Brinkerhoff [née Rolph], Clara M.
- Laurie Blunsom
(b London, Sept 8, 1828; d after 1901). American soprano and music teacher of British birth. Born in London, she came to the USA as a young child. Her mother was a singer trained in the Italian school who provided her early musical education. At age 12, after her mother’s death, she continued her studies with Henry Derwort, Mlle Arnault, George Loder, and Eliza Loder. Although she was encouraged to pursue an operatic career, she chose to concentrate on English song and oratorio singing. She made her début in 1844 at age 16 at Apollo Hall in New York. She married C. E. L. Brinkerhoff in 1848 but continued to perform in New York and throughout the USA. In 1861 she traveled to Europe, singing in London and Paris, and attending voice classes at the Paris Conservatoire. Returning to New York, Brinkerhoff continued to sing and increasingly focused on teaching. In addition, she composed a number of songs, many of which became well known. She was well known in American musical circles, counting among her friends the pianist Louis Moreau Gottschalk....