Happy Birthday, Josephine Lang!

Today is the 199th birthday of German composer Josephine Lang—born March 14, 1815 and died December 2, 1880.  Born in to a musical family (with a violinist for a father and an opera singer for a mother), she was encouraged from the beginning and received great opportunities and training during her lifetime.  Felix Mendelssohn guided her understanding of theory and harmony, and Robert Schumann published one of her pieces.

Her compositions are lieder and works for solo piano.  She took a break from composing as she raised a family, but was forced to begin composing, publishing, and teaching piano again when her husband died suddenly and she needed to care for her children.  In fact, Clara Schumann put together a benefit concert for Lang, which helped cultivate interest in her works.

Some of her pieces are now available in the public domain.


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