Concert Performer Here Was Hailed as an Interpreter — Pupil of Paderewski
Maryla Jonas, Polish-born concert pianist, died Friday at her home,
952 Fifth Avenue, of systematic
a rare blood disease that had hindered her career in recent years.
Her age was 48. She was the wife of Dr. Ernest G. Abraham, a gynecologist.
Miss Jonas made her United
States debut at Carnegie Hall
in February, 1946. As an
unheralded newcomer, she received
favorable routine reviews, but
the next month the late Olin
Downes, reviewing a recital
before a crowded house in the
same hall, wrote in The New
York Times that "she has few
equals as an interpreter among
the leading pianists of today."
Almost five years later, Miss
Jonas fainted in the wings of
Carnegie Hall after leaving the
stage part way through her
performance of Schumann's
"Carnaval." She recovered
quickly and completed her
program. Her illness forced her
temporary retirement, but in
December, 1956, she gave what
was to be her last recital here.
Miss Jonas had appeared as
a soloist with the New York
Philharmonic - Symphony
Orchestra in Carnegie Hall, and
also had made recordings. Some
of these still are heard on radio
As a child prodigy, Miss
Jonas made her debut in Warsaw
at the age of 9 and became
a pupil of Paderewski. She won
an International Chopin Prize
in 1922 and the Beethoven
Prize of Vienna the next year.
She was in bombed-out Warsaw
when it was captured by
the Nazis, but escaped in 1940,
a feat that was described later
as "miraculous." Walking day
and night, she traveled 325
miles to the Brazilian Embassy
From there, Miss Jonas went to Rio de Janeiro,
where her married sister, Mrs. Bertha Holin, then lived,
and entered a sanitarium.
Later she heard that her first husband, a noted criminologist,
her parents and a brother had been killed in Poland.
Her father had been a well known surgeon in Warsaw.
In Rio, Miss Jonas gave up playing for months.
It has been said that her fellow countryman, Artur Rubinstein,
induced her to return to the piano.
She toured South America to obtain funds to come to New York.
Surviving, besides her second husband and Mrs. Holin,
is a brother, George.
Mrs. Holin and her husband now live in Brooklyn.