Back to All Events

CONCERT & READING | From “The Pianist of Willesden Lane” featuring Mona Golabek

The ACF Washington is honored to host the performance The Pianist of Willesden Lane with Grammy®-nominated pianist Mona Golabek as a preview event to her upcoming show at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, presented by Theater J, running from September 12 to 30, 2018.

 Photo by Courtesy of Hershey Felder Presents

Photo by Courtesy of Hershey Felder Presents

Set in Vienna in 1938 and London during the Blitzkrieg, The Pianist of Willesden Lane tells the true and inspiring story of Lisa Jura, a young Jewish pianist whose dream of making her concert debut at the storied Musikverein concert hall is dashed by the onset of World War II. Despite devastating personal loss, her music enables Jura to endure and pursue her dreams.

Performed by Jura’s daughter, Grammy®-nominated pianist Mona Golabek, The Pianist of Willesden Lane combines enthralling story telling with breath-taking live performances of Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, and more. The performance The Pianist of Willesden Lane is based on the book The Children of Willesden Lane by Mona Golabek and Lee Cohen, and was adapted and directed by Hershey Felder.

 The event is part of our commemoration series to mark the 80th anniversary of the so-called “Anschluss”, the annexation of Austria to Nazi-Germany, one of the most painful and darkest moments in Austrian history.

When: Thursday, September 6, 2018 | 7:00 pm
Where: Austrian Cultural Forum Washington/Embassy of Austria
3524 International Court, NW, Washington, DC 20008
Ticket: Free admission, registration obligatory
Parking on International Court is available after 6:30 pm (for the duration of the event) or on 36th Street; access to the Embassy through the park behind the building.


When: September 12 –30, 2018
Where: Kennedy Center (2700 F St NW, Washington, DC 20566)
For tickets please contact the venue directly.


About Mona Golabek

 Photo by Courtesy of Hershey Felder Presents

Photo by Courtesy of Hershey Felder Presents

Mona Golabek is the daughter of Lisa Jura, a concert pianist born in Vienna Austria, who came to England as a young teenage refugee in 1938 as part of the Kindertransport rescue operation. Her father, Michel Golabek, was a French resistance fighter, who received the Croix de Guerre. Mona’s grandparents died at Auschwitz. Inspired and taught by her mother, Mona herself became a concert pianist. Appearances at the Hollywood Bowl, the Kennedy Center, Royal Festival Hall, with major conductors and orchestras worldwide, the Grammy® nominee and prolific recording artist, has been the subject of several documentaries including Concerto for Mona with conductor Zubin Mehta. Her mother is the subject of Ms. Golabek’s acclaimed book The Children of Willesden Lane. The book, now in its 24th printing, has been translated and published in French and Italian with forthcoming German, Spanish, and Hebrew publications. BBC Feature Films is currently in development for a feature film based on the book. In 2012, Mona made her debut at the Los Angeles Geffen Playhouse in The Pianist of Willesden Lane, adapted from the book. The production, directed by Hershey Felder, has been acclaimed by critics and audiences across America, with recent sold-out theatrical runs in New York and London. Mona has received Best Actress Nominations from the New York and Los Angeles Drama Critics and the show has been listed among the top-ten shows in many major cities. 

Mona founded the Hold On To Your Music Foundation. With the help of the Milken Family Foundation, Facing History and Ourselves, and the Annenberg Foundation, she created educational resources for the book that have been adopted into school curricula across America. To date, more than 250,000 students and families have experienced the WILLESDEN READ – the educational mission, spearheaded by the non-profit, that is devoted to spreading the message of her mother’s story.