Amalie Joachim

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Amalie Joachim
Die Gartenlaube (1873) b 611.jpg
Joseph und Amalie Joachim, by Adolf Neumann, in Die Gartenlaube, 1873
Amalie Marie Schneeweiss

(1839-05-10)10 May 1839
Died3 February 1899(1899-02-03) (aged 59)
Other namesAmalie Weiss
OrganizationsOpernhaus Hannover
SpouseJoseph Joachim

Amalie Marie Joachim (née Schneeweiss; 10 May 1839 – 3 February 1899) was an Austrian-German contralto, working in opera and concert and as voice teacher. She was the wife of the violinist Joseph Joachim, and a friend of Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms, with whom she made international tours.


Born Amalie Marie Schneeweiss in Maribor, Austrian Empire (now Maribor, Slovenia),[1] she was the daughter of Franz Max Schneeweiss and his wife Eleonore, née Lindes. The family moved to Graz in the early 1850s. She appeared on stage from age 14, under the stage name Amalie Weiss. She later worked in Vienna at the Kärntnertortheater.[1] In April 1862, she was engaged by the Opernhaus Hannover, where she had appeared as a guest several times.[2] There, she met the concert master Joseph Joachim, whom she married on 10 June 1863 in the Schlosskirche. The couple had six children.[3]

With her marriage, she retired from the stage,[1] but she still performed as a concert singer, often together with her husband and Clara Schumann, a friend. They toured extensively, up to London. She participated in choral performances of the Sing-Akademie zu Berlin up to 1870, and became one of their honorary members.[citation needed]

Johannes Brahms dedicated his Two Songs for Voice, Viola and Piano (Op. 91) to Amalie and her husband, which they could perform together. He wrote one song for their wedding and the baptism of their first son, who was named Johannes after Brahms, and the other decades later with the intention to help the couple's troubled marriage.[4]

Amalie was also a voice teacher and, on the recommendation of Johannes Brahms, Marie Fillunger studied under her at the Hochschule in Berlin in 1874.[5]

The marriage was dissolved after 21 years, after the jealous Joachim had accused her of adultery. Brahms defended her position.[1] She performed more often after the divorce, to make money. Her focus was on Lied and oratorio. She was often accompanied by the pianist Hans Schmidt [de]. In 1885 and 1886 she toured with Laura Rappoldi from Dresden. On 1 February 1888, she premiered in Berlin at a Liederabend (recital) in Berlin the second song of Fünf Lieder, Op. 105 by Johannes Brahms.[6] She founded a school of singing (Gesangsschule) in Berlin.[1]

She died in 1899 in Berlin due to complications from a gallbladder surgery and was buried on the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Cemetery. Her grave had the status Ehrengrab (Honorary grave) until 2015.[citation needed]


  • Joachim, Ehepaar Österreichisches musiklexicon online
  • Joachim, Amalie; geb. Schneeweiß, Ps. Weiß (1839–1898), Sängerin Österreichisches Biographisches Lexikon 1815–1950
  • Friedrich Blume: Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Allgemeine Enzyklopädie der Musik, unter Mitarbeit zahlreicher Musikforscher des In- und Auslandes, vol. 7
  • Karl-Josef Kutsch, Leo Riemens, unter Mitwirkung von Hansjörg Rost: Großes Sängerlexikon, vol. 2, M–Z, Bern: Francke, 1997, column 3169
  • Hiltrud Schroeder [de] (ed.): Sophie & Co. Bedeutende Frauen Hannovers. Biographische Portraits, Hannover: Fackelträger-Verlag, 1991, ISBN 3-7716-1521-6, pp. 239ff
  • Beatrix Borchard: Stimme und Geige. Amalie und Joseph Joachim. Biographie und Interpretationsgeschichte, in Wiener Veröffentlichungen zur Musikgeschichte, vol. 5, 2nd ed., Wien: Böhlau Wien, ISBN 978-3-205-77629-1
  • Hugo Thielen: Weiss (eigtl. Schneeweiß), Amalie, in: Hannoversches Biographisches Lexikon, pp. 380ff
  • Hugo Thielen: Weiss, Amalie, in: Stadtlexikon Hannover, p. 663


  1. ^ a b c d e Borchard, Beatrix. "Amalie Joachim". Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  2. ^ Georg Fischer [de], Musik in Hannover, Hannover/Leipzig, 1903, pp. 201ff)
  3. ^ Borchard, Beatrix (2008). "Joachim, Amalie" (PDF) (in German). Musik und Gender im Internet. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
  4. ^ Sandberger, Wolfgang (2016). Zwei Gesänge für eine Altstimme mit Bratsche und Klavier. Brahms-Handbuch (in German). Springer. p. 248. ISBN 9783476052209.
  5. ^ Manchester Faces and Places (Vol XVI No 2 ed.). Manchester: Geo. Woodhead and Co Ltd. February 1905. pp. 44–45.
  6. ^ "Opus 105, Fünf Lieder für eine tiefere Stimme und Klavier" (in German). Brahms-Institut. 2016. Retrieved 25 July 2017.

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