Fontbonne’s two-day event starring concert pianist Mona Golabek telling the story of her mother, Lisa Jura, in words and music in “The Pianist of Willesden Lane” was a resounding success. Frances and Robert Birmingham made it possible through production sponsorship.
The student matinees were standing room only as St. Agatha School, St. Mary of the Hills School, St. Pope John Paul Catholic Academies, Quincy Catholic Academy, Notre Dame Academy, Sacred Heart School, Milton High School, St. John the Evangelist School, St. Sebastian School, St. Columbkille School, Malden Catholic and Mother Caroline Academy joined Fontbonne Academy with the Congregation of Beth Shalom of the Blue Hills and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston.
Hundreds of ticket holders streamed into the newly refurbished CSJ Center at Fontbonne and beheld the splendid 9-foot concert grand Steinway piano loaned to the school by Steinert and Sons, Boston. Attendees were swept away by the powerful performance of Grammy-nominated Mona Golabek who took the audience with her as she told the compelling and story of her courageous mother, Lisa Jura, through music.
The story begins in 1938 when 14-year-old Lisa Jura, a Jewish girl growing up in Vienna, is fortunate to escape the formidable and increasing Nazi rule in Europe by traveling alone on the Kindertransport to London to free her passion for music. Students learned of the intolerance, anti-Semitism, refugee crisis and tragedies surrounding World War II.