Edna Frida Pietsch
Composer, Music Teacher

Born in Milwaukee, WI on May 7, 1894
Died on July 16, 1982

Edna Pietsch shared a birthday with Brahms and Tchaikovsky, a fact she reported with immense pride. Perhaps this was an omen that she would go on to become an accomplished composer herself. Pietsch was quite a character and possessed an unforgettable persona. She had strong opinions about many matters. Regarding music, she likened "modern music" to a garbage dump; if you were around it long enough, it stopped smelling.

Edna Pietsch was quite colorful and multi-talented. To cheer a friend's accomplishment or a relatives' milestone,she would compose personalized, creative, invariably silly, poems. Pietsch was quick to tell you what was on her mind and let you know where you stood with her. She lived her whole life in the same Milwaukee house in which she was born and delighted in that fact. Pietsch poured her heart and soul into her compositions. Likewise, she taught piano with a passion and was disappointed with students who did not share her passion, especially if the student was naturally gifted.

Pietsch loved to entertain and was quite exacting in her attempts to teach proper table manners to her somewhat reluctant neices and nephews. She did things with a flourish. Another one of her avocations was gardening. Pietsch associated the beauty of the garden with the beauty of music and flowers provided inspiration for some of her works.

For more information on Pietsch, click here.

For a list of Edna Pietsch's compositions, click here

To procure Miss Pietsch's music, contact the Mill's Music Library at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Their web page Click here

Recipient of Career Achievement Award
Professional Fraternity Association
Member of the Seven Arts Society
Wauwatosa, Wisconsin Music Club
Member of Sigma Alpha Iota, international women's music fraternity
Honored by the State of Wisconsin as the "Dean of Wisconsin Composers" in 1981

Some of Edna Pietsch's Performed Works
Dr. Julius Ehrlich twice performed works of Edna's with the Milwaukee Sinfonetta Orchestra. In November 1942 it was "Prelude & Fugue for String Orchestra and Timpani" and in December 1944 it was "Five Oriental Impressions."

Dr. Julius Ehrlich twice performed works of Edna Pietsch's with the Milwaukee Sinfonetta Orchestra. In November 1942 it was "Prelude & Fugue for String Orchestra and Timpani" and in December 1944 it was "Five Oriental Impressions.

Mr. Jerzy Bojanowski performed "In Symphonic Mood" at the Milwaukee Auditorium in January 1942

Fantasy for Orchestra (two performances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Milwaukee's Pabst Theatre with Dr. Frederick Stock conductor, 1942 With Desire DeFauw, 1946

Maestro Richard Balles conducted Edna's "Five Oriental Impressions" at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC in 1946.

In 1956 piano soloist Shirley Sax Wasserman performed "Piano Concerto" in Waukesha, Wisconsin with Maestro Milton Weber conducting.

On April 4, 1978 Maestro Kenneth Schermerhorn conducted Edna's "Five Oriental Impressions" in Milwaukee's Uihlein Hall

On May 11, 1997, Music Director Arthur B. Rubenstein directed Pietsch's "Bacarole" in Griffith Park, Los Angeles for a Mother's Day performance of their Symphony in the Glen concert series

On February 22, 1998, "Lilacs" and other assorted works by Edna Pietsch were performed at the Hoosier Retirement Center in Indianapolis by Charles Kuhn, professor emeritus of Ball State University in Indiana, et al.


This page has been visited Times


1. Kenngott, Louise, "At Age 83, She Takes Her Bow", MILWAUKEE JOURNAL, 1968
2. Grass, Mrs. Whitaker, Appleton Wisconsin Sunday POST CRESCENT, November 23, 1969
3. Austin, Dorothy, "Honor for Miss Pietsch," MILWAUKEE SENTINEL, World of Women, June 5, 1971
4. Johnson, Lawrence B., "Edna Pietsch: An Ageless Musician," MILWAUKEE SENTINEL, March 31, 1978
5. "Wisconsin Women: A Gifted Heritage" published in 1982 by the Wisconsin State Division of the AAUW. Excerpt by Gloria Prince
6. "Composer Edna Pietsch Dies", THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL, July 18, 1982

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