Papers Please. After Two Pianos' Philadelphia premiere we formed Papers Please Inc. to bring the Two Pianos package to broader audiences in Europe and the U.S. Its Board and Advisory Committee include
representatives of the Levin-Hoffman families, a former Director of Planned
Giving for the Metropolitan Opera (NYC), and a former board member of the Raoul Wallenberg Committee (U.S.).
TWO PIANOS: BIOS
Nora Jean Levin, the first “real American” in her 1930s immigrant family, earned political science degrees from the University of
Pennsylvania where she met Michael. One of her skills is identifying and connecting human networks that reinforce each other. From 2004-18 she directed Caring From a Distance, Inc., America's only nonprofit
caregivers (www.cfad.org). She also authored How to Care for Your Parents: A Handbook for Adult
Children (Storm King Press, 1987-1993), later How to Care for your Parents: A Practical Guide to Eldercare
(Norton, 1997). Jean has been a secondary school social studies teacher; researcher at the Brookings Institution and National Academy of Public Administration; co-founder of The Workplace, Inc., Washington D.C.'s first shared-office suite
for writers, consultants and small non-profit staff; and co-author of To
Light One Candle: A Handbook for Organizing, Funding and Maintaining Public
Service Projects (ABA Press, 1978-1979). Her public service includes stints on a U.S. Department of Education Advisory committee on Accreditation and Institutional Eligibility, participation in the 1995 White House Conference on Aging, and terms on lifelong-learning advisory committees plus synagogue, mental health and women business-owner boards.
Michael Levin has been writing
creatively all his adult life, legal deadlines notwithstanding. He brings to the Project lessons learned as advocate, negotiator and solar energy developer. He has
degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard Law School and Oxford University (U.K.). Pursued by a Vietnam-era draft
board he declined graduate playwriting fellowships,
likely saving American theater. Before private
practice Mike served as an appellate lawyer and executive in federal agencies; in the Carter White House as Deputy Director of a
Cabinet-level Task Force; and as legislative aide to former Rep.
Andrew Maguire (D-NJ) and the late Sen Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA). His third poetry collection, Falcons, was published July 2020. Some of his
work is at www.michaellevinpoetry.com
Kenneth Hoffman. Ken Hoffman, Halina Neuman’s oldest grandson, brings to the Project a deep commitment to the healing power of art based on his psychiatric and family backgrounds. Halina and Ken’s mother Jola survived exclusion, displacement, and labor / DP camps largely because of music. Ken had a devoted relationship with Halina, who took him across the U.S. at age 11 to visit Tanya and Walter Ury in California. Neither Halina nor Jola told Ken much about “before America.” His involvement with Two Pianos has brought this story to a special conclusion for him.
Stanislava Varshavski and Diana Shapiro began playing together in 1998 and have captured top prizes at numerous competitions including the most prestigious competition for piano duos, the Murray Dranoff International Piano Competition in Miami. A winner of Astral Artists’ 2012 National Auditions, they hold Bachelor and Master degrees from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, where they studied with legendary Israeli duo Alexander Tamir and Bracha Eden. They continued their education under renowned American pianist Victor Rosenbaum. In 2011 they each received doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Shapiro is an Assistant Professor of Piano at U. Minnesota-Duluth. Varshavski is Director of Education at the Holy Family Conservatory of Music. The Varshavski-Shapiro Piano Duo is internationally represented by Astral Artists of Philadelphia.