1846 - 1918
Sophie Menter was born in Stockdorf (near Munich), Germany. Two of her older sisters gave her music lessons until she was seven years old, when she became the pupil of Sigmund Lebert, one of the founders of the Stuttgart Conservatory. While in Vienna she was appointed "Pianist of Chamber Music" by the Emperor of Austria in May 1874, a rare honor for a woman. She was part of a group of pianists who occasionally studied with Franz Liszt; he described her as "my only legitimate piano daughter." In 1883, she became professor of piano at St. Petersburg Conservatory. She left this post in 1886 to continue her concert tours. She performed in England 1881 and 1883 and was awarded an honorary membership in the Philharmonic Society. The king of Denmark awarded her a medal for distinguished service, and the king of Sweden awarded her the golden cross for the arts and sciences. Although Menter was more famous as a performer, she was also a creative composer. Her compositions are all for piano. For further information, see "Women Composers: Music Through the Ages," volume VI and HPC 02049.