Category Archives: Women of Worth

Dora Pejačević Composer of the Week

Dora 1

[Image courtesy: Croatian Encyclopedia]

Name: Dora Pejačević

Born: September 10, 1885 in Budapest, Hungary

Died: March 5, 1923 in Munich, Germany

Nationality: Croatian

Genre: Romantic

Famous Works: 


Life: Dora was born to Count Teodor Pejačević  and Hungarian Baroness Lille Vay de Vaya. Her father was a Croation ban (Viceroy). She spent most of her childhood at the family’s estate in Našice in Eastern Croatia. Her mother gave Dora her first piano lessons and Charles Noszeda, a famous Hungarian organist who summered in Našice, also taught the little girl music. There she learned to play piano and violin. By 12 she was composing. When the family moved to Zagreb Dora studied both privately and at the Croatian Music Institute. She continued to study through out World War One in Dresden and Munich, but is considered to be self-taught.

Here is her Gondellied, Opus 4 performed by
pianist Yoko Nishii in 2013.

She lived in Našice , but also travelled to major cultural centers in Eastern Europe. She wrote a short book on music theory called Über Programm-Musik in 1918. In 1921 she married Ottum von Lube and moved to Munich. She died from complications in child birth shortly after the birth of her son Theo in 1923.

The origins of her compositions are a romantic tradition, and her most famous compositions are: Three Songs, Two Nooks, About Music and many others. [Povijest– translated]



Pejačević’s earliest compositions were tunes for piano and the violin. From there she moved on to folk songs, chamber music and orchestral works. Although considered a Romantic composer she brought “her own musical expression based on her knowledge of the form, the occasional openness to new harmonic methods and the tendency to permeate thematic and motive material.” [Croatian Encyclopedia –translated]

Works of note include:

Two Nights (Zwei Nocturnen) Opus 50 (1919-20)


Symphony in F Sharp minor opus 41 (1916-18)

With her sophisticated musical expression, Dora Pejačević contributed to the pluralism of musical stewardships in Croatia in the early 20th century. With B. Bers and J. Hatze, she contributed significantly to the establishment of Croatian music modern and new professional composing instruments. [Croation Encyclopedia — translated]

Here is her lovely Chanson Sans Paroles, Op. 10 performed by Yoko Nishii in 2013




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