Leopoldine Blahetka was an Austrian pianist and composer. Lauded as a child prodigy, she made her debut performance in 1818, and many famous pianists, including Beethoven and Chopin, followed her career with interest. She toured Europe for twenty years starting in 1821, often accompanied by her mother, who was also a pianist. By 1825, she was performing her own music at her concerts—she composed prolifically and often dedicated her works to young women pianists, including the young Clara Wieck (later Clara Schumann). In turn, many other young women piano prodigies included her compositions in their concert programs.
She eventually settled in Boulogne-sur-Mer in France, where she became a beloved teacher in the community. In her obituary, a student wrote that Mlle Blahetka “possessed all the secrets of the piano: with this instrument, she knew how to express the most exquisite sentiments of the human heart.” Blahetka’s Theme and Variations for Flute and Piano exhibits a charming, brilliant character. Perhaps inspired by Austrian folk music, she includes a yodelling motif in the theme. Punctuated by transitional solos from the piano, this piece leads us on a journey through three variations and an original adagio, then ends with a grand finale.