Marianna Auenbrugger (Vienna, Austria, 19th July 1759 – Vienna, Austria, 25th August 1782)
Today's guest is a most musical lady. Daughter to a renowned physician, her life and career were all too short and her music is little-heard today. Despite my best efforts I have been unable to find a portrait or drawing of the lady in question but if you can help, I would be delighted to hear from you!
Marianna was born to physician Leopold Auenbrugger and his wife, Anna. and her childhood was far from easy. Frail and in poor health, the young girl nevertheless threw herself into her studies as her father, himself a lover of music, decided that his daughters should enjoy a rich education. Leopold counted Haydn and Leopold Mozart among his friends and held regular musical soirees at his home with Antonio Salieri a regular attendee and family friend. In fact, Auenbrugger would later serve as best man to the composer whilst Haydn dedicated a series of sonatas to Marianna and her sister.
Marianna and her sister regularly performed as a pianist at these events and Salieri took her into his tutelage, deeply impressed by her talent as a composer and musician. Sadly her early promise did not have chance to flourish and she died aged just 23, a victim of consumption. Following her death Salieri paid to have her Keyboard Sonata in E-flat published alongside his own funeral ode, dedicated to her memory.