(b Marburg an der Drau [now Maribor, Slovenia], 10 May 1839; d Berlin, 3 Feb 1899). Austrian mezzo-soprano, later contralto. She made her stage début in Troppau at the age of 14, and after appearing in Hermannstadt she sang at the Vienna Hofoper, 1854–62 the Kärtnertortheater, making her début there as Rezia (Oberon). In 1862 she was engaged at the Hoftheater, Hanover, where she was acclaimed for her performances of Gluck's Orpheus, Fidès (Le prophète) and Beethoven's Leonore.
In 1863 she married the violinist Joseph Joachim, who insisted that she retire from the stage. After moving to Berlin she continued to sing in concerts and acquired such a reputation in oratorio and lieder that Bruch wrote the alto parts in his oratorios Odysseus and Achilles for her. She made a name above all as an interpreter of Schumann and Brahms, giving the first performances of a whole series of the latter's vocal works, including the version for 4 voices of the Zigeunerlieder; she was a tireless promoter of the Alto Rhapsody, although it was first performed by Pauline Viardot. She also gave the premières of the orchestral versions of Mahler's Einsame Schildwacht and Verlorene Müh (Berlin, 1892). Her repertory embraced the entire contemporary lieder literature, including works by Wolf and Richard Strauss, and she also championed a large repertory of traditional and folk-influenced song. Besides her extensive concert appearances she taught singing, first in Munich, then at the Philipp Scharwenka Institut in Berlin, and finally in her own singing school.