Elisabeth Sophie of Mecklenburg


Elisabeth Sophie of Mecklenburg (1613–1676), Germany


Composer and poet; Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg. She studied music at the court of her father, John Albert II, Duke of Mecklenburg-Güstrow. The court orchestra was known for its accomplished English musicians. After the Thirty Years War, she became involved in organizing the orchestra at the court in Kassel, where she worked closely with Heinrich Schütz, who was appointed Kapellmeister there in 1655. Most of her compositions are hymns and spiritual arias. The aria Vinetum evangelicum, Evangelischer Weinberg (1651) is believed to be the earliest published by a woman in Germany.

Elisabeth Sophie was responsible for entertainment at the great court, including masquerades, theater production, and ballets, for which she wrote music and librettos. Her preserved dramatic works are Friedens Sieg and Glückwünschende Freudensdarstellung.