Blog | 5 Facts about Sophie-Carmen Eckhardt Gramatté
5 Facts about Sophie-Carmen Eckhardt Gramatté
By admin | March 21, 2019
Inspired by and based on the life of composer and violinist Sophie-Carmen Eckhardt-Gramatté, Never the Last hits the ANNEX stage on April 9 and runs till April 20.
Never The Last seamlessly blends classical violin performances, movement, and text to tell the heartbreaking story of two people in love.
Delinquent Theatre fell in love with her music first, but the more they learned about her, the more they knew they wanted to share her story with everyone. Here are five facts about this incredible woman:
- She was a badass. She was accepted into a prestigious conservatory in Paris at age nine, despite almost being denied entrance for being a “bastard.” But at age 14 she left—though she reportedly outplayed her fellow students (all male students who were 18-20 years old). She did not place in her school’s violin competition. She quit—after she wrote a fiery letter denouncing the school.
- She had a troubled childhood. After being abandoned by her father, her mother was left with three young children. Sophie was left behind at an artists’ commune in England where she was used as free labour, beaten, and isolated. When her mother came to get her years later, she spoke only English and had to relearn German.
- She was fearless. After her husband Walter Gramatté’s death, he was labelled a “degenerate” artist by the Nazis. She continued to acquire and hide his works to save them from destruction, despite being under surveillance herself as a “non-Aryan artist.”
- She was a romantic. Though her letters and first-hand accounts of those who knew her reveal her to be a blunt, passionate, and sometimes rude person, her sensitivity is overwhelmingly present in her music and in her letters to Walter—which continued long after his death and until her own.
- She was resilient. Despite facing discrimination in varied forms—everything from being denied into music competitions, exclusion from programming at major orchestras, she was even denied collaboration with a female artist who believed two women artists should not work together—she now has an extensive legacy in Winnipeg, where she immigrated in 1952. To this day, the Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition honours the best in classical music from across Canada.
Never the Last runs April 9-20 at the ANNEX, located at 823 Seymour Street. Buy your tickets now!