9 April 2016 - MARIA von TRAPP


G'day folks,

I guess you have all seen 'The Sound of Music" - musical or film.  

Maria von Trapp was best known for performing with the Trapp Family Singers in the 1930s and '40s. Her memoir was the basis for the ‘The Sound of Music’ musical and film.


Born in Austria in 1905, Maria von Trapp studied to become a nun before her marriage to Baron Georg von Trapp in 1927. The family, which grew to include 10 children, began performing as the Trapp Family Choir in the mid-1930s, and then the Trapp Family Singers after moving to the United States later in the decade. In 1949, the Baroness wrote the memoir The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, which became the inspiration for the 1959 musical The Sound of Music and the 1965 film of the same name. She spent most of her later life in Vermont, and died in the village of Morrisville in 1987.

Early Life 

Born Maria Augusta Kutschera on January 26, 1905, Maria von Trapp wrote the 1949 book The Story of the Trapp Family Singers. This book later became the basis for the Broadway musical and feature film The Sound of Music. But there is much more to von Trapp's life than these productions showed. Her childhood was marked by hardship. She was born on a train headed to Vienna, Austria, and was orphaned at a young age. According to reports, von Trapp was put in the care of an abusive uncle who had staunchly socialist and anti-Catholic views.

Von Trapp studied at the State Teachers College for Progressive Education in Vienna. While a student there, she discovered religion and converted to Catholicism. Von Trapp later she decided to devote her life to her faith, becoming a candidate for the novitiate at Nonnberg Abbey in Salzburg. 

Marriage and Musical Beginnings

In 1926, she was sent from the convent to act as a tutor for one of Baron Georg von Trapp's seven children from his first marriage. The girl, also named Maria, was sick and unable to attend regular school. Maria von Trapp was only meant to stay for less than a year and then return to the convent to become a nun. But she became attached to the children and decided to leave the Church after the Baron proposed (he was 25 years her senior). The pair wed in 1927 and later had three children together.

The von Trapp family had always been musical, even before Maria joined them. However, the Baroness saw their talents as a way to help them out of a financial crisis, as much of their money was lost in the economic upheaval of the 1930s. The family began performing together with the help of a Catholic priest named Franz Wasner, who served as musical director. They won a singing competition in 1936, and went on a European tour the following year as the Trapp Family Choir.


Clancy's comment:  Interesting life. Great movie. Top music.

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