Park Avenue- Fine Art Since 1984


The Ludmilla Project
by Sarah Chauncey

In mid-November I made my six-week pilgrimage to a different kind of Salon ... Salon Identity ... where gray hairs are hidden and I emerge as the youngster I really am.

As I sat talking to my hairstylist, Tessie, about my passion, the piano club, she told me that another client who had a similar passion would be arriving shortly and she would introduce us. Little did I know that I would be meeting one of the key figures behind the "Ludmilla Project".

Dr. Louis Alpert greeted me enthusiastically and wanted to know more about the piano club. Then he told me about his love of music and about a project he had been working on for the last few years.

That is how I learned about Ludmilla Berkwic, her music, and her story. Ludmilla's husband, Art, Dr. Alpert, and Lou Lombardi, a friend and one of Ludmilla's former piano students, have been on a mission. The trio has been organizing writings, music, photos, concert posters and programs, video segments and other memorabilia, which collectively tell Ludmilla's remarkable story. They have also been tenderly caring for Ludmilla who is now 93 years old and a survivor of two strokes.

Late comers to the project, the piano club is now contributing to this labor of love by putting these materials together as a "multi-media" website -- Ludmilla Berkwic, her life and music -- which will be made public sometime in 2004.

Our December 7th piano club meeting was a tribute to Ludmilla Berkwic. Yashar Yaslowitz played for Ludmilla. She was clearly overjoyed -- her eyes shone, she tapped in time and applauded.

Yashar Yaslowitz talks to Ludmilla playing for her.

Our members and guests shared their pieces, enjoyed refreshments and finally agreed that it was time to give Eileen and Fred their house back ... but it wasn't over yet ... Ludmilla asked to be escorted to the piano ... and she played for us.

Ludmilla plays for the piano club - December 7th

Nothing could have been more exciting and heartwarming than the moment she touched those keys. We made her promise that she would start playing again at home, and she said she would. Art said he would be clearing off the piano.

We love you Ludmilla...keep on playing!

Art and Ludmilla


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