playing for life


The Rutgers University Newark campus offers programs to more than 12,000 students through colleges, professional schools and research institutes, including the Institute of Jazz Studies.  According to U.S. News & World Report it is the most diverse national university in the U.S., partly due to a large refugee population.  No other school has been so recognized.

In September 2018 Newark Chancellor Nancy Cantor tasked Jazz Institute executive director Wayne Winborne as the Project’s primary partner in bringing Two Pianos: Playing for Life to that campus, where Halina Neuman was professor of piano for the last ten years of her career.  (see clip below for an audio excerpt of a 1974 lecture by Halina on Chopin)

An audience of over 200 attended the 27 October 2019 Sunday afternoon event which included an exhibit (2 PM), narrated concert performance  (3 PM), and post-performance discussion (4:15 PM) at Rutgers' Paul Robeson Campus Center. Video excerpts from prior Two Pianos performances and Holocaust testimony of Halina's daughter Jola Hoffman were also on display  As the audience entered the room they heard background music from Halina's past Newark concert performances. 

Special thanks to Kean University for providing access to digital footage from a 1987 Holocaust Oral History video interview of Jola Hoffman, now in the archives of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC.

The live performance was recorded and a DVD is available. The video except above is from the Halina - Jola story.  For a 1993 interview with Jola Hoffman about her time in the Warsaw Ghetto, click here.  For more information, please contact us.