Fannie Mendelssohn

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Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel

Fannie Cacilie Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, (later Hensel) (1805-1847) German pianist and composer, was the older sister of Felix Mendelssohn. Like him she was brought up in a wealthy and privileged household, with a circle of friends including such luminaries as the writer, Goethe. She was the granddaughter of the Jewish philosopher, Moses Mendelssohn.

She was a gifted pianist who, whilst known to have appeared publicly only once, performed privately often, including a concert of her own and her brother's music for Queen Victoria. She was a composer, mainly of songs, (some written under her brother’s name) but piano pieces and a cantata survive, and are considered more than curiosities. She was a friend of that other great musical lady of the time, Clara Schumann. She and Felix were very close and their ceaseless correspondence gives insight into their lives, and society of the time. Her death following a stroke is said to have contributed to Felix’s early death.

In 1829, Fannie Mendelssohn married painter Wilhelm Hensel.

Fanny hensel wilhelm hensel k.jpg