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Cristiani, Lisa (Barbier)locked

  • Lynda MacGregor

(b Paris, Dec 24, 1827; d Tobolsk, 1853). French cellist, possibly of Italian descent. She achieved fame as a performer, at a time when women performers were rare, and as the owner of the very fine Stradivari cello of 1700 which still bears her name. She made tours of Europe and Russia and was enthusiastically received, though her beauty and personal charm undoubtedly contributed to her success. She is said to have performed her repertory of salon pieces sympathetically and elegantly, with small tone but precise intonation. Mendelssohn accompanied her at a concert in Leipzig on 18 October 1845; his Song without Words op.109 no.38 (posthumous) was written the same year and dedicated to her. The King of Denmark appointed her ‘Chamber Virtuosa’. In 1853 she travelled east on tour; she contracted cholera in Siberia and died within a few days.


  • F. Hoffmann: Instrument und Körper: die musizierende Frau in der bürgerlichen Kultur (Frankfurt, 1991), 196–207