Dora Pejačević

10/09/1885 Budapest, Hungary, 05/03/1923 Munich, Germany  

Dora Pejačević (1885–1923) studied the violin with Václav Huml and instrumentation with Dragutin Kaiser in Zagreb, composition with Percy Sherwood in Dresden and Walter Courvoisier in Munich, yet she was largely self-taught. She grew up and spent most of her life in the town of Našice, Croatia, but also lived in Budapest, Prague and Vienna. In 1921, after marrying Ottomar von Lumbe, she settled in Munich. Her music features elements of Late Romanticism, tints of Impressionism, as well as Expressionism. Especially remarkable are her orchestral pieces, comparable to those of Richard Strauss. Dora Pejačević was the first composer in Croatia to create songs with orchestral accompaniment. As a young woman, she frequently visited Bohemia, particularly to see Baroness Sidonia Nádherná, a patron of the arts and a close friend of hers, at her mansion in Vrchotovy Janovice. (Dora was reputedly in love with Sidonia’s brother.) Pejačević associated with a number of Czech artists, including musicians, among them the virtuoso violinist Jaroslav Kocián, for whom she wrote several works. She also dedicated a few pieces to the composer Vítězslav Novák, whom she admired and greatly respected.

Dora Pejačević: Piano Concerto in G minor Op. 33. Peter Donohoe & BBC Symphony Orchestra © PIAS

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