Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Fanny

BORN 14 Nov 1805, Berlin - DIED 14 May 1847, Berlin
BIRTH NAME Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Fanny Caecilie
GRAVE LOCATION Berlin: Dreifaltigkeitskirchhof I, Mehringdamm 21 (Halleschen Tor), Kreuzberg (6-6-5/10 104 (DV1-6-5/10), Ehrengrab)

Fanny Mendelssohn-Bartholdy was the daughter of the banker Abraham Mendelssohn-Bartholdy and the older sister of the composer and conductor Félix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy.

Her parents soon recognised her musical talents and together with her brother Felix she received education from the best teachers, like Marie Bigot de Morogues, Ludwig Berger and Friedrich Zelter. She was an excellent pianist and also composed songs and piano pieces. As a woman she didn't have the possibilities of her brother Félix because she was supposed to become a mother and wife. She was restricted to performing at home, but some of her songs were published under her brother's name in 1827 and 1830.

She played during concerts at the Mendelssohn home on Sunday together with hired musicians. In 1829 she married Wilhelm Hensel and in 1831 she restarted the Sunday concerts. They were visited by Franz Liszt, Clara Wieck-Schumann, Heinrich Heine and others.

During 1839/1840 the Hensels travelled through Italy and there she made the acquaintance of many musicians who praised her talent. Back in Berlin she composed her piano work "Das Jahr" (1841). In 1846 she finally found the courage to get her works printed. But during a rehearsal for a Sunday concert she suddenly died from a stroke. Her brother fell into a deep depression and died only half a year later.

Several of her works were published in 1850.

• Father: Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Abraham Ernst
• Brother: Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Felix
• Brother: Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Paul Hermann
• Sister: Dirichlet-Mendelssohn, Rebecka

Related persons
• knew Gounod, Charles
• knew Kinkel, Johanna
• is brother/sister of Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Felix


The grave of Fanny Hensel-Mendelssohn-Bartholdy at the Dreifaltigkeitskirchhof I, Halleschen Tor, Berlin.
Picture by Androom (15 Jul 2005)


The gravesite of Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn-Bartholdy at the Dreifaltigkeitskirchhof I, Halleschen Tor, Berlin.
Picture by Androom (15 Jul 2005)


• Forbes, Malcolm, Women who made a difference, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1990

Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Felix

Published: 01 Jan 2006
Last update: 04 Jan 2022