Wilhelmina Raab

Tchaikovsky Research
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Wilhelmina Raab (1848–1917)

Austrian singer (soprano) and teacher (b. 13 May 1848 [N.S.] in Austerlitz [now Slavkov u Brna]; d. 10/23 November 1917 in Saint Petersburg), born Wilhelmina Bilik (Вильгельмина Билик); after her first marriage, and on the Russian stage, she was known as Wilhelmina Ivanovna Raab (Вильгельмина Ивановна Рааб); after her second marriage as Wilhelmina Plyushchevskata-Plyushchik' (Вильгельмина Плющевская-Плющик).

Born into an Austrian musical family, she studied at the Prague and Vienna Conservatories, before moving to Saint Petersburg in 1869. Here, she graduated from Henriette Nissen-Saloman's class in 1872, becoming a soloist at the Mariinsky Theatre from the 1871/72 season, and from 1884 she returned to the conservatory as a tutor, becoming professor of singing in 1901.

Wilhelmina Raab premiered the roles of Natalya in Tchaikovsky's opera The Oprichnik, Oksana in Vakula the Smith, and Agnes in The Maid of Orleans.


In 1875, Tchaikovsky dedicated his song The Canary — No. 4 of the Six Romances, Op. 25 — to Wilhelmina Raab.

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