Fannie BloomfieldZeisler

Praised for “Playing like a man,” Fannie Bloomfield Zeisler exploded notions about women pianists with the precision, power, and expressiveness of her performances. Zeisler began studying piano in Chicago under the theorists Bernhard Ziehn and Carl Wolfson, making her debut at age eleven for Wolfson’s Beethoven Society. She then studied in Vienna under Theodor Leschetizky, returning to America in 1884. Despite marrying in 1885 and quickly giving birth to three children, Zeisler continued her demanding career, studying in Vienna and touring America and Europe with great success. At the height of her career, in the 1890s, she balanced teaching at Chicago’s Bush Temple of Music with performing in up to fifty engagements per season. In 1925 she celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of her debut by playing Schumann and Chopin with the Chicago Orchestra. Towards the end of her career, she focused more on teaching than performing, passing on the precision and artistry she had learned from Leschetizky to numerous young musicians, many of them women.

Topics: Music
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Fannie Bloomfield-Zeisler was my grandmother's first cousin. I grew up with tales of people kissing the hem of her gown after hearing her play. Her piano rolls are actually available on YouTube.

Musician and educator Fannie Bloomfield Zeisler (1863 – 1927).

Courtesy of the George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress).

Date of Birth


Date of Death
Musician, Educator

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Fannie Bloomfield Zeisler." (Viewed on May 6, 2021) <>.


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