Emmy Heim

Singer and singing teacher; born 10 September 1885 in Vienna, died 13 October 1954 in Toronto, Canada.


Emmy Heim studied with her mother and Frances Muetter in Vienna before giving her début as a Lieder singer in 1911. She sang for the troops during the First World War and in 1915 married the writer Emil Alphons Reinhardt, who introduced her to other poets like Hugo von Hoffmannsthal and Rainer Maria Rilke. Oskar Kokoschka made a portrait of her in 1916.

Heim performed songs by Schoenberg, Stravinsky and Berg as well as by Schubert, Schumann and Wolf. She got married for a second time in 1921 to the architect Franz Singer, who studied at the Bauhaus in Weimar and later also emigrated to the UK. They had a son but separated a few years later.

Emmy moved to the UK in the early 1930s, frequently returning to Salzburg to teach. From 1934 to 1939 she performed in Canada every year. During the Second World War she sang in the National Gallery Concerts, at Wigmore Hall and for the Anglo-Austrian Music Society. She also taught in London. Among her students were Ilse Wolf and Laura Sarti. In 1946 Heim moved to Canada, where she taught singing for the rest of her life.

Links and sources

Emmy Heim on Wikipedia.

Emmy Heim in The Canadian Encyclopedia.

Emmy Heim’s entry in the Lexikon verfolgter Musiker und Musikerinnen der NS-Zeit.

Harvard Art Museum digitised portrait of Heim by Oskar Kokoscha in 1916.

Elsewhere in this resource

Laura Sarti interview

Heim’s role is referred to in the RCM edition of Egon Wellesz’s ’Drei Leider’ available here as pdf.

Further Reading

Helmer, Paul. Growing with Canada: The Émigré Tradition in Canadian Music. (McGill-Queen’s Press-MQUP, 2019).

Archival records 

Details of holdings at University of Toronto Archives


Back to top