Woman of the Century/Clara M. Brinkerhoft
BRINKERHOFF, Mme. Clara M., singer and musical educator, born in London, England, 8th September, 1828. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John A. Rolph. cultured people, who came to the United States when Clara was an infant. Her father was an artist, whose specialty was steel engraving. Her mother was an artistic, literary and musical woman, with a fine voice that had been trained in the old Italian school by Maestro Corn. Mrs. Rolph trained Clara in singing from her fifth to her twelfth year. After the death of the mother, Clara's musical education was continued under the late Henry Derwort, who tried to persuade her to go on the stage in grand opera, but respect for her dead mother's wishes kept her from an operatic career. She next studied with Mr. Chad wick, a teacher of ballad and English song. Her next instructor was Mme. Arnault, a pupil of Bordogni, who prepared her for her debut on the concert stage. She took lessons in oratorio music from George Loder, and also studied with Mrs. Edward Loder. In her first musical season she had the principal parts in "The Seven Sleepers," "Waldenses." "Judas Maccabanis," "Lobgesang " and Spohr's "Last Judgment " ; afterwards in " Elijah," " Athalie" and "Stabat Mater," and in classical concerts from Gluck, Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn and Wagner, with a full repertoire of the best Italian composers. She gave in New York City and other places a remarkable series of vocal recitals, comprising portrayals of the best compositions, planned and executed by herself, with no assistance beyond piano-forte accompaniment. Mme. Brinkerhoff was the soprano of Grace Church at the time of her marriage, and sang the full Christmas service on the morning of her wedding day. She was married to C. E. L. Brinkerhoff on 25th December, 1848, and has one child, Charles Kolph. She has sung in concerts in many cities of the United States and abroad. In 1861 she visited Europe, where she received much flattering attention. Among the acquaintances she made there was that with Auber, who admitted her as an auditor to all vocal classes in the Paris Conservatoire, where she made a critical study of the different methods pursued in training. In Paris she was urged to sing in grand opera, but refused. As a singer she is master of the methods of the English, French, German and Italian schools. Her voice is a rich soprano with a range of nearly three octaves. She lives in New York City, where she gives much of her time to teaching. Besides her talents and accomplishments as a singer, she is a composer, and she is the author of a number of songs. She inherited the literary talent of her mother, which has found expression in her romance, "Alva Vine " She nas lectured before the polytechnic section of the American Institute.