Grümmer, Elisabeth, distinguished German soprano; b. Niederjeutz, near Diedenhofen, Alsace-Lorraine, March 31, 1911; d. Berlin, Nov. 6, 1986. She began her career as an actress; after being persuaded to study voice by Karajan, she had lessons with Schlender in Aachen. In 1940 she made her operatic debut in Aachen as the 1st Flowermaiden in Parsifal, and then sang her first major role there in 1941 as Octavian. After appearances in Duisburg (1942-44), she was a member of the Berlin Stadtische Oper (from 1946). On June 29, 1951, she made her first appearance at London’s Covent Garden as Eva in Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg. She then made debuts at the Vienna State Opera and the Salzburg Festival in 1953, at the Glyndebourne Festival in 1956, and at the Bayreuth Festival in 1957. On Feb. 17, 1967, she made her debut at the N.Y.C. Opera as the Marschallin, followed by her Metropolitan Opera debut in N.Y. as Elsa in Lohengrin on April 20, 1967. She then continued her career in Europe until retiring in 1972. In addition to opera, she toured extensively as a concert artist. From 1959 she was a prof. of voice at the (West) Berlin Hochschule für Musik. Grümmer’s exquisite voice and admirable dramatic gifts made her an exemplary interpreter of the music of Mozart and Richard Strauss. Among her other outstanding roles were Pamina, Donna Anna, Ilia, and the Mozart and Strauss Countess.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire