Liza Lehmann

Liza Lehmann was born in London and spent her earliest years in Italy. She studied singing with her mother, and Alberto Randegger and Jenny Lind, making her professional debut as a lyric soprano in London at a Monday Popular Concert in 1885 at the age of twenty-three. She was soon in great demand for performances at festivals, concert halls and private musical parties throughout Britain. Her repertoire included her own songs, which began to appear in print in 1888, and old English songs by composers such as Thomas Arne and Henry Purcell, which she copied herself from scores in the British Museum. In 1896, she wrote the song cycle In a Persian Garden for four voices and piano. Although she no longer appeared as a singer, Lehmann frequently accompanied her own music in public and was also in demand as a singing teacher, taking on a post as a professor at the Guildhall School of Music in London. Lehmann's success and popularity as a composer was considerable. Like many of her female contemporaries she concentrated on writing vocal music; the genres she embraced ranged from solo songs, duets and partsongs through song-cycles and cantatas, to musicals and operas. For further information, see "Women Composers: Music Through the Ages," volume VII and HPC 02039.