The Other Mendelssohn

The key to this excellent film is the revelation that the world famous Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) had a sister, Fanny, who was born four years before him, and died in the same year that he did. They both grew up in a liberal (for the time) Jewish family in Hamburg, where she received the same musical education as her younger brother. They worked closely together, and she was very much his mentor and guide in the early years. However when it came to publishing her music, it was done under his name, and from then on, her light was increasingly hidden while his grew brighter and brighter.

Sheila Hayman’s wonderful films puts Fanny back in her rightful place as a brilliant and original composer who was overlooked and ignored because of the prevailing belief of the time that women’s place was in the home, not the concert hall.

Programme Type: Film

Director: Sheila Hayman

Cast: Isata Kanneh-Mason, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Alison Langer

Certificate: 12A

Running Time: 97 minutes

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