Arne B. Mann (Ed), Neznámi Rómovia, p.126. Bratislava: Ister Science
married very young to a Romany man worked as a musician and blacksmith. After
1725, she, with her husband and brothers-in-law, established a band which she
led as the first woman violinist. Wearing military-like men's clothes that she
designed for herself and for her musicians and with a pipe in her mouth, she
nevertheless was soon famous for her violin playing, as well for her beauty
and personal charm. She was invited to concerts by gentlemen from the whole
region. She undertook a concert tour in Hungary and the surrounding European
countries. She died at the age of 61 was buried in her native Gemer on the 5th
of February, 1772. Her grave, however, has not been preserved.
Panna Cinková's repertoire included folk songs, “table” music and the
European dance songs of the period. Her own musical creativity was remarkable,
too. Today it is difficult to define which compositions were adopted (e.g.
from her grandfather) and which ones she worked out or composed herself, and
those which were later ascribed to her. The music critic, Kodály, considered
Panna Cinkova to be a co-composer of listening compositions, known as the
After the death of Panna Cinková, many legends, poems, “belle letters” and theatrical plays were written about her. She was said to be “the famous Cinka Panna from here to the stars.” Poets gave her the epithet “the Gypsy Sapho.” To commemorate this famous Romany first woman violist in her native community of Gemer, festivals of music, song and dance have been organized since 1970.