Gertrude van den Bergh

Gertrude van den Bergh
(b. Cologne, Germany, Jan 21, 1793; d. The Hague, Sep 10, 1840)

Dutch pianist and composer. She studied the piano with Ferdinand Ries and composition with J.A.F. Burgmüller. She moved to Den Haag in 1813 where she became known for her interpretation of Beethoven and J.S. Bach’s music. She was the first Dutch woman to
publish a manual on the fundamentals of music theory, Principes de musique (ca 1830). She conducted several choirs and was teaching several members of the Dutch royal family. In 1830 she was made an honorary member of the Maatschappij tot Bevordering der Toonkunst (Association for the Promotion of Music).


Her sonata for piano was published by the major publisher of the time J.J. Hummel, who published Bergh’s sonata for piano when she was 9 years old. She also composed virtuoso works, such as the Rondeau pour le pianoforte op.3 (ca 1820–21) and Lied für Pianoforte, unfortunately many of her other works are lost. Some of works can be found in archives in Atria, foundation Woman and Music, and Dutch Music Institute.

Lied für Pianoforte
sheet music

Rondeau pour le piano forte, Op. 3

Further reading:

Professor Helen Metzelaar has done extensive research on Dutch 18th century composers including Josina van Boetzelaer, Gertrude van den Bergh and Hermina Amsersfoordt-Dijk.

H. Metzelaar: ‘Gertrude van den Bergh’, Zes vrouwelijke componisten, ed. H.
Metzelaar (Zutphen, 1991), 21–51

H. Metzelaar: From Private to Public Spheres: Exploring Women’s Role in Dutch Musical
Life from c. 1700 to c. 1880 and Three Case Studies (Utrecht, 1999)