Clara Mathilde Faisst

Feminale of Music

The composer Clara Faisst, 1912, in a black and white photograph

Clara Faisst received a sound musical education at an early age and at the age of seven was the youngest student of harmony at the Hoftheater Karlsruhe.

Faisst was born on June 22, 1872 in Karlsruhe. In 1894 she went to Berlin to study at the Königliche Hochschule für Musik (now the Universität der Künste Berlin), where she studied composition with Max Bruch and others. Besides composition, she also studied piano, music theory and counterpoint. After completing her studies in 1896, she embarked on an extended concert tour of Germany and Switzerland, performing her own compositions and those of others. From 1900 Faisst settled back in Karlsruhe and worked as a music and piano teacher, and in her apartment at Kriegsstraße 75 she organized chamber concerts. Until 1918 she published her pieces with larger music publishers, after that only in her own publishing house.

Clara Faisst was not only a composer, but also wrote poems, some of which she has published (Hörst du den Ton-?, Freiburg 1924, Matan - Sonette, Karlsruhe 1928). Her complete works comprise 33 opus numbers, most of which contain songs, but the later works are mainly instrumental music. In the meantime, her work has been forgotten and the musical estate of Clara Faisst was discovered by chance in the early 1990s on a bulky waste site in Karlsruhe Durlach. Meanwhile it is part of the music collection of the Badische Landesbibliothek Karlsruhe.

Sontraud Speidel, pianist and professor at the University of Music Karlsruhe, talks about the Karlsruhe composers Margarete Schweikert and Clara Faisst

Malika Reyad (mezzo-soprano) and Eugenia Eichhorn (piano) present pieces by Clara Faisst and Pauline Viardot-Garcia, with reading from the publication »Frauenperspektiven in Karlsruhe« by Christiane Möschle (Panima Verlag)


For Karlsruhe's 300th birthday, Iliriana Gjoni plays Clara Faisst and Frederic Chopin, published by and performed by Iliriana Gjoni at the ZKM for the 300th birthday of the city of Karlsruhe in 2015

Pieces for violoncello accompanied by piano, published by TheTwoplusfour: Garbiela Bradley (violoncello) and Zane Stradyna (piano), live recording from 14 November 2019, Badische Landesbibliothek Karlsruhe

Prelude in Gothic style op. 28, published by and played by Sontraud Speidel (piano) to be found on the CD »Piano music of Karlsruhe composers«, 17.05.1996, Bella Musica


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Mon, April 06, 2020 - Fri, May 01, 2020, Festival