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Heinrich Sontheim Collection

Identifier: AR 520

Scope and Content Note

The Heinrich Sontheim collection documents the life and especially the professional singing career of Heinrich Sontheim, which lasted from 1840 to 1912.

The first series of the collection mostly holds personal papers of Heinrich Sontheim. The second series comprehends personal and professional correspondence with friends, directors, fans and others. Series III of this collection includes music sheets.


  • Creation: 1840-1965
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1840-1912


Language of Materials

The collection is mostly in German and some Hebrew.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Access Information

Collection is digitized. Follow the links in the Container List to access the digitized materials.

Use Restrictions

There may be some restrictions on the use of the collection. For more information, contact:

Leo Baeck Institute, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011


Biographical Note<extptr actuate="onload" altrender="Portrait of Heinrich Sontheim (1820-1912)" href="" linktype="simple" show="embed" title="Portrait of Heinrich Sontheim (1820-1912)"/>

Heinrich Sontheim (Honas Baer Sontheimer) was born in Jebenhausen, Germany, on February 3, 1820. His father Moses Loeb and uncle Judas Wolf changed their names to Sontheimer in 1818 and Heinrich changed it again to Sontheim at the very beginning of his career. Heinrich Sontheim had ten siblings. His parents owned an inn in Jebenhausen. His talent for music and singing was discovered early and supported by Heinrich Sontheim's father from early age. Nevertheless his father sent him to serve an apprenticeship as a wagon-maker, which Heinrich didn't complete. With the assistance of a minister of Wuerttemberg, Vellnagel, Sontheim came to Stuttgart where he started to improve his singing through lessons. Although Heinrich Sontheim's father didn’t consider a career as a singer for his son he agreed to his commitment.

Heinrich Sontheim became a successful tenor in various opera houses and court theaters. He was married to Nanny Sontheim. From 1839 to 1850 Heinrich Sontheim had an engagement in Karlsruhe. Afterwards he was employed at the Württembergisches Hoftheater in Stuttgart (Court Theater of the Kingdom of Wuerttemberg) from 1851 to 1872. Meanwhile, Heinrich Sontheim had several guest performances, e.g. in Berlin and Karlsruhe. In 1872 he decided to retire but after two years Heinrich Sontheim started to sing again. Until 1882 Sontheim had guest performances in several cities, e.g. Vienna. In 1889 Heinrich Sontheim celebrated his 50th jubilee as a singer. In 1900 Sontheim performed the last time on the occasion of his 80th birthday. He died on August 2, 1912.


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The Heinrich Sontheim Collection contains mostly correspondence and some personal documents of the tenor Heinrich Sontheim.

Related Material

The LBI Library holds a biography of Heinrich Sontheim written by Leo Adler: Adler, Leo, 1884-1966. Heinrich Sontheim; ein Künstlerleben . Stuttgart (Germany): Grüninger, 1916 . [ML 420 S6 A3]

Separated Material

Photographs were partly removed to the LBI Photograph Collection.

Processing Information

The folder order has been changed. Collection was divided into subseries.

Guide to the Papers of Heinrich Sontheim (1820-1912) 1840-1965 AR 520
Processed by Juliane Radig and LBI Staff
© 2012
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from HeinrichSontheim.xml

Revision Statements

  • June 05, 2013 : Links to digital objects added in Container List.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States