Eleonore von Trapp

Baron Captain Georg Ritter von Trapp


Georg Ritter (Knight) von Trapp (later elevated to Baron) was born on April 4, 1880 in Zara, Austro-Hungarian Empire (today Zadar, Croatia). Both his parents, Captain August Ritter (Knight) von Trapp and Hedwig Wepler, were musically inclined and passed on a passion for music to their children Hede, Georg, and Werner. His father August was gifted with an exceptional auditory memory, where he could reproduce melodies heard once on the piano to the delight of his family and friends. On Georg's mother's side, his Aunt Mina Wepler was a professional pianist in Hesse (today Hesse, Germany). Georg was also an accomplished musician and had learned to play the violin, fiddle, guitar, mandolin, harmonica, and accordion. As a father, Georg passed on a love of music to his children. He personally taught them to play several musical instruments and shared many navy and folk songs from the various lands of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Making music together was the fabric of their family life.

Donald Meissner

2 Seasons (1949-1951)
​Tenor​ Vocalist
Replaced: Rupert von Trapp who left in 1943

Baroness Johanna Karolina Gobertina von Trapp


Musical Instruments: Johanna learned the violin from her father, had piano and clarinet lessons in her youth, and played the recorder and guitar.

Trapp Family Choir, Trapp Family Singers, and Trapp Family Music Camp: Johanna was a First Soprano vocalist and played recorder for the groups from 1934-1948.

After Touring: In 1948 Johanna married Ernst Florian Winter and stopped touring. They raised seven children and lived in the U.S. and Austria. She supported her husband's diplomatic career and work with students. Her artistic career continued with creating ceramics and painting wildlife watercolors. The last exhibition of her work was in Salzburg, Austria in 1993.

Photos: © Georg & Agathe Foundation

Johanna von Trapp

Photo: Courtesy of the von Trapp family​

Photos: © Georg & Agathe Foundation

Werner von Trapp

Photo: © Georg & Agathe Foundation

Baron Rupert Georg Gobertus Ritter (Knight) von Trapp

(1911-1992 )

Musical Instruments: Rupert learned accordion from his father, had piano lessons in his youth, and played the tenor recorder.

Trapp Family Choir, Trapp Family Singers, and Trapp Family Music Camp: Rupert was the Bass vocalist and played tenor recorder for the groups from 1934-1943.
After Touring: In 1943, Rupert stopped touring to serve in WWII with the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division. Later, he completed his American medical degree and maintained a successful medical practice. He married Henriette Lajoie and together raised six children. After many years, they divorced and he married Janice Tyre.

Photo: Courtesy of the von Trapp family​

Frederick C. Schang / F.C 'Freddy' Schang (1893-1971)

​Columbia Concerts, Inc (Today Columbia Artist Management, Inc.)

Trapp Family Singers Concert Manager (from 1940-1955)

Frederick Christian Schang graduated from Columbia School of Journalism. He was a reporter for the New York Tribune and then later worked for the Metropolitan Music Bureau. In 1948 he was elected President of Columbia Artists Management. He represented many musical groups and was responsible for their concert bookings. For over fifteen years he was the Trapp Family Singers' concert manager, contributing to their success both within the United States and abroad.

Rosmarie Trapp

Photo: Courtesy of the von Trapp family​

Chorale Organizers


Photo: Courtesy of the von Trapp family​

Countess Agathe von Breunner


Agathe's mother, Countess Agathe von Breunner, was the von Trapp childrens' Grandmother. They affectionately called her 'Gromi', a nickname for Grandmother. Gromi's side of the family was musically inclined. She was musically accomplished herself as she had formal musical training in her youth. She too ensured that her own children Agathe, John, Frank, Mary, and Joan, also received formal musical training. During WWI, Gromi provided a safe harbor for her daughters and their families, at her home in Zell am See, Austria. One of the earliest experiences of Agathe's children (the von Trapp children) remembered of this time Zell am See was of the family making music together. Their mother played the piano, violin, and sang folk songs with her sisters. Gromi played piano, sometimes 'four-hands' style. The von Trapps also remembered the children's music book Gromi gave them, Sang und Klang Fuer's Kinderherz/Songs and Sounds for the Child's Heart.  After the war, Gromi's side of the family continued to make music time with the von Trapps whenever they were together. 

