Wayne State College

'An Evening of Fanny Hensel' Honors Works by Remarkable Female Composer

Published Monday, April 1st, 2024

Sarah Farr and Angela Miller-Niles
Sarah Farr and Angela Miller-Niles

The performance, free and open to the public, is at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 8, in Ley Theatre.

“An Evening of Fanny Hensel” features Dr. Sarah Farr, mezzo-soprano, and Dr. Angela Miller-Niles, piano, at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 8, in Ley Theatre, located in the Brandenburg Building at Wayne State College. The performance is free and open to the public.

It will also be livestreamed. To view the livestream, go to www.wsc.edu/watch-live.

Farr is an associate professor and teaches voice classes at Wayne State, and Miller-Niles serves as professor of piano and chair of the Department of Music.

Repertoire includes works for solo piano, and piano and voice. Fanny Hensel grew up in Berlin, Germany, in the early 1800s. Societal conventions glorified male supremacy and regarded women as subordinate. Family status allowed Hensel an extensive musical education yet limited her career opportunities. Despite social mores, Hensel continued her prodigious compositional and piano skills in the shadow of her famous brother, composer Felix Mendelssohn.

Hensel’s compositions include more than 125 pieces for piano and more than 250 songs. Most of Hensel’s works were unpublished in her lifetime, with a few published under her brother’s name. “She was well-known and respected by her contemporaries,” explains Miller-Niles, “but forgotten over the course of history. Her works are now getting more attention and we want to celebrate Hensel’s musical contributions.”

For more information, contact the Wayne State Department of Music at 402-375-7359.