Duchess Elisabeth Sophie of Mecklenburg

Elisabeth Sophie of Mecklenburg
Spouse(s) Augustus the Younger, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Noble family House of Mecklenburg
Father John Albert II, Duke of Mecklenburg
Mother Margaret Elisabeth of Mecklenburg
Born (1613-08-20)20 August 1613
Died 12 July 1676(1676-07-12) (aged 62)

Elisabeth Sophie of Mecklenburg, Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg (20 August 1613 – 12 July 1676) was a German poet and composer.


She began studying music at the court of her father, Duke John Albert II of Mecklenburg-Güstrow, where there was an orchestra known for its use of fine English musicians, such as William Brade.[1] She moved to the court of Kassel, which also had a strong musical tradition, when the Thirty Years War threatened her court in 1628. In 1635 she married the learned Augustus the Younger, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg.[1] They had two children:

Elisabeth Sophie was charged with organizing the court orchestra, and at times worked closely with Heinrich Schütz, who was appointed absentes Kapellmeister in 1655. She may have collaborated with him on arias in his Theatralische neue Vorstellung von der Maria Magdalena.[1]

Most of Elisabeth Sophie 's compositions are hymns or devotional arias. Some of these were published in 1651 and 1667. The one printed in 1651, Vinetum evangelicum, Evangelischer Weinberg, is believed to have been the first music published by a woman in Germany.[2] She also played a major role in establishing large court entertainments, including masquerades, plays, and ballets, to which she at times wrote librettos and music. Her additional involvement in these entertainments is unclear. Two of her dramatic works survive: Friedens Sieg (1642, Brunswick) and Glückwünschende Freudensdarstellung (Lüneburg, 1652).[1]

Sibylle Ursula von Braunschweig-Lüneburg was her stepdaughter.[3]


  1. 1 2 3 4 See Walter, Sophie Elisabeth
  2. See Tick, Western Classical
  3. Hilary Brown (2012). Luise Gottsched the Translator. Camden House. pp. 23–. ISBN 978-1-57113-510-0.


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