Agathe Gobertina Whitehead von Trapp

Agathe Gobertina Whitehead, Georg's first wife and mother to their seven children, was born June 14, 1891, in Fiume, Austro-Hungarian Empire (today Rijeka, Croatia). Her father was British engineer Knight John Whitehead (son of British engineer 
Robert Whitehead, the inventor of the torpedo) and Countess Agathe von Breunner of Austro-Hungarian nobility. Although Agathe passed away a little over a decade before the von Trapp children started singing professionally, her musical influence was felt for a lifetime. She inherited a deep passion for music from her mother, Countess Agathe von Breunner, who was a talented amateur musician. Also on her mother's side, Agathe's Great-great-grandparents, Count Johann Esterházy and Countess Rosa Festetics, had been musical patrons of the Austrian composer Franz Shubert. In the early 1800's, Schubert stayed with the Esterházy's for several summers and tutored piano to their two daughters Marie and Karoline. As a girl Agathe learned to play the piano, violin, and to sing. When she grew up, as was custom at the time, her mother and she would often entertain at gatherings and parties for guests, family, and friends. At such an event, Georg met Agathe for the first time in 1909. As a mother, she played music for her children and made music together with them, weaving it into their daily lives.  

 Celebrating the von Trapp musicians who inspired the musical The Sound of Music 

Photos: © Georg & Agathe Foundation

Agathe von Trapp

Harold Peterson

1 Season (1951-1952)
Tenor Vocalist
Replaced: Donald Meissner
​Background: From Chautauqua County, N.Y. and married to Charlene Peterson

Georg and Agathe

Captain Georg von Trapp and Agathe Gobertina Whitehead married in 1911. Music had played a role in their first meeting. In 1909, they both attended an Austro-Hungarian Navy celebration in Fiume (today Rijeka, Croatia). There, Agathe and her mother entertained guests with the violin, piano, and song. Georg fell in love with Agathe and described it as "love at first sight". 

For Georg and Agathe, making music was a long-standing tradition going back many generations in both of their families. Each played several instruments and passed down a love and passion for music to their seven children. They personally instructed their children in musical instruments and singing. As was the custom at the time, the children also received formal musical training at a young age. Playing music together as a family was a daily occurrence in the von Trapp household.  

During WWI from 1914-1918, Georg became one of the most decorated commanders of the 20th century Austro-Hungarian Navy. Tragically in 1922, Agathe Whitehead von Trapp passed away from Scarlet Fever, after nursing her children back to health from the infection. Georg became a single parent for several years, caring for his children and continuing the musical tradition.

Georg and Agathe's Children

Photo: Public Domain​

Photo: Courtesy of the von Trapp family​

Photo: Courtesy of the von Trapp family​

Photo: By Richard Schuster​

Georg playing accordion

Baron Werner Gobertus Ritter (Knight) von Trapp 


Musical Instruments: Werner had cello and clarinet lessons in his youth and was a choir member at school. Later, he played the recorder and viola da gamba. He also composed his own music.
Trapp Family Choir, Trapp Family Singers, and Trapp Family Music Camp: Werner was the Tenor vocalist and played recorder and viola de gamba for the groups from 1934-1956.

After Touring: Together with his wife, Erika Klambauer, Werner established a dairy farmer in Vermont where they raised six children. Later his hobbies included spinning his own wool and weaving rugs.

Photo: Courtesy of the von Trapp family​

Photos: © Georg & Agathe Foundation

Maria von Trapp

Baroness Martina Alice Gobertina von Trapp


Musical Instruments: Martina learned the violin from her father, had piano lessons in her youth, and played the recorder. 

