Rena Charnin Mueller, Who was Arma Senkrah?

Liszt’s American pupil of the middle 1880s, Arma Senkrah (1864-1900), whose real name was given variously as Anna Leoretta or Mary Harkness, was one of many notable violinists with whom the composer associated over the course of his long career. But Senkrah’s story is one of tragedy, a brilliant virtuoso career cut short by an unhappy marriage and her subsequent suicide at age 36. As a prelude to a discussion of Senkrah’s relatively brief tenure in Europe, this article examines the careers of several important predecessors and teachers of Senkrah, with whom Liszt performed and collaborated, presenting a number interesting reviews of her playing and analyzing some rare photographs taken both before and after she was with Liszt in Weimar.