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Home Event World's Oldest Known Holocaust Survivor’s 110th Birthday to be celebrated in New York through leadership of author...

World’s Oldest Known Holocaust Survivor’s 110th Birthday to be celebrated in New York through leadership of author Caroline Stoessinger

World’s Oldest Known Holocaust Survivor’s 110th Birthday

to be celebrated in New York through leadership of author Caroline Stoessinger

New York author (A Century of Wisdom: Lessons from the Life of Alice Herz-Sommer) and Mozart Academy founder Caroline Stoessinger is leading the New York celebration of the 110th birthday of Alice Herz-Sommer, the world’s oldest known Holocaust survivor, whose spirit of survival has been made possible by her lifelong love of music. The New York celebration is focused on these two events:

 

A Random House event in collaboration with the Anne Frank Center 

Remarks by Caroline Stoessinger followed by book signing.

Alice’s Apple Cake baked by Stoessinger herself) from Alice’s own recipe in A Century of Wisdomwill be served.

A Random House event in collaboration with the Anne Frank Center 

Remarks by Caroline Stoessinger followed by book signing.

Born in Bohemia and a musician from an early age, Alice played more than 100 concerts in the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp for her fellow prisoners, giving them respite and hope.  Alice’s life offers many lessons for us all regarding resiliency and the power of music to sustain us in the most difficult of times.

Stoessinger not only wrote a prize-winning book, A Century of Wisdom, about the real-life Alice who has survived the best and most evil of times; she is also celebrating Alice’s triumphant 110th birthday worldwide.

Stoessinger is on a mission to make the story of Alice’s life in forgiveness and music known to all in search of a meaningful life. Alice has never forsaken music and music has never forsaken Alice.

Alice’s life is inspiring for the world because she has lived so well for 110 years and still counting. Stoessinger believes Alice’s long life and especially her clear mind are attributable to her ability to live in a state of forgiveness and forgoing bitterness and hatred.  And Alice has lived and continues to live her life in music. Alice practices and plays for the love and comfort of music.

Despite the fact that the Nazis destroyed her career, she has continued to play for music alone.  She is not bitter about her career.  Music is her friend, her solace. She is the only person known to be able to play works by Back, Chopin and Schubert at 110.

Alice has never forsaken music and music has never forsaken her. Even in the concentration camp, Alice took hare concerts as seriously as if she were playing in Carnegie Hall. The surreal concerts in Terehesienstadt Concentration Camp inspired comfort and hope in the prisoner audience. Music is Alice’s language. She practices music for the sake of music alone. Alice’s life in music is transcendent.

Ms. Herz-Sommer lives independently in London, still practices piano three hours daily (Bach and Schubert in particular), and speaks five languages. She will celebrate her 110th birthday on Tuesday, November 26. As a tribute to the living legend of Ms. Herz-Sommer, Ms. Stoessinger is leading the following celebratory events here in New York. The resiliency of Alice Herz-Sommer and the endeavors of New Yorker Caroline Stoessinger in furthering Alice’s legacy will be of great interest to many.

About Caroline Stoessinger

Elie Wiesel said  “Caroline Stoessinger has educated thousands and thousands through her writing and production of unique, inspiring programs.”

Stoessinger, a New York City pianist and President and Founder of The Mozart Academy, believes music is as basic to education as reading and writing.  “Music is a language which must be nurtured in every child.”

One of the Academy’s graduating students was just accepted into Princeton on full scholarship. The Mozart Academy is the only pre-college music school in the US to accept all students for private lessons tuition free.”  Stoessinger says, “Talent does not recognize race, religion, nationality or bank accounts.” This is the reason the Academy teaches beginners who otherwise would miss the opportunity. The Academy’s student body is a miniature United Nations of children from Rwanda, Kenya, Israel, Russia, South Africa, China and the United States.

Stoessinger’s frequently speaks about lives how through the ages music has helped people to survive. Although Stoessinger has not taught for years, she produces inspiring programs integrating great music with humanitarian causes.  Most recently The Mozart Academy students participated in a Memorial to the Children of Newtown with Mia Farrow and Richard Aborn. The Mozart Ensemble played Gershwin for Harry Belafonte when he received the John Jay Justice Award presented by James Earl Jones.

After marrying an Austrian-Czech refugee from Hitler who lost family the camps, Stoessinger began to investigate the music of the Holocaust. This led to Stoessinger’s friendship with another Czech refugee, Alice Herz-Sommer and the rest is history. Alice says, “Music saved my life.” Stoessinger agrees with Alice.  “Music was my escape route from the Ozark Mountain farm country to Barnard College and onto a rich and fulfilling life.”

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