Elisabeth Röckel

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A portrait of Elizabeth Röckel.
Portrait of Elisabeth Röckel by Joseph Willibrord Mähler

Elisabeth Röckel (15 March 1793, baptised "Maria Eva", Neunburg vorm Wald – 3 March 1883, Weimar) was a German soprano opera singer and the wife of the composer Johann Nepomuk Hummel.


She was a friend of composer Ludwig van Beethoven from 1808. Late in 1810, she went to the theater in Bamberg where she made her stage debut as Donna Anna in Mozart's Don Giovanni and became a friend of the writer E. T. A. Hoffmann. It has been suggested that Beethoven wrote his famous Bagatelle No. 25 for piano, commonly known as "Für Elise", in the days of her departure from Vienna. It had the inscription "Für Elise am 27 April zur Erinnerung von L. v. Bthvn" (For Elise on 27 April in memory of L. v. Bthvn).[1] There is however no proof that Röckel was ever in the possession of the autograph of that piano piece and the identification is now being considered as untenable among Beethoven scholars.

During the days before Beethoven's death, she and her husband Hummel visited Beethoven several times, and cut and saved a lock of his hair. This was later discovered in 1934 in Florence by Wilhelm Hummel, a descendant of Johann Nepomuk Hummel. The lock of hair is now in the Beethoven House.




  1. ^ See Kopitz (2010), p. 45–57