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Dorothea Winand-Mendelssohn (1912 - 1997)

Dorothea Mendelssohn was born into a family of pianists and music critics in Erlangen, Germany on 22 May 1912. She studied in Berlin with Edwin Fischer. In 1933 musicians with Jewish names were banned from publicly performing in Germany. Dorothea at this time hyphenated her name, using her mother’s and grandmother’s name—Winand. She also married lawyer Dr Otto Schollwoeck. During the war years her performance options were non-existent, despite name changes and her husband’s protection. She taught the piano privately. Among her students were the two brothers, Klaus and Christoph von Dohnányi, both of whom lost their father when he was arrested by the Nazis in April 1943. Reassembling her career after the war, Dorothea Schollwoeck-Winand-Mendelssohn began again concertizing. She appeared with the SWR and HR orchestras conducted by Hans Rosbaud and Otto Matzerath in performances of both of Felix Mendelssohn’s concertos. She also recorded for Deutsche Grammophon (in England her recordings were released on the Decca label). Despite a wide and eclectic repertoire that spanned from Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms to Bartók, it was Mendelssohn’s music Dorothea remained most closely associated with. She died in Frankfurt on 15 January 1997.



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