Josepha Barbara Auernhammer

Josepha Barbara Auernhammer (25 September 1758 – 30 January 1820) was an Austrian pianist and composer.

She was born in Vienna, the eleventh child of Johann Michael Auernhammer and Elisabeth Timmer. Josepha Barbara Auernhammer studied with Georg Friedrich Richter, Leopold Anton Kozeluch and from 1781 on Mozart, with whom she fell in love. On 27 June 1781, Mozart wrote of her: "I am almost every day after dinner at H: v: Auernhammer - The freulle is a monster! - Plays for the delight, however, only the truth She's fine taste in singing cantabile from; verzupft it all." In this year dedicated to her his Mozart Piano Violin Sonatas K. 296 and K. 376–80.

Auernhammer corrected the printing of several sonatas by Mozart, and her piano playing of Mozart was described by Abbé Stadler. During a house concert in Vienna Passauerhof she played on 23 November 1781 Mozart's Sonata for Two Pianos K. 448 and the Double Concerto K. 365th with Further joint concert appearances took place in January 1782 and on 26 May 1782.

After the death of her father, Mozart gave Auernhammer quarters with a countess in the town of Leopold. In 1786 she married Johann Bessenig (c. 1752 – 1837), with whom she had four children. She regularly participated in concerts in private and at the Burgtheater. Already on 25 March 1801, immediately after the work was finished, she played the Piano Concerto in C major, Op 15 by Ludwig van Beethoven. Her last public concert was on 21 March 1813, together with her daughter, Marianna Auenheim, who was a known voice teacher and pianist.

Auernhammer wrote mainly piano music, especially variations, which are characterized by extensive knowledge of pianistic techniques and artful use of the instrument.

She died in Vienna was buried in St. Marxer Cemetery.


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