Tilly Koenen (1873-1941).

  • Profession: Soprano.
  • Residences: Salatiga, Amsterdam, Apeldoorn, Berlin, London, The Hague.
  • Relation to Mahler: In 1910 she sang in the premiere of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony under the direction of Gustav Mahler in Munich.
  • Correspondence with Mahler: Yes.
    • 00-00-0000, Year 
  • Born: 25-12-1873 Salatiga, Java, Indonesia.
  • Died: 04-01-1941 The Hague, the Netherlands. In the house of Cornelie van Zanten (her former teacher). Aged 68.
  • Buried: 07-01-1941 Crematorium Westerveld, Driehuis, Velsen, the Netherlands. Cremated.
  1. 1906 Concert Munich 08-11-1906 – Symphony No. 6.
  2. 1907 Concert St Petersburg 26-10-1907.
  3. 1910 Concert New York 03-02-1910.
  4. 1910 Concert New York 04-02-1910.

Tilly (Mathilde Caroline) Koenen born at the isle of Java in Salatiga. Familiar with the language she liked to sing Malay songs. Already in 1906 she performed Malay songs written down by Indisch composer Constant van de Wall in Berlin. These ‘Maleische liederen’ she also performed later in all major cities in Europe.

She made her debut in Berlin, where she followed her teacher – the famous contralto and singing-pedagogue Cornélie van Zanten. She made quickly furore in Germany and the Netherlands and sang a.o. for the German Kaiser and at the Dutch Court. After very successful concert-tours through Middle-Europe, she settled down in London. In 1909 and 1910 she made concert-tours through the U.S. and Canada, where she also appeared in oratorio. Only once she sang in an opera – Orpheus – under the baton of Cornélie van Zanten in Amsterdam. 

Gustav Mahler

  • Tilly Koenen letter to Mahler dated 09-01-1907, Paris. The dates of her three Vienna recitals were 05-02-1907, 07-02-1907 and 25-02-1907. It is obvious in the letter that Mahler had wanted to engage her as soloist for his Berlin performance of his Third Symphony, but that she had been unable to accept.
  • Undated letter to Tilly Koenen (mid-Jan. 1907). Accompanied by Coenraad V. Bos, Tilly Koenen sang the Kintertotenlieder in Berlin in her third recital on 21-02-1907.
  • In 1910 she sang in the premiere of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony under the direction of Gustav Mahler in Munich.

Tilly Koenen (1873-1941).

Program Elias with Tilly Koenen (1873-1941).

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