Trapp Family Choir, Trapp Family Singers, and Trapp Family Music Camp: Martina was a Second Soprano vocalist and played recorder for the groups from 1934-1951.

Marriage: Martina married Jean Dupire and continued to tour with the Trapp Family Singers. Tragically, in 1951, both she and her daughter died during childbirth.

FAMILY HISTORY: Trapp Family Musicians

Alvario Villa

 1 Season (1955-1956)
Background: Singer; Mechanical Engineer in the textile industry in Columbia. He toured with the group to  Australia and New Zealand.

von Trapp Family 1943

Maria Augusta and Georg (shown in the center); ten von Trapp children from right to left, Johanna, Eleonore, Hedwig, Agathe, Rupert, Johannes, Werner, Martina, Rosmarie, and Maria


As the original family members grew up and stopped touring to pursue other careers or to start families, the Trapp Family Singers  had to find musicians to replace them. These are the talented musicians that joined the von Trapp family in their stead.

Photo: Courtesy of the von Trapp family​

Remembering 1934-1956

Did you or someone you know hear the Trapp Family Choir  (1934-1940) or Trapp Family Singers  (1940-1956) in concert? Or attend the Trapp Family Music Camp  in Vermont? We'd like to hear from you!

Baroness Rosmarie Agathe Erentrudis von Trapp


Musical Instruments: Rosmarie played the recorder.
Trapp Family Singers and Trapp Family Music Camp: Rosmarie debuted as a recorder soloist in 1941, at age 12, and was a Second Soprano vocalist with the group from 1944-1948.

After Touring: Rosmarie stopped touring in 1948. However, she continued to play and record music. Before her retirement she often lead group sing-a-longs for guests at the Trapp Family Lodge  in Stowe, Vermont. In 1994 she collaborated on the CD recording "Folk Harp Music of Austria". She knits and crochets and is active in the arts and crafts community.

Second Marriage

Photos: © Georg & Agathe Foundation

Hedwig von Trapp

Baroness Agathe Johanna Gobertina von Trapp


Musical Instruments: Agathe learned guitar from her father, had piano lessons in her youth, and played recorder.

Trapp Family Choir, Trapp Family Singers, and Trapp Family Music Camp: Agathe was a First Soprano vocalist and played recorder for the groups from 1934-1956.

After Touring: After 1956, Agathe and a life-long friend founded a kindergarten in a Maryland. In 2004, Agathe published her memoir Memories Before &  After The Sound of Music.  Later in life she sketched, painted watercolors, and created linoleum prints, all which she exhibited and sold.

Photo: © Georg & Agathe Foundation

Baroness Hedwig Adolphine ​Gobertina von Trapp 


Musical Instruments: Hedwig had piano lessons in her youth and played the recorder.

Trapp Family Choir, Trapp Family Singers, and Trapp Family Music Camp: Hedwig was the Alto vocalist and played recorder for the groups from 1934-1956.

After Touring: After 1956 Hedwig ran the family lodge in Vermont for several years and then moved to Hawaii where she started a youth choir and taught handicrafts, carpentry, and cooking at a Catholic youth organization.

The von Trapp Family

Baron Captain Georg von Trapp married twice and, in total, raised ten children.

His first wife was Agathe Gobertina Whitehead, the granddaughter of British engineer Robert Whitehead and inventor of the torpedo. Georg and Agathe had seven children: Baron Rupert von Trapp, Baroness Agathe von Trapp, Baroness Maria von Trapp, Baron Werner von Trapp, Baroness Hedwig von Trapp, Baroness Johanna von Trapp, and Baroness Martina von Trapp. Her children were later immortalized by their portrayal in the award-winning musical, The Sound of Music, as Friedrich (Rupert), Liesl (Agathe), Louisa (Maria), Kurt (Werner), Brigitta (Hedwig), Marta (Johanna), and Gretl (Martina). 

