Maria Bach

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Maria Baroness von Bach by Ferdinand Hodler

Emilie Marie Baroness von Bach (1 March 1896 – 26 February 1978) was an Austrian pianist, violinist, composer and artist.


Marie Bach was born in Vienna, Austria, the daughter of Robert Bonaventura Michael Wenzel von Bach and his wife Eleonore Josepha Maria Theresia Auguste, Baroness von Bach. When Marie was one year old, the family moved to the castle Leesdorf near Baden. Marie took piano lessons at the Musikschule Grimm in Baden and at the age of fourteen began violin lessons.[1]

In 1914 she began to compose her first prelude, which she followed with songs and other piano pieces. She attended the Vienna Academy of Music and Performing Arts studying music theory and composition with Joseph Marx and conducting with Ivan G. Boutnikoff. She made her debut as a composer in 1921 with Narrenlieder für Tenor und Orchester, a song cycle which was later printed by Schott in Vienna. She continued to be successful as a composer, but after the death of her father, the family had financial difficulties.

Bach met the Italian painter Arturo Ciacelli in 1940 and went with him to Italy where she became interested in painting. After she began to exhibit, her paintings became almost more successful than her compositions. Ciacelli died in 1966 and for a while Bach gave up creative endeavors, but eventually began to compose again. She received a gold medal for composition in 1962 and was awarded the title of professor in 1976.[2]

Bach died in Vienna of smoke inhalation. Her papers are housed in the City Hall Library in Vienna.[3]


Selected works include:

  • Prelude Warum? for piano (1914/15)
  • Silhouetten, ballet suite
  • Narrenlieder für Tenor und Orchester (1921)
  • Sonate für Cello und Klavier (1924)
  • Klavierquintett (1927/28)
  • Klavierquartett
  • Lieder für Stimme und Orchester
  • Kammermusik und Orchesterwerke


  1. ^ Geber, Eva; Rotter, Sonja; Schneider, Marietta (1992). Die Frauen Wiens: ein Stadtbuch für Fanny, Frances und Francesca. 
  2. ^ Commire, Anne; Klezmer, Deborah (2000). Women in world history: a biographical encyclopedia. 
  3. ^ "Lebenslauf von Maria Bach". Retrieved 20 January 2011.