|Year of Birth:||1911|
|Year of Death:||1999|
Maria Stader (November 5, 1911 – April 27, 1999) was a Hungarian-born Swiss lyric soprano, known particularly for her Mozart interpretations.
Stader was born in Budapest, Austria-Hungary, on November 5, 1911, as Maria Molnár. During and after World War I, the price of food in Budapest was so high that it was difficult for her parents to support their five children. Maria and her younger sister, Elisabeth, were taken to Switzerland by The Salvation Army to recuperate for three months after being diagnosed with malnutrition. There, Maria's foster parents requested she stay for a full nine months. However, once in Budapest again, Maria fell seriously ill and it was also determined she would need her tonsils operated on. Her foster parents arranged for her to return to Switzerland. Because of difficulties with the immigration office, Maria could not remain in the canton of Zürich, so her foster father found her a place with the Stader family in Romanshorn, where there is also the commemorative Maria-Stader path. They later adopted her.
In 1939, Stader married Hans Erismann, the music director of Weinfelden and later the choir director of the Zürich Opera House. Through the husband of her vocal teacher, Mathilde Bärlocher, she met Stefi Geyer and her husband. Geyer herself was born in Budapest and had moved to Zürich in 1920; she then became an ongoing supporter of Stader's career. Another native of Budapest, Ilona Durigo, became her vocal teacher in 1935 in Zürich and introduced her to Hermann and Lily Reiff (a student of Franz Liszt). The Reiffs' home was the frequent meeting place of Adolf Busch and his brother Hermann , Thomas Mann and the entire ensemble of the Zürich Opera and Zürich Theater. Fritz Busch arranged for Stader to go to the Schnabel School in Tremezzo, run by the wife of Artur Schnabel, a few years later. From 1938 on, Stader received training from Giannina Arangi-Lombardi in Milan.