Elfrida Andrée

Elfrida Andrée

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(1841-1929)

Elfrida Andrée, born in Visby, Sweden, on 19 February 1841, was openly feminist. Not being able to enter the organ class at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm because women were not admitted, she prepared the exam on her own and was awarded the organist diploma from the Academy in 1857. Then, faced with the Swedish clergy who were hostile to the idea of women in the organ loft, she engaged herself in a long political combat, supported by her father, Andreas Andrée, an ardent supporter of the emancipation of women. In this way, she helped Swedish women to gain access to organist positions from 1861 onwards. She herself held the position of organist at the cathedral of Göteborg from 1867 to her death in 1929 at the age of eighty-seven. In 1860, Elfrida Andrée started studying composition with the composer Ludvig Norman (1831-1885). She also took instrumentation lessons with Niels Gade (1817-1890) in Copenhagen in 1870. Her considerable number of works cover a wide variety of forms: let us cite especially the opera Fritiofs saga (1899) on a libretto by Selma Lagerlöf, which has not been staged, two symphonies (1869 and 1893), very beautiful chamber music, piano pieces, choral music, songs and organ pieces.