Alice Herz Sommer

(1903 – 2014)


Biography

A survivor of both world wars, Alice Herz-Sommer was born in Prague in 1903 to highly respected Jewish parents. Her family was part of cultural circles that involved Gustav Mahler and Franz Kafka and she became a successful child pianist during her time in the city. She was a finalist at the Vienna International Piano Competition and played to Artur Schnabel before war descended for the second time in her life.

Alice was imprisoned at the Theresienstadt concentration camp, which was supposed to be the 'model' camp. To show the rest of the world that the Nazis were treating the Jewish people well many concerts were held, and Alice became a central figure, performing in over 100 concerts over 2 years. Before emigrating to London in 1986 she lived in Israel, teaching at the Jerusalem Conservatory.  

In February of 2014, Alice passed away at the age of 110.


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Royal College of Music, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BS. Tel: +44(0)20 7591 4300 Royal College of Music, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BS.
Tel: +44(0)20 7591 4300
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