This Academy Award-winning documentary, directed by Oscar-winner Mark Jonathan Harris (The Long Way Home) and narrated by Dame Judi Dench, tells the story of the kindertransport that Mona Golabek’s mother was a part of. In the 1930s, England recognized the horrors occurring in Nazi-occupied Europe and agreed to accept thousands of children as refugees into their country, placing them in hostels and foster homes. Hear the stories of those children—now elderly—who tell of being sent away from the place they grew up to find a new place called home.

The Pianist (2002)

Nothing can attest more to the deep connection of music in times of war than director Roman Polanski’s breathtaking and heartbreaking tale of Jewish-Polish concert pianist Wladyslaw Szpillman (brilliantly portrayed in an Oscar-winning performance by Adrien Brody). Szpillman’s uniquely survived the horrors of Nazi-occupied Warsaw by hiding out in the ruins of the ghettos. An unforgettable and wholly authentic account of a heroic talent, incredible perseverance, and the refuge of music in the worst of times.

Music of the Heart (1999)

Meryl Streep heads up a star-studded cast including Angela Bassett and Aidan Quinn to tell the story of a woman who wants to share her talent with the next generation. Roberta Guaspari lived in East Harlem teaching violin to inner-city children with great success—until the budget cuts came. Together with community members, Guaspari must fight for the good of her students in this inspiring testament to the power of music to bring us all together.


The Children of Willesden Lane by Mona Golabek and Lee Cohen (2003)

Read the book that inspired the creation of The Pianist of Willesden Lane! Here, Golabek along with co-author Lee Cohen tells an in-depth story of her mother, famed Jewish concert pianist Lisa Jura. One of the ten thousand children sent from Nazi-occupied Europe to England in the kindertransport, Jura spent six years living in London with other refugee children in the Willesden Lane hostel. This intimate portrait tells of the struggles and mountaintops Jura experienced during her time living away from her family and the support that her music provided her through it all.

Night by Elie Wiesel (1972)

Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel provides one of the most honest and harrowing accounts of the Holocaust in this masterful and poignant short memoir. Recounting first-hand experiences from Buchenwald and Auschwitz, Wiesel provides one of the most personable accounts of what it was like to live through the horrific Holocaust. Beyond the physical horrors, Wiesel delves into the psychological and spiritual deprivation that tortured those in the labor camps, as well as the guilt of losing family but remaining alive.

Far to Go by Alison Pick

In her second novel, Pick tackles the Holocaust through a unique lens: by interweaving one storyline of the Bauer family in Czechoslovakia during the Nazi regime in the late 1930s alongside a present-day narrative of a Canadian scholar specializing in the kindertransport who is intrigued by the Bauer’s tale of loss and grief and sets out to explore it. With both modern hindsight and the immediate history, Pick gives a unique angle to two sides of this startling event.


Carnival of the Animals by Mona Golabek & Renee Golabek-Kaye, et. al.

These delightful orchestrations of Romantic composer Camille Saint-Saens have delighted audiences of all ages for over a century. In this unique recording of the Grand Zoological Fantasy, the Golabek sisters perform with a full orchestra, layered with readings of Ogden Nash’s wonderful animal poems by fourteen celebrities including Audrey Hepburn, Betty White, James Earl Jones, William Shatner, and Joan Rivers. Originally a benefit performance for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Debussy: Greatest Hits

Re-visit the classic sound of Debussy with this varied collection of the landmark Romantic composer’s greatest work. Including recordings from orchestras and pianists all over the world such as the London Symphony Orchestra, Paul Crossley, and the Ensemble Wien-Berlin, this musical sampling covers the career of the beloved artist and includes treasured tracks such as the unmistakable “Claire de Lune.”

Lang Lang’s The Chopin Album

Celebrating  a long tradition of young concert pianists like Lisa Jura and Mona Golabek, international sensation Lang Lang releases his most recent recording of Romantic period Chopin compositions. Featuring several of Chopin’s famous nocturnes and even a waltz, this varied look at the legendary composer paired with Lang’s masterful use of the instrument provides for an excellent and atmospheric listening experience.

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