Cornélie van Oosterzee

Cornélie van Oosterzee
(b. Jakarta, Indonesia, Aug 16, 1863; d. Berlin, Germany, Aug 12, 1943)

Oosterzee studied composition with Rudolf Radecke and instrumentation with Heinrich Urban in Berlin and counterpoint in The Hague with Samuel de Lange. When she went back to Berlin, she enrolled in Heinrich Urban’s Meisterschule for instrumentation, according to who “she certainly did not compose like a woman”. During her lifetime, her works were performed at several interesting occasions, such as Nationale Tentoonstelling Vrouwenarbeid
(National Exhibition of Women’s Work). Van Oosterzee was knighted by the Order of Oranje-Nassau in 1897 and invited to become a corresponding member of the Maatschappij tot Bevordering der Toonkunst (Association for the Promotion of Music) in 1901.


Oosterzee composed both large and small-scale pieces during her lifetime. Several of her works were performed by the Concertgebouw Orchestra, as well as her symphony which won second prize from the Allgemeine Deutsche Musikverein and was conducted by Meigelberg in 1900. Her large-scale works are unfortunately lost, such as works for orchestra Jolanthe and Nordische fantasie.

Here is the list of her works, principal publishers: G.H. van Eck,
A.A. Noske, Ries & Erler, Breitkopf & Härtel, Vuylsteke, Schott.

For the list of all her works and where to find them,
contact agrafenina [at]


Dutch Music Institute

Public Library Amsterdam

Further reading:

H. Metzelaar: ‘Cornélie van Oosterzee’ The Essential Guide to Dutch Music, ed. J. van der Klis (Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam 2000).

Nancy van der Elst: “Catharina van Rennes”, Zes vrouwelijke componisten, ed. H. Metzelaar (Zutphen, 1991),
p 76–84.