Schonthal, Ruth

Born June 27, 1924, Hamburg, Germany. Composer and pianist. Studied in Berlin where she was the “youngest student ever accepted at the Stern Conservatory.” In 1935 her family began fleeing the Nazis, going first to Stockholm, where she studied at the Royal Academy of Music, and then Mexico City where she studied composition with Manuel M. Ponce. In 1946, Hindemith met her and invited her to study at Yale, where she earned a BA in 1950. She worked in several part-time jobs to support herself both by playing and teaching. In 1950s, moved to New York, composing a large number of works over 30 years including operas, orchestra pieces, lieder and chamber music and quite a few piano works. Her works include several with Jewish themes such as A Bird Flew Over Jerusalem. A biography, Ruth Schonthal – Ein Werdegang im Exil (Ruth Schonthal, a Development in Exile) is slated for translation into English. Ruth Schonthal is currently composition faculty of New York University and SUNY, Purchase and lives in New Rochelle, NY. A brief biography appears on the Sigma Alpha Iota website:
A German translation of that essay appears online and also has a nice photo. An online interview from IAWM Journal, February 1994, pp. 5-8, with Ruth Schonthal appears online.