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Cornelia Rider-Possart (1865 - 1963)

Cornelia Rider-Possart was born in Dubuque, Iowa on 14 December 1865. Little information exists on her music studies and early years, although it is clear that she was a very gifted pianist with a flair for adventurous repertoire. She resided in Berlin from 1896–1912. In 1902 she married Hermann Possart, the son of the celebrated German actor and theatre director Ernst von Possart (1841–1921) for whom Richard Strauss composed Enoch Arden. Dr Hermann Possart from 1901–1910 was a respected theatre censor with the Berlin police. In February 1909 Cornelia Rider-Possart performed with the Berlin Philharmonic (conducted by Oscar Fried) the Schumann Concerto and Rubinstein’s Fourth Concerto. In addition to her two concerto performances, Ernst von Possart was the speaker in Max von Schilling’s Kassandra Ballade. When Hermann Possart died in Vevey, Switzerland in 1912, Cornelia returned to the United States, and settled in Los Angeles. She continued an active concert career in Europe after the war, touring in the 1920s Germany, Switzerland, France, Holland, Belgium and Italy. Her sister Viola R. Burden lived in Iowa, and Cornelia Rider-Possart maintained a close relationship with the Burden family, often visiting them and attending family events, such as the marriage of her niece, Winifred. Cornelia Rider-Possart died in 1963.



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