Elfrida Andrée


Elfrida Andrée (19 February 1841 – 11 January 1929), was a Swedish organist, composer, and conductor. A 1996 recording on the Caprice label features Andrée’s piano quintet, along with a piano sonata, the string quartet in D minor, and vocal music.

Andrée was born in Visby. She was the pupil of Ludvig Norman and Niels Wilhelm Gade. Her sister was the singer Fredrika Stenhammar. An activist in the Swedish women’s movement, she was one of the first female organists to be officially appointed in Scandinavia. She began work in Stockholm in 1861 and became the organist at Gothenburg Cathedral in 1867. For her services, she was elected to the Royal Swedish Academy of Music. She died in Gothenburg.
she was named leader of that city’s Workers Institute Concerts, establishing her reputation as the first Swedish woman to conduct a symphony orchestra. Playwright Selma Lagerlöf was a good friend of Andrée’s and they wrote an opera entitled Fritiof’s Saga (1898) together that was unsuccessfully submitted to a competition for a new work to be staged at the opening of the Royal Opera House in Stockholm.
Andrée’s two organ symphonies are still performed today. Her other compositions included the opera Fritiofs saga (1899, libretto by Selma Lagerlöf), several works for orchestra including two symphonies, a piano quartet in A minor (1870) and a piano quintet in E minor (published in 1865), a piano trio in G minor (1887) (and another published posthumously in C minor), a string quartet in D minor from 1861 and another in A major, pieces for violin (including sonatas in E flat and B flat major) and for piano, two Swedish masses, an 1879 choral ballade “Snöfrid”, and lieder.

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