Bronsart, Ingeborg von (1840–1913)

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Bronsart, Ingeborg von (1840–1913)

German composer and pianist whose greatest success was the 1873 opera Jery und Baetely. Born Ingeborg Starck in St. Petersburg, Russia, on August 24, 1840, of Swedish parents; died in Munich, Germany, on June 17, 1913; married Hans Bronsart von Schellendorff (known as Hans von Bronsart), in 1862.

Ingeborg Starck von Bronsart was born in Russia of Swedish parents in 1840, the same year as Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky. A child prodigy, her talents as a pianist were carefully cultivated so that she became a mature artist whose talents remained largely intact. Franz Liszt considered her one of his greatest discoveries, and she justified his confidence when, in the early 1860s, she undertook a triumphal concert tour that brought her to numerous German cities, including Leipzig, as well as to Paris and her home city of St. Petersburg. Her marriage to Hans Bronsart in 1862 resulted in the end of her concert career. Because of his position as Intendant of the Court Theater in Hanover, she was forbidden to perform in public. Consequently, her musical energies were put into composition, in which she had been interested since childhood. Confident in all musical forms, she scored her greatest success in 1873 with an opera based on a Goethe text, Jery und Baetely. Very popular at its Leipzig premiere, this stage work was also performed to approving audiences in Berlin, Weimar, Wiesbaden, Königsberg, and Vienna. Her choral works included a patriotic work for mixed choir, Hurrah Germania. As late as 1909, she was engaged in the composition of an opera, Die Sühne. Several of Ingeborg Starck von Bronsart's compositions have been recorded in recent years, including excerpts from Jery und Baetely.

John Haag , Athens, Georgia

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