• George Sand/Amandine Aurore Lucile Dupin (1804-1876): Writer, at one time lover of Chopin. Occasional companion to Liszt and d’Agoult, friend of d’Agoult. For more information on Sand, see Feminism page (under Women and Literature in the 19th Century)
  • Bettina von Arnim (1785-1859) (mentioned in a letter to Marie D’Agoult 1842): Writer, editor, publisher, composer, singer, visual artist, and patron; composed under a pseudonym (Beans Beor); admired by Liszt, according to the Grove article. Did not publish under her own name until after her husband’s death. Her book Goethe’s Correspondence with a Child (1835) was based on her own correspondence with Goethe, and published after his death. This publication increased the popularity of her salon. (Clark 51)
  • Princess Cristina Trivulzio di Belgiojoso (1808-1871): Italian aristocrat who married Prince Emilio Barbiano di Belgioioso, who separated from her in the 1830s; Liszt spent time in her salon and she organized recitals for him. She also was helpful in introducing him to important people. Possible love interest? (though he was still with D’Agoult at the time, c. 1837, causing some bitterness there) Had common religious beliefs.
  • Lady Marguerite Blessington: author, her book Conversations of Lord Byron with the Countess of Blessington (London, 1834), was eagerly sought by Liszt and D’Agoult even before its publication.
  • Lina Ramann (1833-1912): author, music teacher. Wrote about Liszt. Caught attention of Princess Sayn-Wittgenstein with a study of Christus (1874). The Princess thought she would be a good Liszt biographer. Suspected to be under the influence of the Princess (thereby painting d’Agoult badly), but probably not likely.
  • Maria Malibran (1808-1836): Spanish mezzo-soprano vocalist. Sister of Pauline Viardot. Married violinist Charles de Bériot, fell off a horse a month later and died.
  • Lina Schmalhausen (1864- ): Student and friend of Liszt from 1879-1886, in contact with her until his death.
  • Sophie Menter (1846-1918): German pianist, student.
  • Amy Fay (1844-1928): American pianist, student of Liszt for a short period of time (1875-6).
  • Pauline Apel: housekeeper at Liszt’s home, the Hofgärtneri given to him by Duke Carl Alexander, around the time of his death; the house became a museum after and she was curator.
  • Johanna Wenzel-Zarembski: a student of Liszt’s in the later years; once asked about a surgery to cut the webbing of the fingers to increase reach and he responded: “I earnestly beg of you to think no more of having the barbarous operation. Better to play every octave and chord wrong throughout your life than to commit such a mad attack upon your hands.”
  • Olga Janina (fl. 19th-c. Paris): Russian pianist, former student, possible lover.
  • Olga von Meyendorff (Saffle 339n, v.2 lots - see 332): Friend during the final fifteen years. Weimar. Had many of Liszt’s documents that eventually ended up at Harvard. Pianist. Helped him get medical help in the last few years. Burned her letters (probably a habit).
  • Emilie Merian-Genast: Friend, possible lover.
  • Arma Senkrah: American violinist, killed herself in 1900 in Weimar.

George Sand


  • Amandine-Aurore-Lucile Dupin, born 1 July 1804
    • raised on grandmother’s estate of Nohant, which she inherited in 1821
    • educated partly in convent in Paris
  • married Casimir Dudevant (1795-1871) in 1822
    • children – Maurice (1823-89), Solange (1828-99)
    • separated 1835
  • notorious love affairs – many, the most important being with
    • writer Alfred de Musset
    • Chopin (lasted 1837-47)
  • spent later life at Nohant – died 8 June 1876
  • views
    • political liberal – championed rights of common people
    • femme libre – wore men’s clothes and smoked tobacco in public
  • circles included
    • literary figures
    • musicians


  • autobiographical works
    • Histoire de ma vie (1855) – extends to 1848 revolution
  • 39 novels, including
    • Indiana (1832) – first non-collaborative work; topic is woman’s right to leave unhappy marriage
    • Valentine (1832), Lélia (1833) – deal with love across social classes
    • “rustic novels” – set in Berry region; about love transcending class and convention
    • Un hiver à Majorque (1839)
    • Lucrezia Floriani (1846) – based on affair with Chopin (though she denied a direct relationship)
    • Consuelo (1861) – based on Pauline Viardot (1821-1910)
  • non-fiction – political and critical works
    • Lettres d’un voyageur (1834-36) – published serially

