Ingeborg Lena Starck was born in Russia, the daughter of Margareta Åkerman and Otto Starck. Studied piano abroad; concluded her training in Weimar with Franz Liszt. Married the pianist and conductor Hans Bronsart von Schellendorf. Toured in Europe as a successful piano virtuoso.
She focused increasingly on composition beginning in 1867; she had marked sucesses with her operas (she wrote four) and other works. She also wrote music for orchestra, for chamber ensemble, and for piano, as well as many songs.
She is considered Germany’s first major woman composer of musical drama.