Rudersdorff, Herminie



A famous soprano vocalist and teacher; born at Ivanowsky, Ukraine; was the daughter of a violinist of note, Joseph Rudersdorff (1788-1866), who removed three years after her birth to Hamburg. She studied at Paris under Bordogni and at Milan under de Micherout, and after singing in concert in various German cities, came more prominently before the public at a Gewandhaus concert, Leipsic, in 1840, appearing in Mendelssohn's Lobgesang. She appeared the next year at Carlsruhe, then sang at Frankfort, where she married Dr. Kuchenmeister, a professor of mathematics. From 1852 to 1854 she was engaged at the Friedrich-Wilhelmstadt Theatre in Berlin, then lived in England from 1854 to 1865, where she sang first at Drury Lane in German Opera, later at the Royal Italian Opera, also in various concerts, and between seasons visited the provincial towns, Germany, France and Holland. She was engaged as a soloist at the Boston Jubilee Festivals of 1871 and 1872, and afterward settled in the United States, where she devoted herself to teaching, and became eminent in her profession. Among her many pupils of talent were Carlotta Patti, Minnie Hauck, and Eugenie Pappenheim. She appeared again in opera in 1878 as a member of the Pappenheim Company, appearing in New York as Ortrud in Lohengrin for the first time. She possessed a voice of great power, which was not always of pleasing quality, and a marked declamatory ability that distinguished her in oratorio above opera, although she appeared in many different parts in various operas by French, Italian and German composers. She also composed to some extent, was a musical contributor to several periodicals, and wrote the libretto to Randegger's Fridolin, after Schiller, for the Birmingham Festival of 1873. She died at her country home near Boston.