Ruzena Herlinger

Ruzena Herlinger (b Schwartz). Soprano, teacher, b Tabor, Czechoslovakia, 8 Feb 1890, naturalized Canadian 1954, d Montreal 19 Feb 1978. She began piano lessons at nine and voice study in 1916 in Vienna, continuing later in Berlin with Mme Tömlich.

Herlinger, Ruzena

Ruzena Herlinger (b Schwartz). Soprano, teacher, b Tabor, Czechoslovakia, 8 Feb 1890, naturalized Canadian 1954, d Montreal 19 Feb 1978. She began piano lessons at nine and voice study in 1916 in Vienna, continuing later in Berlin with Mme Tömlich. In 1922 she was a member of the newly formed ISCM in Salzburg. A music patron in Austria, she gave recitals herself in the major European cities and received at her home the composers Berg, Hindemith, Honegger, Krenek, Ravel, Roussel, Webern, and Wellesz, several of whose works she performed. She gained a hearing for Webern's Lieder, particularly in London. When she commissioned a work from Alban Berg in 1929, he interrupted the composing of Lulu to write Der Wein, a concert air which he dedicated to her ('Der ersten Interpretin Frau Ruzena Herlinger in herzlicher Ergebenheit'). She gave the premiere 4 Jun 1930 in Koenigsberg under Hermann Scherchen and the Vienna premiere 21 Jun 1932 under Webern. After living in England during World War II she returned to Czechoslovakia in 1946 to conduct the Prague Radio Choir. She arrived in Montreal in August 1949, and taught there, at first privately and then 1957-62 at the CMM and 1963-1970 at McGill University. Among her pupils were Josèphe Colle, Claude Corbeil, Claire Gagnier, Joseph Rouleau, Huguette Tourangeau, and André Turp.


Further Reading

  • Reich, Willi. Alban Berg (London, New York 1965)

    Gingras, Claude. 'Ruzena Herlinger, Montréalaise d'adoption, vient de mourir à l'âge de 88 ans,' Variations, vol 1, May 1978