Sophia Maria Westenholz

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Sophia Maria Westenholz, née Fritscher (1759-1838) was a German composer, musician, singer and music educator. She was born into a privileged family and spent most of her life in the courts of Schwerin and Ludwigslust, capitals of the Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. She studied music with Konzertmeister Johann Wilhelm Hertel in Schwerin beginning at age ten and entered the court orchestra at sixteen. The court moved from Schwerin to Ludwigslust, and Sophia married the new Konzertmeister Carl Friedrich Westenholz, appointed in 1767, who was also a composer of sacred works.[1]

When Carl Westenholz died in 1789, Sophia received the title of Kapellmeisterin at Ludwigslust, and continued her career as a singer, teacher and pianist. In this role, she taught music to the Ludwigslust princesses and composed and performed her own works at court. Three of her eight children became notable musicians. She retired from her court position in 1821 with a pension and had a number of her compositions published in her lifetime.[2]


Selected works include:

Lieder with Unadorned Melodies:

  • Das Grab
  • Die Erscheinung
  • Frühlingsreigen
  • Meine Wünsche

Lieder With Ornamented Melodies:

  • Das Glücke der Liebe
  • Huldigung
  • Lied der Liebe

Lieder That Represent the Early Romantic Style:

  • Morgenlied
  • Weine nicht, es ist vergebens
  • Trost der Hoffnung
  • Der Bund[2]


  1. ^ Sadie, Julie Anne; Samuel, Rhian (1994). The Norton/Grove dictionary of women composers (Digitized online by GoogleBooks). Retrieved 4 October 2010.
  2. ^ a b Arnold, Elizabeth Packard (2006). "(1759-1838):A MUSICO-POETIC ANALYSIS OF SELECTED LIEDER AND HER POSITION IN THE HISTORY OF THE CLASSIC LIED". Retrieved 30 September 2010.