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Margeritha de Landi (Contralto)

Born: December 6, 1910 - Berlin, Germany
Died: August 3, 1976 - Visby, Switzerland

The German contralto, Margeritha de Landi, was born to a Jewish family, of Lithuania and Polish origin, her true name was Margot Ruth, second daughter of Hermann Glant and Lina Rosenberg. She began to study piano when she was only four years old. Later on she attracted attention for her beautiful voice, after audition she was assumed near the synagogue of her quarter. She began her singing studies at the Klindworth-Scharwenka Conservatory, focusing on oratorio and chamber music.

After a first broadcast concert in 1933 the collaboration could not continue due to her since of Jewish race. The same thing happened to Margeritha de Landi with the Berliner Hochschule für Musik where, also having exceeded the entrance exams, t was not possible for her to begin the studies. In 1935 she left Germany and, on council of the Professor Grenzenbach, she moved to Milan, where she studied singing under the guidance of Professor Moratti, then known also in Germany. The parents took care of her maintenance until 1939, when it was prevented by the persecution of the nazis, then in July 1942 they deported them to the camp of Theresienstadt, where both died. Her sister, born in 1902, died to Manila in 1948, as a result of the deprivations endured in a Japanese concentration camp.

In Milan Margeritha de Landi succeeded to maintain herself working for a committee that took care her in shelters for Jewish people after the entrance of the war to Italy (1941). After an audition that the Professor Moratti had arranged for her with the Radio della Svizzera Italiana, she was assumed as soloist in the chorus of RSI, directed by E. Loehrer. As a stateless person she entered Switzerland, lived in Canobbio in the same room of Fernando Corena. In 1944 Walter Lang introduced her to Edward Stämpfli, and they got married in 1947.

Remembered for the quality of her remarkable voice, Margeritha de Landi sang music from early to modern, excelling in the German romantic repertoire. With the RSI she was part of the vocal quartet with M. Caula, S. Bermanis and Fernando Corena. Her repertoire comprised also various works of contemporary composers, also of her husband. In 1943 she sang in Zürich in the premiere of Liederfolge op.47 by W. Lang (accompanied by the composer on the piano) and in l950 in Bern Lyrische Kantate nach altgriechischen Gedichten by H. Studer. In 1950 she sang in Vienna, in 1951 in Berlin, Rotterdam and later on various occasions in Luzern. Her working relationship with the RSI was finished in 1960.


Source: Ricerca musica Website, English translation by Aryeh Oron (March 2005)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (March 2005)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Fritz Lehmann


BWV 232

Links to other Sites

De Landi, Margherita (Ricerca musica) [Italian]


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