Igor Toronyi-Lalic

RIP Alice Herz-Sommer

The 110-year-old pianist and oldest known Holocaust survivor, Alice Herz-Sommer, who was imprisoned in Theresienstadt concentration camp, has died. Her extraordinary life, which included childhood encounters with Gustav Mahler and Franz Kafka, latterly became the subject of several documentaries, the most recent of which, The Lady in Number Six, was this year nominated for an Oscar. A clip from it can be seen above.

In a BBC interview with Judith Herman, Herz-Sommer chose some of her favourite recordings, many of which were made when she was in her 90s and are miraculous:


More wit and wisdom and astonishing playing from the 105-year-old Herz-Sommer can be found in this clip from Christopher Nupen’s 2009 film Everything is A Present:

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