Born: December 13, 1888 - Kerk-Avezaath, near Tiel, the Netherlands
Died: October 20, 1970 - The Hague, the Netherlands
The Dutch contralto, Theodora Versteegh, showed a promising affinity for music already at a young age. In the beginning she studied piano with Sem Dresden (Dutch composer/conductor) in Tiel, but in the long run singing study attracted her more. Later she studied with the two renowned pedagogues Cornelie van Zanten and Tilly Koenen.
Theodora Versteegh made her oratorio debut in 1914 in George Frideric Handel’s Joshua and dedicated her career exclusively to oratorio, concert and song. She was a wonderful interpreter of J.S. Bach’s Passions (she sang the solo contralto part in St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) more than 250 times!) and cantatas. She also was a Lieder singer. She possessed a wide oratorio repertoire and performed under renowned conductors as Bruno Walter, Willem Mengelberg, Eduard van Beinum, Anthon van der Horst, Pierre Monteux, Gabriel Fauré, Zoltán Kodály, Florent Schmitt, Karl Straube, Johan Schoonderbeek, Evert Cornelis, M.A. Brandts Buys and Lodewijk de Vocht. She sang together with the soprano Jo Vincent, tenor Evert Miedema (later, tenor Louis van Tulder) and baritone Willem Ravelli in a quartet - the "Hollandsch Vocaal Kwartet", also known as the "Jo Vincent Kwartet".
Theodora Versteegh regularly appeared in Belgium, Germany and France. In the 1930’s she began to work as a singing coach but went on to sing until 1948. She gave her farewell concert at age 60 with works by Dutch composers as Dresden, De Vocht, Pijper , Bordewijk-Roepman and Schouwman.
Theodora Versteegh made several recordings for the label Columbia, many of the recordings together with soprano Jo Vincent and with the already mentioned Jo Vincent Quartet.