Mona Golabek, the internationally renowned American story-telling concert pianist, will be in South Africa in August to tell the story, through music of her mother’s life as a Kindertransport child who achieved fame as a brilliant pianist...

Lisa Jura arrived destitute in London 81 years ago, aged 14, on the Kindertransport, a rescue programme that brought 10 000 child refugees from the Reich to Great Britain from 1938 to 1940.

Golabek’s critically acclaimed recital, The Children of Willesden Lane, has enthralled audiences across Europe and America. Weaving story-telling and images with her rendition of exquisite classics, including Debussy Grieg, Beethoven and Rachmaninov, she relates a story of courage, resilience and triumph in the face of adversity.

Golabek says: “I want to show that there is no place for bigotry and hatred in the world. It is the story of a child who refused to let go of her dreams, to rise above the persecution and shine on concert stages internationally.”

World-renowned for her technical expertise and musicality, Golabek will play music that sustained her mother in her time of crisis and adjustment to a new life, alone, away from family.  A poignant tribute, it includes passages from Golabek’s book, The Children of Willesden Lane.

The evening concerts, taking place in Johannesburg and Cape Town, form part of a wider project to present the story to thousands of learners receiving and reading Golabek’s book and then attending a concert. The performances have inspired hundreds of thousands across the world.

Described as “powerful” by the Washington Post, the music Golabek has chosen is integral to the story, which traces young Lisa’s life from her Viennese home to her new beginnings in London as a factory seamstress, turning to the piano for solace.

The Children of Willesden Lane will be performed at the Linder Auditorium in Parktown, Johannesburg, for one night only, at 19h00 on 7 August. Tickets are available from Webtickets at R165 and R195. For more information on the Johannesburg performance, email Janine at or call 082 565 7603.

Tickets for the one-night-only Cape Town concert, which takes place at 19h30 on 13 August at the City Hall, are R165 and R195, available from Webtickets For more information on the Cape Town performance, call Dianne on 021 462 5553.

 What the critics have said:

“An arresting, deeply affecting triumph… an undiluted privilege to witness” ….Los Angeles Times

“This is stunning theater that will leave you emotionally breathless”New York Times


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1 Comment

  1. Shuli

    This was undoubtedly one of the best performances I have ever been to. I highly recommend you go if you’re privileged enough to have the opportunity. Totally authentic, moving and such talent !


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