Agnes Marie Jacobina Zimmermann was born in Cologne, Germany. Her family moved to England, and she was enrolled at the Royal Academy of Music at the age of nine, where her teachers were Reginald Steggall and Cipriani Potter. Later she studied under Ernst Pauer and Sir George Macfarren. Zimmermann received the Kings Scholarship from 1860 to 1862 and made her public debut 1863 at The Crystal Palace playing Beethoven's Emperor Concerto.
After ending her studies, Zimmermann went on a tour of Germany, followed by concert tours in 1879, 1880, 1882 and 1883. She published her own editions of Sonatas by Beethoven and Mozart and compositions by Robert Schumann. Zimmermann moved in with feminist Lady Louisa Goldsmid after the latter's husband, barrister Sir Francis Goldsmid died in 1878. Zimmermann was said to have given eighteen years of "devoted attention" to Goldsmid and it has been speculated that this was a lesbian relationship.
Zimmermann died in England in 1925.
Zimmermann composed music for chamber orchestra, piano solos, and vocal pieces.
Selected works include:
- Three sonatas for piano and violin, Opp. 16, 21 and 23
- Cello Sonata, Op. 17 (published 1872 by Schott)
- Trio for piano, violin and cello, Op. 19
- Presto alla Tarantella, Op. 15
- Ehrlich, A. (1894). Celebrated pianists of the past and present: A collection. Retrieved 11 November 2010.
- Slonimsky, Nicolas (1978). "Zimmermann, Agnes". Baker's Biographical dictionary of musicians. (6th ed.). New York: Schirmer Books. p. 1947. ISBN 0-02-870240-9.
- Sophie Fuller; Lloyd Whitesell (2002). Queer Episodes in Music and Modern Identity. University of Illinois Press. pp. 80–. ISBN 978-0-252-02740-6.
- John South Shedlock: The Pianoforte Sonata. Its Origin and Development (London: Methuen & Co., 1895).
- Jeremy Dibble: Michele Esposito (Dublin: Field Day, 2010), p. 119.
- Oron, Aryeh (August 2007). "Agnes Zimmermann (Composer, Arranger)". Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1952 Edition; Author: Sir George Grove). Archived from the original on 18 August 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
- See Hofmeisters Monatsberichte, May 1872, page 102.