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Johanna Senfter


"... a strikingly creative talent!"   Max Reger

The German composer Johanna Senfter was born on
27 November 1879 in Oppenheim.
At the age of three she was already beginning to pick out song tunes on the piano, and at the age of seven she invented her first piano pieces, which her mother wrote down for her. It was her mother who also gave Johanna her first violin and piano lessons at the age of eight.

From 1885 Johanna Senfter studied composition under Knorr, violin under Rebner, piano under Friedberg and organ at the Hochsche Konservatorium in Frankfurt am Main. This gave her a considerable amount of musical training when in 1908 she became a student of Max Reger in Leipzig.

In 1909 the young composer completed her studies with distinction and in 1910 she was awarded the Arthur Nickisch prize for the best musical composition of the preceding year. Close links were maintained between the Reger and Senfter families until Reger's death in 1916. After the end of WW I  Senfter went through a period of intense creative output and gave many successful performances.

Johanna Senfter died on 11 August 1961 in Oppenheim.

She left behind 134 works of every musical genre except opera: there are eight symphonies, twenty six orchestral works with vocal or instrumental solos, chamber-music for various combinations of instruments, compositions for organ, choruses and songs.

Max Reger wrote to Johanna's father Georg Senfter on July 12, 1908:

"Dear Sir!
Your daughter has now been my student for a fairly long time, and has made such
extraordinary progress that it is virtually an obligation of necessity to ensure that she complete her education. In view of your daughter’s excellent musical and composing talents, I can only advise the following: that your daughter enrol in my theory or composition class here at the Royal Conservatory for Music on
1 October, and there enjoy a further year of instruction with me. As I say, in view of your daughter’s extraordinary composing talent, it would be a sin not to allow the talent to mature fully. ...
I very much hope that you will follow my counsel and urge you to send me your hopefully positive reply as soon as possible.

Most respectfully,
your most devoted
Prof. Max Reger.”


LAST Change: Friedemann Kupsa
(28.01.2015 - 20:26 Uhr)

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Johanna Senfter