In 2012, I was fortunate to receive generous recognition for the film I produced, “A Suitcase Full of Chocolate.” This motion picture, the life story of pianist Sofia Cosma, was shown at the New York State Performing Arts Center, the University of Pittsburgh, the National Gallery, FIlm Columbia, the Pittsburgh Jewish Film Festival, and the Houston Cinema Arts Festival. Audiences have been deeply moved by the remarkable life story of this great woman, who survived every cataclysmic event of the last century, to become one of the most celebrated pianists of Eastern Europe. As a prelude, I have played and talked about the great Russian pianists, and my subject in historical perspective. Please let me know if any of you know organizations that would be interested in a showing, especially music schools. Every student can learn the meaning of the word “dedication” from this remarkable artist, and all of us can come to appreciate the ordinary freedoms we take for granted.
Archive for the ‘Sofia Cosma Documentary’ Category
New documentary produced by Lincoln Mayorga about Romanian pianist, Sofia Cosma: “A Suitcase Full of Chocolate”Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011
“A SUITCASE FULL OF CHOCOLATE” is the film about the life of SOFIA COSMA (1914-2011), a devoted mother, a modest woman of great personal character, a great pianist, and the ultimate survivor. Born at the outbreak of World War I, this remarkable musician began a brilliant career as a prize winner in the Viennese International Piano Competition of 1933. Hitler’s invasion of Austria, and Sofia’s subsequent long imprisonment in a Soviet Labor camp, forced her to abandon her music for many years. This is the remarkable story of her ultimate triumph as a mother, a concert artist in the Communist world, then an American citizen with a new life, and a free woman, who returned to Russia to solo with the Moscow Philharmonic. The life of Sofia Cosma is a lesson about Freedom, that precious commodity which most of us take for granted. It is also a lesson about artistry, not fame. Through unbelievable adversity, this musician made music at the highest level, cared for her family, kept her sense of humor, and remained genuinely modest throughout her life.
A note from Lincoln: Here is an offering I’m putting out into the world. Anyone interested in presenting this event below should contact me personally at: firstname.lastname@example.org
A PIANIST’S SALUTE TO ANOTHER PIANIST
LINCOLN MAYORGA in performance of a short program of romantic piano music, including Brahms, Chopin, Liszt, and Schumann, a talk about the documentary film he produced, which is the story of another pianist, and the screening of “A Suitcase Full Of Chocolate.”
My wife has urged me to begin blogging. I hardly know what a blog is, but here is my maiden effort.
This is a busy week of diverse activity. I am preparing for a press event in New York, the launching of a new recording on the Harmonia Mundi label. It is entitled, “Gershwin by Grofe” and it explores the arrangements by Ferde Grofe of songs by George Gershwin as well as Grofe’s original orchestration of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. Gershwin and Grofe had a symbiotic relationship and Grofe’s contribution was invaluable, especially when the young Gershwin had yet to acquire skill as an orchestrator. So the new CD is an interesting one, and I am featured as soloist in the Rhapsody and the Variations on “I Got Rhythm”, the only piece on the recording actually orchestrated by Gershwin.
The event in New York is Monday night, May 17, 7:00PM at Faust Harrison Pianos, 205 West 58th Street. Conductor Steve Richman, who conceived, organized, and put the project together, will talk about the music and I will play a program of songs and piano pieces by Mr. Gershwin.
In addition to making ready for the Faust Harrison program, I am in the midst of editing a documentary about a remarkable friend of mine, pianist Sofia Cosma, whose 95 years of life have seen all the cataclysmic events of the 20th and 21st centuries. This is a great musician who, born in Russia, began her concert career in Hitler’s Vienna, was arrested by the Soviets and interned in a prison labor camp for seven years, met a fellow prisoner who became her husband and the father of her child while still in prison, started to play again after over a decade of imprisonment and dislocation, and became one of the most prominent pianists in Eastern Europe. Much more to tell in future blogs about this triumphant woman who is in California with her family and still teaching.