Clara Lichtenstein

Clara Lichtenstein. Pianist, teacher, b Budapest, ca 1860, d Dorset, England, 3 May 1946. Born into a musical family, she studied at the Charlotte Square Institute in Edinburgh, founded by her uncle, George Lichtenstein. Her first public performance was in piano duets with Sir Charles Hallé in 1880.

Lichtenstein, Clara

Clara Lichtenstein. Pianist, teacher, b Budapest, ca 1860, d Dorset, England, 3 May 1946. Born into a musical family, she studied at the Charlotte Square Institute in Edinburgh, founded by her uncle, George Lichtenstein. Her first public performance was in piano duets with Sir Charles Hallé in 1880. She spent the following year at the Royal Academy of Music in Vienna and is said to have had lessons with Liszt about this time. After her uncle's death she became principal of the Charlotte Square Institute.

At the invitation of Lord Strathcona, she moved in 1899 to Montreal to organize the music department of the new Royal Victoria College and quickly established herself as the right person for such a task. The Ladies' Magazine, Toronto, reported that 'Miss Lichtenstein's work at the Royal Victoria College is of so high an order as to make the musical course at the College famous in the United States as well as in Canada... She possesses strong magnetism and an attractive, unassuming manner, which wins her friends wherever she goes'. When the McGill Conservatorium was founded in 1904, she was appointed vice-director. She remained as head of staff and was responsible for the teaching of piano, voice, history, and theory until 1929. She also frequently performed and lectured in public. Her pupils included the soprano Pauline Donalda, the pianists Ellen Ballon and Marguerita Spencer, and the bass Edmund Burke.


Further Reading

  • 'Miss Clara Lichtenstein,' Ladies' Magazine, Apr 1901

    Morgan, Henry James. The Canadian Men and Women of the Time (Toronto 1912)

    Vaughan, Susan E. 'Clara Lichtenstein,' McGill News, Summer 1946

    McLean, Eric. 'Clara brought touch of class to Montreal,' Montreal Gazette, 12 Jan 1980

    McGill University. Archives. RG39