Photo: Courtesy of the von Trapp family​

Alix B. Williamson (1916-2001)

Trapp Family Publicist  (For over 20 Years)

Alix B. Williamson was an American publicist who specialized in promoting musical artists both in the United States and abroad. A graduate of Hunter College, she promoted the Juilliard String Quartet for 23 years, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for 22 years, the Trapp Family Singers for more than two decades and pianist André Watts, tenor Richard Tucker, and New York Philharmonic for fifteen years. Alix suggested and encouraged Baroness Maria Kutschera von Trapp to write her memoirs which later became the basis for the musical The Sound of Music.

Oldest seven von Trapp children

A Musical Childhood

Captain Georg von Trapp and Agathe Gobertina Whitehead, his first wife, had seven children who were later portrayed in the musical, The Sound of Music.  The von Trapp children at a young age were all musically trained and the family loved making music together daily. In their playroom a gramophone exposed them to the musical likes of Johann Strauss, Mozart, Franz Liszt, and Beethoven. As the children grew older, Georg personally taught Rupert and Maria the accordion, Agathe the guitar, and Johanna the violin. From a teacher Martina and Hedwig learned the piano and Werner learned the cello and clarinet. Georg also sang navy and folk songs with the children accompanied by his guitar. They formed a small family Quartet consisting of Georg as first violin, Johanna as second violin, Rupert or Maria on accordion, and Agathe on guitar. As Maria later recalled,​ "Growing up, we were surrounded by music."  Johanna remembered, "We sang early on with my father. I can remember running through the house singing. As children, we sang simple folk sings in two-part harmony... He [my father] wrote his friends, 'My children sing the whole day long.' ".

Barbara Stechow-Harris

2 Seasons (1954-1956)

Replaced: Eleonore von Trapp who left in 1954
Background: from Oberlin, Ohio

Help Us Preserve and Share History

Photo: Courtesy of the von Trapp family​

​​Anette Brophy

1 Season (1955-1956)
Soprano Vocalist
Replaced: Charlene Peterson
​Background: From Utah; she completed her 2nd year of Julliard in New York in 1955; won audition to tour with the Trapps

Georg and Agathes' Musical Traditions

Peter La Manna

1 Season (1955-1956)

Replaced: Hal Peterson

Background: From ​Pennsylvania

Non-family Musicians

Photo: Courtesy of von Trapp family

Maria Augusta Kutschera

Photo: © Georg & Agathe Foundation

Agathe playing violin

Photos: © Georg & Agathe Foundation

Rupert von Trapp

FREE: Updates & history trivia

von Trapp Family 1910 & 1926

Photo one: Georg and Agathe; Photo two, right to left: Rupert, Agathe, Maria, Werner, Hedwig, Johanna, and Martina

Publicist & Concert Managers

Maria Augusta Kutschera


Maria Augusta Kutschera was born January 26, 1905 in Vienna, Austro-Hungarian Empire (today Vienna, Austria) to parents Karl Kutschera and Augusta Rainer. Her father and mother died when she was young and she was raised by other family members. In her youth her musical interests grew as she learned folk songs and guitar through an Austrian youth movement, the Neuland. She spent several summers with the group, collecting regional folk songs and holding impromptu performances. Later she attended and gradated from the State Teacher's College of Progressive Education in Vienna, with a teaching certificate. During her studies she enjoyed the musical traditions and culture of Vienna, both secular and religious. After graduation she moved to Salzburg and taught fifth grade at the Nonnberg Abbey, from where she was hired as a live-in tutor at Villa Trapp. When Maria Augusta joined the von Trapp family, she taught the children the folks songs she knew. In 1927 Maria Augusta and Georg were wed. As a family, they had all the required vocal ranges necessary for four-part music like madrigals and masses. They maintained the musical tradition Georg and Agathe instilled, by making musical music together daily.

