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Sophia Maria Westenholz
Editions & Videos

Sonata for Four Hands, Op. 3

Sophia Maria Westenholz (née Elenore Sophia Maria Fritscher; 1759-1838) was a German composer, teacher, singer, pianist, and glass harmonica virtuoso. Living at a time when an education in music was rarely available to women, she was fortunate to grow up in a family of professional musicians which allowed her to build a career in music. She was admitted to the court orchestra of Prince Ludwig of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in 1777, an ensemble that garnered praise as being one of the finest musical groups in Germany.[1] Two years later she married organist and composer Carl August Friedrich Westenholz, who was 23 years her senior and passed away only eleven years after their marriage. During that time, she had eight children with him, all apparently while having an impressive touring career as a pianist in Berlin, Rostock, Leipzig, and Stettin.[2]  As for her compositions, Westenholz wrote mainly songs and solo piano works. She gained the praise and attention of many during her time as being one of the leading musicians of Europe.


[1] Dieter Härtwig: “Schwerin,” The New Grove Dictionary of Music Online, ed. L. Macy.

[2] Dieter Härtwig: “Westenholz Family,” Grove Music Online.

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