1951 Concert by Mrs Nozadze's pupils @ the Peninsula Hotel | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

1951 Concert by Mrs Nozadze's pupils @ the Peninsula Hotel

1951 Concert by Mrs Nozadze's pupils @ the Peninsula Hotel

Key to the names:

1951 Concert Pencil Sketch of pupils.jpg
1951 Concert Pencil Sketch of pupils.jpg, by Nona

Names of the pupils ...

  • (1) Helen Zaharoff
  • (2) Corinne Ellery
  • (3) Irina (Ira) Smirnoff
  • (4) ? Reubens
  • (5) Michael Koodiaroff
  • (6) Lois Reubens
  • (7) Nina (Lyalya) Smirnoff
  • (8) Alex (Sasha) Smirnoff
  • (9) Colleen Smith
  • (10) Marjorie Revie

Balia was my grandmother, Anna Nozadze.  In Russian, one calls the grandmother "Baba" followed by their first name.  When I was small, I couldn't say Baba Anya - it came out as Balia, and all family members and close friends called her by that laugh
Nina Smirnoff was the mother of the three Smirnoff children shown here.

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Sunday, July 15, 1951


Thanks Nona. If readers know any of the other names, please let us know in the comments below.

I wonder whether the small boy, to the left of no. 8, is Martin Booth.  There is a strong similarity to the photo of young Martin giving a piggy back to a little boy that, if I remember correctly is on the cover of 'Gweilo' and the year might  be about right.

Hi Andrew,

I just checked his book: he sailed out from the UK in May 1952, so unfortunately he wouldn't be in Hong Kong until the following year.

Regards, David

Michael Koodiaroff or Koody, as we used to call him, was a contemporary and in Mrs. Nozadze's piano class.

I think that the girl on Koodiaroff's left is Marjorie Revie.  But it was a long time ago so can't be sure.

Kind regards


Just want to say that the young lady is indeed Marjorie Revie.

Confirmed by a friend of hers.


Thanks so much for that, Ira!

When you first thought it was Marjorie, I had a bell go off in my head and remembered Balia had a pupil with that name so great to put a face to the name  :)

My mother Corrine Bottomley (nee Ellery) took piano lessons from Mrs Nozadze for several years in the 1940s and 1950s, becoming a very good pianist herself.    I have somewhere a Piano Recital programme for the Students of Mrs Nozadze, held at the Peninsula Hotel in October 1950, listing the names of the students and the pieces they were to play.  I shall endeavour to find and upload this in the next few days.  It was the year before this photo was taken, but I imagine many of the names are the same.   In about 1970 Mrs Nozadze also taught myself, my sister and one of my brothers to play the piano, though only my brother really took to it and not long afterwards we were all sent off to boarding school anyway.   Mrs Nozadze normally came to our apartment at Cavendish Heights to teach us, however I do remember going to her big house on Broadwood Road a couple of times too.  I also remember her giving us a chocolate bar or a little treat at the end of each lesson!