Lulu Cossmann

German schoolteacher (b. 1864 in Baden-Baden; d. 1957).

She was the daughter of the cellist Bernhard Cossmann (1822–1910), who was Tchaikovsky's colleague at the Moscow Conservatory from 1866 to 1870, and his wife Mathilde (née Hilb). Her brother was the writer and publicist Paul Cossmann. She first met Tchaikovsky when the composer dined with the Cossmanns at their house in Frankfurt-am-Main on 2/14 February 1889, the day before Tchaikovsky's concert with the Museumsgesellschaft orchestra. In the autumn of 1889 the Cossmanns found out (probably through Friedrich Sieger, the director of the Museumsgesellschaft) that Tchaikovsky had been invited to conduct a further concert of his works in Frankfurt, and Lulu wrote to the composer “begging” him in the name of her whole family to stay at their house during his next visit to the city [1]. Tchaikovsky, however, never came to Frankfurt again.

Lulu would go on to establish a private school which she directed until 1939. Thanks to the help of the British novelist Ida Cook (pen name: Mary Burchell; 1904–1986) and her sister Mary Louise Cook (1901–1991), Lulu, together with several other Jews, was able to escape from Nazi Germany to England. After the war she lived in Munich and England.

Correspondence with Tchaikovsky

One letter from Tchaikovsky to Lulu Cossmann has survived, dating from 1889:

Two letters from Lulu Cossmann to Tchaikovsky, dating from 1889 and 1890, have survived in the archive of the Tchaikovsky House-Museum at Klin [2].

Bibliography

Notes and References

  1. Letter from Lulu Cossmann to Tchaikovsky, 5 October 1893 — Klin (Russia): Tchaikovsky House-Museum (a4, No. 3910). Published for the first time thanks to the kind assistance of Polina Vaidman in Tschaikowsky-Gesellschaft Mitteilungen, Heft 20 (2013), p. 192.
  2. These two letters have been published for the first time in Unbekannte Briefe an Lulu Cossmann und an Nikolaj Christoforov sowie zwei Widmungsblätter [Unknown letters from Tchaikovsky to Lulu Cossmann and Nikolay Khristoforov, and two autograph musical quotations] (2013), p. 190–197 (192, 194), thanks to the generous assistance of Galina Belonovich, the Director of the Tchaikovsky House-Museum, and Polina Vaidman, the museum's senior curator.