Zuzana: Music is Life

“Talking to Ruzickova, you feel anything is possible. Happy birthday, then, to one of the wonders of the musical world,” BBC Magazine, December 2016 ahead of Zuzana’s 90th birthday in January 2017. 

ZUZANA: MUSIC IS LIFE  – a full-length documentary about the life and music of Zuzana Ruzickova. This is the story of a young Czech musician persecuted and battered by the horrors of 20th century Europe, and how her passion for classical and baroque music, – and Bach in particular – helped her to survive and drove her to become one of the greatest international harpsichordists of the last 60 years.

International harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani rehearses as Zuzana Ruzickova comments – scene from the new movie

ZUZANA: MUSIC IS LIFE is sponsored by the Viktor Kalabis and Zuzana Ruzickova Foundation. The film will be entered into several film festivals in the first half of 2017 and show more widely thereafter. Details from the film’s Director and Producer are at www.zuzanathemovie.com


Please consider contributing to the production of ZUZANA: MUSIC IS LIFE and to follow-up educational programs that will be developed in 2017. Contributions to the Foundation are tax deductible for U.S. citizens. (Current supporters are listed below on this page.)


Zuzana with a Harpsichord
Zuzana, who will celebrate her 90th birthday in January 2017, has had a remarkable life and serves as an extraordinary role model. She was born in 1927 in Pilsen, Czechoslovakia and today lives in Prague. Her teenage years were spent in Nazi concentration camps. For four decades she, and her composer husband Viktor Kalabis, were oppressed by the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia. Yet​, she became widely acclaimed across the world as “the first lady of the harpsichord” – she made over 100 recordings, received many honors across the world and brought great joy to audiences for over 50 years. She says: “Bach saved my life.”

The Times (London), Le Monde, BBC Magazine and an increasing number of other major media have recently interviewed Zuzana and published extraordinary articles about her life and music (links to each of  these can be found at the foot of this page) ahead of her 90th birthday, the release of the major documentary movie and Warner Records/ ERATO’s release of a remastered 20 CD set of original recordings by Zuzana of the entire keyboard works of J. S. Bach.


​N​ow available on Amazon ​

​N​ow available on Amazon ​   See BBC Review 

Zuzana Ruzickova is the only artist to have recorded the entire J. S. Bach keyboard compositions. A full description of the new CDs, their importance and background on Zuzana can be found in the Review section of this site – ​(from Warner Records)


Directed and Produced by Peter Getzels and Harriet Gordon Getzels and edited by Catherine Shields. Senior Advisors and Executive Producers Emily Vogl and Frank Vogl. Special Advisor in Prague Ales Brezina.

GETZELS GORDON PRODUCTIONS (G2) is a film company with a long track record of award-winning documentaries made in over 35 countries for British, American and European television. Their recent work includes a U.S Public Television series (PBS) called China’s Challenges; the highly acclaimed movie on immigration into the United States Harvest of Empire; the major PBS series, Closer To Truth – Cosmos, Consciousness and God, a global journey in search of the vital ideas of existence. Films by Harriet and Peter have won over 25 international awards including an Emmy Governor’s Award and two Emmy nominations.

SUPPORTERS: We are most appreciative of the generous support for the film from:
Executive Producers Emily Vogl & Frank Vogl and The Viktor Kalabis & Zuzana Ruzickova Foundation (USA).
Executive Producer William R. Rhodes in loving memory of Louise Tilzer Rhodes.

And with the special support from
Leila Straus  – Virginia  E. Newmyer – Louis Smith & Chris Mudd – Emily & Antoine van Agtmael – Sachi Liebergesell – Marc and Megara Vogl – Lady Milena Grenfell-Baines – ​Diane and Norman Bernstein​ – Bonnie Simon.

and, – Susan Beckerman - Julia Vogl – Peter and Stephanie Vogl – James and Nikki Vogl – Michael and Marion Usher – Owen and Barbara Katzman – Alex and Pat Shakow – Michael and Catherine Farrell – Rima Calderon – Barbara Kafka – Jack and Carol Feder – Anonymous.



“The Sprit of Bach,” BBC Magazine (print edition) and shorter online version under the heading “The Miraculous Life of Zuzana Ruzickova”: BBC Magazine, December 19, 2016, based on a BBC Radio 4 interview.

From The Times (London), October 16, 2016 – Profile of Zuzana

From Le Monde (Paris) December 5/6,  2016, Zuzana Ruzickova, des camps de travail à l’apaisement du clavecin

From Italy’s Playground. – online magazine December 2016.

Gramophone Magazine (UK)  - reviews Zuzana’s Complete Bach recordings, January 2017.

From Harmonie magazine in Prague, December 2016 (in Czech)

A message from the executive producers →
An in-depth look at the themes of Zuzana:Music Is Life