Baroness Eleonore Elisabeth von Trapp 


Musical Instruments: Eleonore played the recorder and spinet.
Trapp Family Singers and Trapp Family Music Camp: Eleonore debuted as a recorder soloist in 1941, at the age of 10, and was a Second Soprano vocalist from 1944-1948 and a First Soprano with the group from 1948-1954.​
After Touring: In 1954 Eleonore married Hugh Campbell and stopped touring with the family. Together they raised seven children. Often gathering her family and friends, she is known for being a great hostess and cook. She is an accomplished seamstress and enjoys gardening. 

Photo coming soon...

Photo: Courtesy of the von Trapp family​

Children's Grandmother 'Gromi'

Maria Kutschera's Musical Tradition

Georg & Maria Augusta

In 1925, three years after Georg's first wife Agathe Gobertina Whitehead von Trapp passed away, Georg moved his family of seven children to Aigen, near Salzburg, Austria, for a fresh start. In 1926, Maria Augusta Kutschera was hired as a live-in-tutor for Georg's third child, Maria, who suffered from health issues that temporarily prevented her from attending school. In 1927, he married Maria Augusta Kutschera. At the time, his children ranged in age from 5 to 16: Rupert, Agathe, Maria, Werner, Hedwig, Johanna, and Martina. Later, Georg and Maria Kutschera von Trapp had three children: Rosmarie, Eleonore, and Johannes.

In the early 1930's, the family lost a large part of their wealth due to a global depression and a banking failure. Georg worked on several endeavors to stabilize their financial situation, including writing his WWI memories, lecturing, and exploring some engineering ideas. They were able to stay at their home in Aigen, but took on boarders to help cover their expenses.

In 1934 the family started publicly singing along with the oldest seven von Trapp children, who ranged in age from fourteen to twenty years old. In 1935 the group was joined by Rev. Dr. Franz Wasner as Musical Director. For the next twenty years the family toured professionally, establishing themselves as world-renowned musicians.

In 1949, Maria Kutschera von Trapp wrote The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, sharing about the family's musical career and their 1938 escape from pre-WWII Austria.

Photo: Courtesy of the von Trapp family​

First Marriage

Photos: Courtesy of the von Trapp family

Baroness Maria Augusta Kutschera von Trapp (1905-1987)

Alto Singer & Recorder Player (from 1934-1956)

Chorale Co-Manager (from 1947-1956)

Maria Augusta was with the Trapp Family Choir  and Trapp Family Singers  from beginning to the end. For over twenty years she performed as Alto vocalist and played the recorder. She acted as the 'master of ceremonies' at their concerts, providing background information on the family and their songs. For twelve years Maria was also a host at the family's summer Trapp Family Music Camp. After her husband Georg passed away in 1947, she took on the mantle of co-managing the Trapp Family Singers together with Rev. Franz Wasner, their Musical Director. Later she went on to lecture and manage the family's Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont.

Photos: © Georg & Agathe Foundation

Martina von Trapp

Partial listing of sources for page: 
"Memories Before & After The Sound of Music" by Agathe von Trapp"The World of The Trapp Family" by William Anderson and David WadeCorrespondence between Baron Captain Georg von Trapp and his brother-in-law Captain Robert Lutz,
Memoirs by Johanna von Trapp, newspaper articles, and Wikipedia

Photos: Courtesy of the von Trapp family

Johannes von Trapp

Photo: Courtesy of the von Trapp family​

Charlie L. Wagner (Dates unknown)

Wagner Concert Agency

Trapp Family Concert Manager (from 1938-1940)

Charlie L. Wagner, of Wagner Concert Agency, was referred to the Trapp Family Choir by Nelly Walters, a talent scout who heard them in Vienna. He traveled to Salzburg to hear the family sing, "was enchanted" and immediately signed them for touring in the United States. Their first season with Charlie was from 1938-1939, which ended with a recording session with RCA Victor Records. Their second and last season with him was 1939-1940, also concluding with a second recording session in New York. 

