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Estelle Liebling

Beverly Sills

As someone who overcame many obstacles in her career, Beverly Sills exemplifies the enduring American image of the underdog succeeding against all odds. As an articulate advocate for the arts, she is among the most widely recognized faces from the world of American opera.

Estelle Liebling

A member of a very musical Jewish family, Estelle Liebling, soprano and one of the most influential teachers of singing in America, was born in New York City on April 21, 1880, to Matilde (de Perkiewicz) and Max Liebling. Her father and her uncles, George, Emil, and Solly Liebling, all studied with Franz Liszt and had significant careers as pianists and composers. She had three brothers, Otto, Leonard, and James; Leonard and James were also professional musicians. At first, Liebling was trained as a pianist but, as she stated, “Fortunately, they found I had a voice.” She studied in Berlin with Selma Nicklass-Kempner, serving also as her teacher’s accompanist during lessons with other students. She also studied in Paris with Mathilde Marchesi.

Jewish Women and Jewish Music in America

American Jewish music has expanded vastly in variety, range, and quality of activities. Jews brought to America their secular-folk and sacred-liturgical musical heritage. There has been a renascence of age-old traditions that have become means of self-expression for Jewish women.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Estelle Liebling." (Viewed on September 22, 2014) <http://jwa.org/taxonomy/term/11825>.

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