Fanny Mendelssohn was a German pianist and composer, and the eldest sister and confidante of the composer Felix Mendelssohn howeve r she was never allowed to study music like her brother. Despite this she developed a remarkable talent for piano music especially after her extensive Italian travel which is the source of much inspiration in some of these pieces. Felix readily admitted that his sister played the piano better than he did, and Fanny remained his chief musical adviser until he left home. She is said to have memorized J.S. Bach’s complete Well-Tempered Clavier by age 13. Fanny married the Prussian court painter Wilhelm Hensel in 1829. She travelled in Italy with her husband in 1839–40. Upon her mother’s death in 1842 she took over the direction of the Mendelssohn family home in Berlin, in which role she organized local concerts and occasionally appeared as a pianist. Fanny remained very close to her brother, and her death in May 1847 greatly contributed to Felix’s own demise six months later.