Isle Wolf

Singer and teacher; born 7 June 1921 in Düren, Germany, died 6 September 1999 in the United Kingdom.


The singer and teacher Ilse Wolf was born in 1921 in Düren, Germany. Wolf experienced Nazi persecution first-hand and was eventually compelled to emigrate to the UK in 1939 on one of the ‘kindertransport’. Her parents, left behind, died in the Holocaust.

In 1940 she was interned on the Isle of Man but by 1942 she had been released and become a student at Morley College. Later she assisted teachers Emmy Heim, a notable Austrian Lieder singer, and Helene Isepp at Morley. In time an increasing number of pupils came to her independently as her own reputation in this field grew. She was then asked to teach at the Royal Academy of Music, and in 1980 was made an honorary member.

Ilse Wolf gave solo performances at the BBC Proms in 1959, 1969 and 1970. She worked with Chelsea Opera Group between 1956 to 1958 and also performed Lieder recitals with Paul Hamburger and Martin Isepp all over the United Kingdom. She became a well loved and respected teacher with students at Morley, at the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music.

Links and Sources

Obituary in The Guardian

Elsewhere in this resource

Interview with Janet Baker 

Interview with Laura Sarti 

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