With piano performance by director Lincoln Mayorga
MFAH | THUR NOV 8 | 7:00 PM | Q&A
Director: Lincoln Mayorga
Running time: 93 min.
When Hitler invaded Austria in 1938, a young prize-winning Jewish pianist was forced to abandon her musical studies in Vienna and return to her home in Latvia. There she was arrested and sent to a Soviet labor camp, where she endured seven years of hunger and cold.
Thirty years in the making, A Suitcase Full of Chocolate recounts the extraordinary story of Sofia Cosma, a brilliant pianist whose career was suppressed by the Nazis and later by the Soviets. Against incomprehensible odds, Cosma survived World War II and became a renowned musician and teacher, as well as a devoted mother.
Director Mayorga began filming his documentary in 1980 at the time of Cosma’s defection from Romania to the United States. His inspiring portrait presents a lesson in freedom, artistry and humanity. Through incredible adversity, this musician made music at the highest level, cared for her family and kept her keen sense of humor.
Lincoln Mayorga is a noted studio musician in Hollywood, a classical concert pianist and an arranger and conductor for Phil Ochs, Frank Zappa and many other notable musicians. He will present A Suitcase Full of Chocolate. Mayorga will add to the documentary by playing several works key to Cosma’s career, including selections by Chopin, Rachmaninoff, and Brahms. He will talk about the Russian pianists and their tradition, and the genesis of the film.