Edith Weiss Mann





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                                                           Garden of Ladies 

                                     “One Knows Edith Weiss-Mann (1885-1951)”+

    With the opening of the exhibit for the Hamburg musician Edith Weiss-Mann the Association of the Garden of Ladies begins this year’s historic Watertower season and its special schedule. Until the end of September the historic Watertower is open Sunday afternoons from 2 to 5 pm and visitors are encouraged. During this period the exhibit entitled “One Knows Edith Weiss-Mann”* will be featured.

    This particular saying highlighted posters announcing musical presentations by Edith Weiss-Mann during the 2nd and 3rd decade of the 20th century. She was one of the first harpsichordists and also worked as a piano pedagogue and a music critic. At the University of Hamburg she trained men and women as music teachers, contributed to the formation of the Folk Music school, and in 1925 established the Association for the Performance of Ancient Music in Hamburg.

    Dismissed from teaching in 1933 because of her Jewish derivation, she was forbidden to perform publicly. At one point Wilhelm Furtwängler provided the opportunity for her to play in public. When Edith Weiss-Mann called his attention to the dangerous situation, he answered: “But my dear lady, of course you should sit at the harpsichord for this perfomance.” In 1939 she emigrated to the USA to join her son, where she built a distinguished career. She soon gave radio performances and other concerts, sometimes together with her son. Even today there are recordings of her still on the market.

  In 1946 she fell ill with cancer. Still hoping to recover after a stomach operation, she wrote later that year: “I have returned to life and music in a wonderful way.” After her death in 1951, the urn containing her ashes was buried in the family grave of her first husband* and his parents. Her gravestone is placed in the Garden of the Distinguished Ladies near the historic Watertower on the grounds of the Ohlsdorf Memorial

    This page has been translated by musicologist Dr. Alfred Mann (Alfred Mann Music Festival)
                  from the original German website -
  Additional text and photo located here

+  This saying was coined because it’s a palindrome (Man weiss Weiss-Mann, meaning “one knows Weiss-Mann”).   Actually,the only time this was used was by Steinway and Sons, who paid for shipping the instruments here during the war.   They had a sign in the Hamburg shop which read “Man weiss Steinway bleibt Steinway” Weiss-Mann,   in other words,   “Weiss-Mann says “Steinway remains Steinway”, meaning “only Steinway can equal Steinway.

*Her second husband was an arranged marriage with a Danish diplomat, solely for the purpose of her obtaining a passport to leave Germany.


Naxos.com information of historical Carnegie Hall recording with Harpsichordist Edith Weiss Mann VIVALDI: 12 Violin Concertos, Op. 8 / The Four Seasons (Kaufman) 1947
The CD is also available for purchase at Amazon