Mendelssohn Hensel, Fanny


Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel (1805–1847), Germany

Fanny Hensel was a German pianist and composer, the sister of Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, with whom she had a very close personal and artistic relationship. Her brother encouraged her in composing, but was against publishing her work. The two siblings were sounding boards and advisers for one another. As a child, Fanny was taught piano by her mother Lea. She later studied piano with Ludwig Berger and Marie Bigot and theory and composition for C. F. Zelter.

In the 1830s, she became the central figure in a flourishing musical salon, for which she composed most of her pieces. Her last composition, the song Bergeslust, was written on May 13, 1847, the day before her sudden death from a stroke.

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