Paradis, Maria Theresia von



Austrian pianist, composer and soprano singer, also skilled as an organist. Her father, Joseph Anton, was a Councillor at the Court in Vienna, where she was born and died. Such a favorite was she with her godmother, the Empress, for whom she was named, that she received an annual pension of about two hundred florins as long as the Princess lived. When a little child Maria lost her eyesight, but that did not prevent her from studying the piano under Richter and Kozeluch, singing with Righini and Salieri, and composition from Fibertti and Vogler. Her repertory included no less than sixty concertos, which she learned perfectly by ear and through her wonderful memory was able to keep. More remarkable still, she was a composer. A family friend invented for her a system of notation. By means of this she was able to write a number of stage pieces, Ariadne und Bacchus; Der Schulecandidat; and Rinaldo und Alcina; the cantata, Deutsches Monument Ludwig's des Unglucklichen, in commemoration of Louis XVI.; a trio; sonatas and variations for the piano; a fantasia; and a number of songs. She founded a school of music for girls, and the last years of her life were spent in giving vocal and piano lessons.