Matthias Henke

Emmy Rubensohn

Musikmäzenin/Music Patron (1884–1961)

Language: German, English
368 pages, softcover with (fold-in) flaps
291 illustrations
ISBN: 978-3-95565-523-5
Publication date: 2022
32.00 €

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Emmy Rubensohn (1884-1961) was a music patron, concert manager, salonnière, and letter writer. Born in Leipzig in 1884 to the Jewish Frank family of entrepreneurs, she was passionate about going to concerts as a child, especially at the Leipzig Gewandhaus, and collecting autographs of prominent artists of her time.

After marrying Ernst Rubensohn in 1907, she moved to Kassel, where she and her husband made their house a cultural meeting place that was frequented by the likes of conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler and painter Oskar Kokoschka. Thanks to a "residence scholarship", the composer Ernst Krenek was also able to complete his opera "Jonny spielt auf" here, which had its world premiere in Leipzig in 1927 before becoming a worldwide success. 

After the National Socialists came to power, Emmy Rubensohn founded the Jewish Cultural Association in Kassel and organized dozens of concerts, for example with the conductor Joseph Rosenstock and the pianist Grete Sultan. It was not until 1938 that the Rubensohns decided to emigrate, fleeing to Shanghai in 1940 and finally to the USA in 1947. At all stations of their lives, Emmy Rubensohn and her husband maintained an artistic circle of friends, even after his death in 1951. This circle included the likes of violinist Roman Totenberg, as well as conductor Dimitri Mitropoulos or Alma Mahler-Werfel, and can be reconstructed by virtue of their surviving guest book.



Matthias Henke

lehrte von 2008 bis 2019 als Ordentlicher Professor Historische Musikwissenschaft an der Universität Siegen. Von 2018 bis 2021 leitete er an der Universität für Weiterbildung Krems das Projekt Cerha Online, das dem österreichischen Komponisten Friedrich Cerha gewidmet ist. Henke ist Wissenschaftlicher Beirat des Ernst Krenek Instituts Krems und der Kurt Weill Gesellschaft Dessau. Zahlreiche Veröffentlichungen, u. a. zu Arnold Schönberg, Joseph Haydn und Ludwig van Beethoven.

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