Report on our visit of the concert “The Pianist of Willesden Lane” in the Musikverein

On November 29th our class and 3B were invited to a special concert. American pianist Mona Golabek told us the story of her mother Lisa Jura, also a pianist, who had to leave Vienna in 1938 and lived a special life at a terrible time in history. In a way her music saved her life.


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Lisa was Jewish, and we learned how badly Jewish people were treated during the Nazi period. Her beloved piano teacher wasn’t allowed to teach her any more. Lisa’s father was forced to clean the road with a toothbrush and beaten up. Jewish people were taken away everything they owned. They had to wear a yellow star badge identifying them as Jews, which stigmatized them. Many Jews were killed.

Lisa had to leave her family from one day to the next and was lucky that she could get one of the rare tickets for the train. She could only take a few things with her on a so-called Kindertransport to England. One the one hand it saved a lot of Jewish children from death and the terror of the Nazis, on the other hand it was bad that children had to go to another country without their families, most of them without even knowing the language there.

We found one of the most remarkable things in the story that Lisa made other people happy by playing the piano although her life wasn’t easy. Her mother had told her to hold on to her music and to make something out of her life.

We especially liked to hear Lisa’s story from her daughter, who was also playing the piano on stage, so the concert got a personal touch. Many of us liked the combination of storytelling and piano concert, which made the story more thrilling. She chose music that filled the scenes out, and she played many of the songs that Lisa had played. Some of us had some difficulty to understand everything. But she also showed us some pictures and then we knew more.

We learned a lot about the 2nd World War, the Holocaust and the Kindertransports. For parents then it might have been helpful to know that their children were save. But it definitely wasn’t easy for them to let them go without knowing if they would see their children again. Lisa’s parents were deported and killed. But she kept her promise to her mother and became an excellent musician and piano teacher.


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