BLUE HILL, Maine — New York City author Caroline Stoessinger will talk about her new book “A Century of Wisdom: Lessons from the Life of Alice Herz-Sommer, the World’s Oldest Living Holocaust Survivor” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7, at the Blue Hill Public Library. At 108 years old, pianist Alice Herz-Sommer has seen it all, surviving the Therensienstadt concentration camp, attending the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem and along the way coming into contact with some of the most fascinating historical figures of our time, including Franz Kafka, Gustav Mahler, Sigmund Freud, Rainer Maria Rilke, Golda Meir, Arthur Rubinstein, Leonard Bernstein and Isaac Stern. Today Alice lives in London, where she still practices piano every day.
Despite her imprisonment and the murders of her mother, husband and friends by the Nazis, Alice has been victorious in her ability to live a life without bitterness. She credits music as the key to her survival and ability to acknowledge the humanity in each person, even her enemies.
A pianist herself, Stoessinger is a recognized authority on music of the Holocaust. She is the world authority on the life and compositions of Sir Georg Henschel, the first conductor of the Boston Symphony. Her biography of Henschel’s friendship with Brahms is titled” Henschel’s Diary.” Stoessinger has performed on the stages of Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Y, Lincoln Center and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Stoessinger has performed as piano soloist with the American Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Prague Symphony, Czech Philharmonic and Orchestra of St. Luke’s.
On April 30, 2012, violinist Itzhak Perlman presented Stoessinger with the Norman Mailer Book Prize for preserving the history of our times in a ceremony at the National Arts Club.
Books will be available for sale and signing. For more information, call the library at 207-374-5515.