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born 1903

When Alice Herz-Sommer passed away in 2014 at the age of 110, she was the oldest pianist and known Holocaust survivor in the world. She was also likely the world's oldest optimist.

In spite of facing incredible hardship, violence and loss, Alice persisted in embracing the good. Always an inspiration to her friends, family + students, Alice's stirring story was brought to wider audiences with the publication of 2 books and acclaimed documentaries about her life.

Her hopeful personal history speaks to the power of art, a lesson she shared through her life, love and music.

bio bits

her quotes

all quotes by Alice Herz-Sommer (12)

"Everything is a present."

Alice Sommer Herz - Everything is a Present | december 2010

"I always have music in my heart and no one can take that away from me."

Heart and Soul | december 2011

"Don't stand there and cry. Understand."

A Century of Wisdom: Lessons from the Life of Alice Herz-Sommer, the World's Oldest Living Holocaust Survivor | march 2012

"It depends on me whether life is good or not. Not on life, on me."

The Lady in Number 6 | january 2013

"Every day in life is beautiful. Every day…it's beautiful."

The Lady in Number 6 | january 2013

"When the first tone of music starts, it goes straight away in our soul."

The Lady in Number 6 | january 2013

"Through music we were kept alive."

The Woman Who Remembers Mahler | november 2013

"In my opinion the master-class is the best lesson because you learn from the mistakes of the others – the best lesson not only in music but all of life, politics."

A Century of Music-Making: Alice Herz-Sommer in Conversation | january 2014

"[M]usic-lovers and musicians are richer than other people."

A Century of Music-Making: Alice Herz-Sommer in Conversation | january 2014

"I love English people. I admire first of all their sense of humor. In my opinion, the sense of humor is not laughing, it is distance from things."

A Century of Music-Making: Alice Herz-Sommer in Conversation | january 2014

"I am Jewish, but Beethoven is my religion."

Oldest Holocaust survivor dies aged 110 | 2014

"Music saved my life and music saves me still."

Oldest Holocaust survivor dies aged 110 | 2014
  • Quotabelle profile
  • Alice Herz-Sommer

curated with care by Alicia Williamson {Sept 2014}