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date: 17 August 2019

Kinkel [Mathieux; née Mockel], Johannalocked

  • Ann Willison Lemke


(b Bonn, July 8, 1810; d London, Nov 15, 1858). German composer, writer, pianist, music teacher, and conductor.

Johanna Kinkel stands out among women in 19th-century Germany for her varied and productive career in music. At a time when few women published their works, she published about 70 songs for voice and piano, as well as six duets, two pedagogical works, a sacred choral work, and the popular ‘musical joke’ Die Vogelkantate. Her larger works, including a comic operetta, two Liederspiele, a Singspiel, and a comic cantata for children, were never published; some scores have been lost. Johanna Kinkel’s writings display her sharp wit, humour, irony, and skill as a storyteller, and offer valuable insight into the musical life of her day.

Born into a conservative Catholic family in Bonn, Johanna possessed a tremendous drive to make music her profession. Her parents declined an offer for her to receive musical training in England, and instead Johanna was taught sewing and cooking. She records her observations about the plight of women’s opportunities and music education in her time in letters, her ‘Memoiren’, and ‘Hausfrau und Künstlerin’. The elderly Franz Anton Ries, who had been Beethoven’s first teacher, taught her piano and nurtured her interest in singing and conducting through her participation in the ...

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