Baroness Maria Franziska Gobertina von Trapp


Musical Instruments: Maria learned accordion from her father, had piano and violin lessons in her youth, and played the recorder.

Trapp Family Choir, Trapp Family Singers, and Trapp Family Music Camp: Maria was a Second Soprano vocalist and played recorder for the group from 1934-1956.

After Touring: After 1956, Maria spent nearly 30 years in Papua New Guinea as a lay missionary. Later she adopted a son. In 2008, Maria published a book My Favorite Songs: Maria von Trapp's Childhood Folk Songs. Later in life she painted and created monoprints, both of which she exhibited and sold. 

Reverend Dr. Franz Wasner (later Monsignor) (1905-1992)

Musical Director, Composer, Bass Singer & Spinet Player (from 1935-1956)

Chorale Co-Manager (from 1947-1956)

Wasner was musically trained and specialized in 16th-18th-century music. In 1934 he graduated with a doctorate in cannon law from Rome. He then moved to Salzburg to teach Gregorian chant and serve as Assistant Director at the Salzburg Seminary. In 1935 Wasner started coaching the von Trapp family, who had won recognition in a folk singing contest the year before  Wasner further cultivated their talents becoming their long-time Musical Director, and touring with the group for twenty years. Twelve years of which, he also taught music at the family's summer Trapp Family Music Camp. In 1947, after Georg passed away, he and Maria Kutschera von Trapp co-managed the Trapp Family Singers.

Youngest three von Trapp children

Baron Captain Georg von Trapp (1880-1947)

Chorale Manager & Logistics (from 1934-1947)

At the beginning of the von Trapp musicians' career, Georg performed on stage and radio a few times with his family: singing folk song and playing quartets as first violin. At the same time he promoted his WWI Memoir, To the Last Salute, and lectured across Austria and Germany. When the family's repertoire changed from folk songs to early chorale music, Georg moved from "front-of-house" to "back-of-house", taking care of transportation, logistics, equipment, and contracts, etc. He toured every season with his family, often driving the group from between U.S. cities, attending to concert needs, and giving radio and newspaper interviews. Additionally, Georg was a host during their summer Trapp Family Music Camp and played violin with his children in a family Quartet. He was acknowledged by his family as "the quiet support behind the family's success." 

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Charlene Peterson

1 Season (1951-1952)

Soprono Vocalist

Replaced: Johannes von Trapp's Soprono roll when his his voice changed and he moved to Bass

Background: Married to Harold Peterson

Baron Johannes Georg Sebastian von Trapp 

(b. 1939)

Musical Instruments: Johannes played the recorder.
Trapp Family Singers and Trapp Family Music Camp: Johannes debuted as a recorder soloist as a small child and then as a Soprano vocalist in 1948 at 9 years old. Later, as a Bass vocalist, he sang with the Trapp Family Singers  until 1956.
After Touring:  He graduated from Dartmouth College and received his Masters at Yale University's School of Forestry. He married Lynne Peterson and together they raised two children. Johannes owns and operates the Trapp Family Lodge  in Stowe, Vermont. He is also an avid hunter and sportsman.

Photo: Courtesy of the von Trapp family

Photo: Courtesy of the von Trapp family​

Five years after Agathe passed away from Scarlet Fever, Georg married his second wife, Maria Augusta Kutschera, who then became known as Baroness Maria Augusta von Trapp. Maria August was later portrayed as Maria Rainer in the musical, The Sounds of Music. She had three children that were not represented in the film: Baroness Rosmarie von Trapp, Baroness Eleonore von Trapp, and Baron Johannes von Trapp.

The combined family of ten children, Georg, Maria Augusta and their Musical Director, Rev. Dr. Franz Wasner, went on to establish the world-renowned musical chorale group, the Trapp Family Choir (1934-1940) and Trapp Family Singers (1940-1956). They also annually hosted the summer Trapp Family Music Camp  (1944-1956) in Vermont, U.S.A. 

Photo: Public Domain​