Anna Pessiak-Schmerling

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Anna Pessiak-Schmerling, soprano Belle Brown and Bessie Brown

Anna Pessiak-Schmerling (1834 – 14 March 1896) was an Austrian composer born in Vienna.

Life and career[edit]

She was born Anna Schmerling, daughter of Maria Anna Giannatasio del Río (1792-1868), and the granddaughter of Cajetan Giannatasio del Río (1764-1828) who had a boarding school in Vienna.[1] She studied with Mathilde Marchesi (1821-1913),[2] and afterward worked as a professor of voice at the Vienna Conservatory. She composed piano work and songs, and was noted for her masses and other sacred works.[3]

Beethoven wrote the "Hochzeitslied" ("Wedding Song") for the wedding of Anna's mother to Leopold Schmerling in 1819.[4] The Giannatasio del Rio family was associated with Beethoven through his nephew Karl, and Franziska (Fanny) Giannatasio del Río, Anna Pessiak-Schmerling's aunt, was a source for biographical detail on the composer. According to her, Beethoven wrote the song "Ruf vom Berge" for Anna's mother during an excursion to Himmel.[5]


  1. ^ van Beethoven, Ludwig; Christlieb Kalischer, Alfred. Beethoven's letters: a critical edition : with explanatory notes, Volume 2. 
  2. ^ "The Musical times, Volume 37" (Digitized online by GoogleBooks). JSTOR. May 1, 1896. Retrieved 28 November 2010. 
  3. ^ Elson, Arthur (1903). Woman's work in music: Being an account of her influence. 
  4. ^ Cajetan Giannattasio del Rio, seine Ehefrau Katharina und seine Töchter Maria Anna und Franziska - Fotografien nach vier anonymen Silhouetten des 19. Jahrhunderts, retrieved 8 June 2014 
  5. ^ Kinderman, William, The Creative Process in Music from Mozart to Kurtag, p. 74, retrieved 8 June 2014