Sophie Braslau was a contralto prominent in United States opera, starting with her debut in New York City's Metropolitan Opera in 1913 when she was 21.
Braslau, Sophie was born on August 16, 1892 in New York City. Daughter of Abel (Doctor of Medicine and Alexandra (Goodelman) B.
As a child, Braslau studied piano. She studied with Buzzi-Peccia for three years and then with a number of other instructors.
Braslau herself claimed to be inspired to a singing career after hearing Alma Gluck, another student of Buzzi-Peccia. She auditioned for New York's Metropolitan Opera in April 1913, was promptly signed to a contract, and debuted in November of that year. Her first leading role was in 1918 as Shanewis.
Braslau also sang in concert and toured widely and frequently, first in the United States and Canada, then in Europe in the 1920s, using a repertoire which included works in English, French, German, Italian, Russian, and Yiddish. She retired from her full-time opera career in the late 1920s and performed very little as frail health brought her life to an early close. Sophie Braslau died of cancer on December 22, 1935 in Manhattan.
At her funeral Sergei Rachmaninoff was an honorary pallbearer. The eulogy was delivered by Olin Downes, music critic for The New York Times.