Royal College of Music performs Fanny Hensel's Easter Sonata, attributed to Hensel by Angela Mace Christian (Ph.D. musicology, 2013)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017
The piece, long thought to be the work of Hensel's brother, Felix Mendelssohn, was performed by pianist Sofya Gulyak at the Royal College of Music in London on International Women's Day 2017.

In 2010, while a musicology graduate student at Duke, Angela Mace Christian obtained access to an original manuscript held in a private collection. She recognized Hensel's handwriting and musical style, but also that the pages she was holding were those missing from a volume of Hensel's works. Christian's discovery proved that the Easter Sonata was written by Hensel, rather than her brother, Felix, as had been previously thought.

The presentation of the Easter Sonata under Hensel's name on International Women's Day 2017 gives long overdue credit to a talented composer. Writer and film-maker Sheila Hayman (Hensel's great-great-great granddaughter) shares more about Fanny and the Easter Sonata in The Guardian.

Angela Mace Christian is Assistant Professor of Music History at Colorado State University.