Twelve More Women Composers

This past International Women's Day, 8 March 2017, we published a list of the 800 women composers who have sources in the RISM database. The RISM online catalog grows continuously, and in June we added eight more names to the list. Much has happened since June, and we are pleased to announce that we have now added twelve more women to the list.

Here are the new twelve. For many of the musicians, we lack biographical details such as birth or death dates. We would be happy to hear from you if you are able to supply them.

Mary Clément (1861-after 1907)
Composer, pianist, and music teacher in Rostock and Berlin.


Sophie Dülken (1781-1863)
Composer and pianist. She was the daughter of Ludwig August and Franziska Lebrun. In RISM, she is only known as the dedicatee of Philipp Carl Hoffmann’s Deux Rondos (manuscript and print).

Clara Fiedler (19th/20th century)
Composer of three lieder:

Emilie Goroncy (1818-1868)
Member of the Berliner Singakademie beginning in 1826 (this could be an indication that her year of birth as given in the literature is too late).


S. M. Hutchinson


Elisabeth Kirchner (1866-1947)
Composer and pianist. She was a pupil of Adolf Henselt in Stuttgart and composed chamber music, piano pieces, and lieder.


Elisabeth Knauth (born 1894, died unknown)

Pianist and teacher in Leipzig, with pupils including Ruth Bodenstein-Hoyme (1924-2006).

Theresia Reifer (19th century, baptized as Anna Reifer)

Matthias Ploner composed a Veni Sponsa Christi when she entered the Order of Saint Clare in Brixen, Italy. Her activity as a composer can be inferred from the cover page of a collection of preludes by Josef Alois Ladurner (1769-1851): “Leichte Orgelstücke von J. A. L. mppa /:nach angegebenen Thematen von M. Theresia Reifer O. S. Clarae:/.”

Philippine Schick (1893-1970)

Composer and college instructor. She was one of the founders of the Gesellschaft deutscher und österreichischer Künstlerinnen (GEDOK). She appears in RISM as the arranger of a four-handed piano march by her teacher, Hermann Zilcher (1881-1948).

Anna Harris Smith
Her song “Absence” was published in London (Thomas Cahusac & Sons) but is only known in RISM through a copy at the Detroit Public Library (RISM A/I: SS 3639 I,1).

Agnes Tyrrell (1846-1883)

Composer and pianist.


Marie Mathilde Weiss
Biographical information about this composer is given in an issue of the popular journal Flora, ein Unterhaltungsblatt (no. 78, April 10, 1827, p. 329). Here, there is a notice for a concert at the Royal Court Theater in Munich by Kammersängerin Princess of Thurn und Taxis, Marie Weiß. She is described as a pupil of Tomaselli in Vienna and a Ms. Borgondio.


Image: S. M. Hutchinson, “La gloire de Napoleon,” ca. 1810 (RISM A/I: HH 8040 I,1). From the Badische Landesbibliothek.


Category: New at RISM

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