Holmès, Augusta

BORN 16 Dec 1847, Paris - DIED 28 Jan 1903, Paris
BIRTH NAME Holmes, Augusta Mary Anne
GRAVE LOCATION Versailles, Yvelines: Cimetière St.-Louis, 8, Rue Monseigneur-Gibier

Augusta Holmes was the daughter of English parents who had settled in France. She was not allowed to study at the Conservatory in Paris but she took private music lessons with the local pianist Mademoiselle Peyronnet and with organist Henri Lambert and Hyacinthe Klosé. Her first compositions where published under the name of Hermann Zenta. She was able to show some of her early work to Franz Liszt.

Around 1869 she became the lover of Catulle Mendès, who was married to Judith Gautier. She gave birth to their child Raphaël in 1870. During that year she and Mendes visited Richard Wagner in Bayreuth and from that time he promoted Wagner's work in Paris. In 1876 César Franck became her teacher.

She had five children with Mendes but in 1885 their affair ended. In 1889 she was commissioned to create a composition for the Wold Exhibition in Paris. This was the "Ode Triomphale" that was performed on 11, 12 and 14 September. After Franck died in 1891 she led the group of his students that commissioned a medaillon by Rodin for his tomb.

In 1895 her opera "La Montagne Noire" was first performed but it was no success. She became a supporter of Paul Déroulède in 1899. In 1901 she adopted the Catolic faith and she changed her first name to Patricia. She died in 1903 in Paris.

Related persons
• was pupil to Franck, César
• was the lover of Mendès, Catulle
• was a friend of Saint-Saëns, Camille
• admired Wagner, Richard


The grave of Augusta Holmès at the Cimetière Saint-Louis, Versailles.
Picture by Androom (19 Feb 2016)


Augusta Holmes (1847-1903)
Augusta Holmès - Wikipedia

Holst, Maria

Published: 27 Nov 2016
Last update: 19 Apr 2022