Andrée, Elfrida


Elfrida Andrée (1841–1929), Sweden


In her hometown of Visby, she studied piano and harp from an early age (like her older sister Fredrika Stenhammar). She went on to study composition and organ at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. In 1857 she became the first woman in Sweden to receive a degree in organ. Four years later she was the first woman in Sweden to receive an appointment as an organist; and in 1867, at the age of 27, she was unanimously elected organist at the Gothenburg Cathedral.

In Gothenburg, André conducted and led the popular Folkkonsert series for working-class audiences. She gave more than 800 of these concerts before finally stopping in 1928, at the age of 87.

She composed some 100 pieces, including opera, symphonies, masses, choral works, organ works, chamber music, and songs. She once sent three compositions under a male pseudonym to an international competition in Brussels, and won all three prizes.


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