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Elisabeth Grummer (1911 - 1986)

After World War I, the territory of Alsace-Lorraine reverted to France, and German residents were obliged to leave. Grümmer and her family (whose name was Schilz) moved in 1919 to Meiningen, where she enrolled in the town’s drama school and performed Klärchen in Goethe’s Egmont in a student production. The idea of a stage career seemed over with marriage to violinist Detlev Grümmer (concertmaster at the Meiningen Landestheater) and motherhood; but when her husband was engaged as concertmaster at the Municipal Theatre in Aachen, where the General Music Director was Herbert von Karajan, Grümmer decided to take singing lessons with, amongst others, the distinguished vocal coach Franziska Martienssen-Lohmann. Karajan showed great interest, engaging her to sing the First Flower Maid / Parsifal in 1940: her first major role at Aachen was Octavian / Der Rosenkavalier (1941).




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