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Fanny Caecilie Mendelssohn Hensel (Composer)

Born: 14th November 1805, Hamburg, Germany

Died: 14th May 1847, Berlin, Germany

Nationality: German

Fanny Mendelssohn later Fanny [Cäcilie] Mendelssohn Bartholdy and, after her marriage, Fanny Hensel, also referred to as Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, was a German composer and pianist of the early Romantic era. Her compositions include a piano trio, a piano quartet, an orchestral overture, four cantatas, more than 125 pieces for the piano, and over 250 lieder, most of which went unpublished in her lifetime. Although praised for her piano technique, she rarely gave public performances outside her family circle.

She grew up in Berlin and received a thorough musical education from teachers including her mother, Ludwig Berger, and Carl Friedrich Zelter. Her younger brother Felix Mendelssohn, also a composer and pianist, shared the same education and the two developed a close relationship.

Further Reading: Mendelssohn, Fanny

Interview, Tim Parker-Langston on Fanny Hensel's Lieder

The tenor and musicologist discusses his mission to make Hensel's complete songs readily available to audiences and performers alike - and explains why her music 'just never stops surprising us'...

Broadening the Repertoire, Fanny Hensel: The Collected Songs

For the first time, the Lieder of Fanny Hensel have been collected together in a single edition. Including nearly one-hundred previously unpublished songs, this three-volume edition for high voice and piano has been curated to guide its user through the rich and diverse song compositions of a long-neglected composer. Find out more.

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