Olga Diener

Who was Olga Diener?

The RISM database contains 236 works by Swiss composer Olga Diener (1890-1963), most in her own hand, all held by the Swiss National Library (CH-BEl). Many of the pieces are either for string quartet or piano.

Her scores are part of the Olga Diener Collection and an inventory is available online. In addition to musical works, she also wrote poetry. When her papers arrived at the Swiss National
Library, among them were 117 unpublished letters from Hermann Hesse.

Unfortunately, there is very little information about Olga Diener in the literature. When you look at her authority record in the RISM database (click on her name in one of her records), you see the number 0 everywhere. This means there is no entry for her in our standard reference works:

  • Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart
  • Riemann Musik-Lexikon
  • The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians
  • International Encyclopedia of Women Composers
  • The New Grove Dictionary of Women Composers
  • Komponistinnen von A-Z
  • Dizionario Enciclopedico Universale della Musica e dei Musicisti.

There is no reference to her in the web resource Musik und Gender im Internet, nor is there a Wikipedia article about her.

With her musical works all in one place, this would be the perfect opportunity for someone to dedicate some musicological energy to her legacy. Who wants to take up this challenge?

Photo source: Nachlass Olga Diener,
Schweizer Nationalbibliothek zu Bern


Category: RISM A-Z

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Jennifer Ward, 11-04-16 08:36:
Thank you for your comment! No, I do not know of any recordings at all with Diener's music. I have not even been able to find anything on YouTube or Spotify. This would be a great project for someone to undertake.
(Mr.) Stamatis, 25-11-15 07:42:
Are there any CDs with Diener's string quartets?
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