Relationship with Liszt – apparently thought of Liszt as the ideal musician

  • introduced in 1834 by Musset(?); Musset became jealous of Liszt
  • friend of Marie d’Agoult
    • went with her and Liszt to Chamonix in 1836, traveled on Fribourg together
    • d'Agoult may have been jealous of Sand
    • Casimir at one point had in mind to claim that Sand, Liszt, and d'Agoult had made a threesome
    • in Nohant in 1837 – spent evenings with them reading and discussing Byron, Hoffmann, Dante, listening to Liszt play Beethoven
    • became bitter enemies
      • partly as a result of Balzac’s novel Béatrix, which portrayed its Sand character sympathetically and its d’Agoult character negatively, and for which d’Agoult blamed Sand
      • partly after Sand’s Horace (1841) in which the d’Agoult character is depicted as entirely unappealing
  • Lettres d’un voyageur (published together 1837)
    • dream at beginning of Letter 2 – considered as musical topic by Liszt
    • Obermann mentioned in Letter 6
    • Letter 7, originally published in Revue des Deux Mondes on 1 September 1835, addressed to Liszt –whom she addresses at the end as “brother”
      • starts by discussing music as a divine art
      • claims to be living all alone in a friend’s overgrown house in a town on the banks of the Loire, while Liszt is in Geneva
      • mostly a treatment of Lavater’s ideas on physiognomy and character – “You must be one of those perfected, quasi-angelic personalities, my dear Franz. Your physiognomy, your constitution, your imagination, your genius disclose those faculties that the heavens give to their chosen vessels.”
      • describes their shared time in the past, and refers to Marie d’Agoult as “that blond peri in the azure dress, amiable and noble creature, who descended one evening from heaven to the garret of the poet and sat between the two of us, like the marvelous princesses who appeared to poor artists in the happy tales of Hoffmann”
      • closes with reflections on the political situation in France following the silk-workers’ strike in Lyon
    • model for Liszt’s Album d’un voyageur
  • Liszt wrote of Sand, “She is beyond doubt or comparison the ‘strongest’ woman (in the Biblical sense) and the most astonishingly gifted.” Quoted in Cate, preface, xxvi.

Clara Wieck Schumann (1819-1896)

  • Pianist, composer, wife of Robert. Liszt’s Etudes d’exécution transcendante d’après Paganini were inscribed to her.
  • In 1838 Clara hears Liszt for the first time and writes the following in her diary:
    • “We have heard Liszt. He can be compared to no other player… He arouses fright and astonishment… His appearance at the piano is indescribable. He is an original… he is absorbed by the piano.” (quoted in Walker, Relationship 161)
  • According to Walker, Liszt dedicated his “Paganini Studies” to Clara several weeks after this initial observation. (Ibid.)
  • A rift began to form between Liszt and Clara after a lawsuit was filed against her father - as Liszt took Robert Schumann’s side in the battle with Friedrich Wieck, Wieck responded by speaking out against Liszt and a student of his, Hermann Cohen. Liszt took the slander in stride, but Cohen did not. When Cohen took Clara’s father to court, she claimed that it had hurt her and told Robert Schumann: “it is not right of you at all” (Ibid. 162)
  • The possible “final straw” in their relationship was in June 1848, when Clara arranged a gathering and dinner featuring and in honor of Liszt when he visited the Schumann’s Dresden residence.
    • Liszt arrived two hours late. He then proceeded to indirectly insult the memory of Mendelssohn (who had recently died in 1847), at which point Robert Schumann lost control and burst out at Liszt: “Who are you that you dare to speak in such a way of a musician like Mendelssohn?” at which point he left the room.
    • In Schumann’s wake, Liszt told Clara that he would not have taken those words from anyone but Schumann. After Liszt, too, left the room, Clara claimed that she was through with Liszt (Ibid. 163)
  • Clara considered a peer of Liszt on piano, two of the first to give solo recitals (Reich, Grove)
  • Clara once postponed a tour so as not to be “in rivalry with [Liszt]”; according to Reich, Clara told Joseph Joachim that she wanted to sign a declaration against the “New Germans,” meaning Liszt and Wagner; list was published without her name on it; she also confessed to Joachim that because Liszt and Wagner would be conducting at the Beethoven centennial celebrations in Vienna, she did not want to be a part of them (Reich 262) (dates?)
  • In her early performing days, she played contemporary composers including Liszt. Later in life, she would turn to older composers such as Bach, D. Scarlatti, Beethoven, and Schubert in addition to contemporaries such as Mendelssohn. (Reich, Grove)

“Arma Senkra A Suicide.” The New York Times. 5 September 1900.
Franz Liszt: Selected Letters. Ed. Adrian Williams. (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1998): 179.
James Deaville, eds. Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon Press, 1997. 268-9.
Jung, Hans Rudolf. “Liszt and the Meyendorff Family.” New Light on Liszt and His Music. 58-68.
Keeling, Geraldine Field. “Liszt and Lina Schmalhausen,” Journal of the American Liszt Society, v. 5, June 1979. 47-53.
Gattey, Charles Neilson. A Bird of Curious Plumage: Princess Cristina di Belgiojoso 1808-1871. London: Constable and Company Ltd., 1971.
Gerig, Reginald. “On Liszt’s Piano Technique.” New Light on Liszt and His Music. Michael Saffle and
Lemke, Ann Willison. “Bettina Brentano.” Grove Music Online.
"Maria Malibran.” Encyclopaedia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011. Web. 06 Jan. 2011. <>.
Pocknell, Pauline. “Clandestine Portraits: Liszt in the art of his Age.” New Light on Liszt and His Music. 140.
Reich, Nancy B. “Clara Schumann,” in Grove Music Online.
Reich, Nancy B. Clara Schumann, the Artist and the Woman. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1985.
Walker, Alan. “Franz Liszt.” Grove Music Online.
Walker, Alan. Franz Liszt. New York: Knopf, 1983.
Walker, Alan. “Lina Ramann.” Grove Music Online.
Walker, Alan. “Schumann, Liszt and the C Major Fantasie, Op. 17: A Declining Relationship.” In Music and Letters, Vol. 60, April 1979. 156-165.