This week: a musician who survived the Nazi death camps, the former chairman of Newcastle FC and an actor and activist

THE harpsichordist Zuzana Ruzickova, who has died aged 90, survived the Nazi death camps and went on to have a celebrated career as a musician, becoming the first soloist to record Johann Sebastian Bach's complete works for keyboard instruments.

Born in Pilsen in the Czech Republic in 1927, she was expelled from school during the Second World War because she was a Jew and was later deported, with her family, to the Theresienstadt concentration camp. After her father's death, the Nazis sent her and her mother to the death camps at Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen.

After the war, Ruzickova studied the harpsichord in Prague and Paris, but her persecution continued after the Communists took power in what was then Czechoslovakia in 1948.

Her international career kicked off with a victory in an international competition in Munich in 1956.

Ruzickova played music that spanned baroque to contemporary, and recorded Bach's complete works on 35 records from 1965 and 1975.

She received numerous awards, including recognition by France's Order of Arts and Letters.

THE former Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd, who has died aged 75, was a pivotal figure in the St James' Park club's rise during the 1990s. He was chairman for 10 years from 1997.

Shepherd eventually sold his share of the club to Mike Ashley and recently, along with brother Bruce, was granted the freedom of the city of Newcastle.

Born and bred in the north east, Shepherd was the owner and managing director of the Shepherd Offshore Group for more than 40 years.

He set up the Triple S group in 2008 but is best known for his influential role at Newcastle.

A director of the Magpies from 1992 until 2007, he served as vice-chairman to Sir John Hall as the club finished Premier League runners-up in both 1996 and 1997, playing a key role in signing Alan Shearer from Blackburn for a world-record £15million.

Shepherd became Newcastle chairman in 1997 and oversaw several dalliances with the Champions League, while his decision to appoint Sir Bobby Robson saw United finish as high as third in 2003.

Unfortunately, Shepherd was unable to lead Newcastle to major success during an eventful decade as chairman, eventually selling his 28.01 per cent stake of the Premier League club to Ashley in June 2007.

Having relinquished his shareholding for more than £37million, he was replaced as chairman by Chris Mort the following month.

Upon leaving the club, Shepherd said: "I have had a great 15 years on the board, 10 of them as chairman and I have enjoyed every minute.

"It has been a great privilege and honour to have been chairman and I would not have missed it for the world."

THE actor Jan Triska, who has died aged 80 after falling from Prague's iconic Charles Bridge, was a Czech who settled in Los Angeles and appeared in dozens of movies, including John Frankenheimer's Ronin and Bryan Singer's Stephen King adaptation Apt Pupil, as well as Ragtime and The People vs Larry Flynt, both directed by his fellow Czech, Milos Forman.

Triska moved to the US after being banned by the former Czechoslovak Communist regime. He emigrated in 1977 after signing a human rights manifesto inspired by his close friend, the dissident playwright Vaclav Havel.

After the anti-Communist 1989 Velvet Revolution led by Havel, Triska regularly returned home to appear in movies and plays. He took a leading role in The Elementary School, which was nominated for an Academy Award.

Triska died in Prague's military hospital due to injuries suffered in the fall from the bridge, the circumstances of which are unclear.