A survivor’s life in music

She’s a musical pioneer, a grande dame of her country’s music scene, the first person in the world to record the complete harpsichord music of Bach. As a teenager, she survived both Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, where she contracted the bubonic plague. As an adult, she lived through the height of the cold war in a communist country, under suspicion as a party nonmember and a Jew. Zuzana Rusickova, the Czech harpsichord player, is 90 years old. Her story sounds like a movie. Now, it is one.

“Zuzana: Music Is Life” is having its Washington premiere Sunday at the Washington Jewish Film Festival, with an additional screening Tuesday. It contains extensive interview footage in which Rusickova, in lilting English, describes her life matter-of-factly, sitting at the table in her kitchen, which looks like a time capsule a few decades old. She is not unemotional when describing, for instance, the death of her beloved cousin after their reunion in Bergen-Belsen at the end of the war, but she is generally composed, in counterpoint to the drama of her story.

Read more at The Washington Post.