Lyova - the "Sweetest New Yorker in Texas"

Lyova Rosanoff & Sascha

Lyova Rosanoff & Sascha

Lyova Rosanoff walks her dog in Pease Park. The walk has been an almost daily routine for more than 20 years – a chance to get away from the urban setting and back to nature. “It’s the trees, water and even paths that attract me. I also meet people, a lot of really nice people,”Lyova says. She loves the dogs. She is seen here with Sascha. Before Sascha, her canine companions were Mischa and Boris. 

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Legacy.  Lyova’s legacy to Austin trails her tall, lean stature and gracious smile as you pass her in Pease Park. Her musical talent, wit (tinged with political power brokers and events), and a love for Austin (especially Austin in the “hippy 70’s and 80’s”) all contributed to a larger Austin legacy, Esther’s Follies.

As Esther’s Follies musical director for 28 years, sitting at the white baby grand piano Lyova composed music and provided the soundtrack behind the singers on stage. If you haven’t experienced Esther’s Follies on Sixth Street, check out  this short introduction:

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Some skits became so popular they lasted for decades. New skits were always being developed and tested. Lyova’s piano music provided tempo and she was right on time with vaudeville-like exclamation notes. Seen in the photo Lyova provided musical guidance and accompaniment for several skits.

Austin took note of Lyova’s many contributions and elected her to the Austin Arts Hall of Fame in 2003. She later co-wrote a humorous Texas-tinged version of “Die Fleidermaus,” which premiered in 2008 at The Long Center. Her talent and humor reached far into Texas as she accompanied Ann Richards gubernatorial campaign events during 1990.

There’s also “real fake-news” on the internet about Lyova. She did not run the Iditarod in 1989 or climb Mount Everest in 1992 (I can still hear her laughing when she heard about these non-events). Did I mention Lyova is 88 years-old.

Lyova’s legacy would not be complete without listening to her play Interrupted Serenade by Claude Debussy:


Guest blog post by Frank Walsh

Guest blog post by Frank Walsh


Pease Park Conservancy celebrates the diverse ecology and history that make Austin’s first public park valuable and unique. The Conservancy works to restore, enhance and maintain this 84-acre public green space for the sustainable use and enjoyment of all.