Lula Mysz-Gmeiner


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(b Kronstadt [now Bra#x015F;ov, Romania], 16 Aug 1876; d Schwerin, 7 Aug 1948). German contralto. She came of a musical family: her sister Ella, likewise a contralto, appeared at Covent Garden in 1911 in Engelbert Humperdinck's Königskinder, her brother Rudolf was also a successful singer, and her sister Luise was a pianist. Lula Gmeiner first studied the violin under Olga Grigorovich at Kronstadt, 1882–92, and then singing under Rudolf Lasse there, 1892–6, afterwards with Gustav Walter in Vienna (where she is said to have impressed Johannes Brahms), with Emilie Herzog, Etelka Gerster and Lilli Lehmann in Berlin, and with Raimund von Zur Mühlen in London. She began her concert career at the turn of the century, and in 1900 married Ernst Mysz, an Austrian naval officer. She was regarded as an outstanding interpreter of lieder, comparable with Julia Culp and Elena Gerhardt, although less famous internationally than those singers. She was appointed Kammersängerin, and was a professor at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin, 1920–45. Among her pupils were Peter Anders (who later became her son-in-law) and, briefly, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. In the 1920s Mysz-Gmeiner made several lieder recordings, notably a Franz Schubert series to commemorate the centenary of the composer's death; although by that time she had trouble in maintaining pitch, the best of those recordings, especially Die junge Nonne, well capture the intimacy and purity of her style.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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