Caroline Boissier-Butini (2 May 1786 – 9 March 1836) was a Swiss pianist and composer.
Born Caroline Butini in Geneva, she was the eldest child of Pierre Butini (1759–1838) and Jeanne-Pernette, née Bardin (1764–1841). The musician wrote that her father was her most important patron, though he played no instrument. As a member of the upper class of Geneva, she grew up in a favorable environment for the artistic education of girls, but in her direct family environment nobody employed similar intensity with music as she did. In her writings the name of a teacher is mentioned only once, in 1808: François-Charles Mansui (1785–1847), a resident of Geneva between 1807 and 1812. Thus, Butini may have had lessons with him as a young adult. It is not known who taught her the basics of playing the piano.
At age 22, she was married to Auguste Boissier (1784–1856), who played the violin. He also supported her musical activities.
During travels to Paris and London in 1818, she heard some of the foremost pianists of her day including Johann Baptist Cramer, Marie Bigot de Morogues, Charles Mayer, Henri Bertini, and Frédéric Kalkbrenner. Apparently, she found her encounters with Cramer and Kalkbrenner in London particularly instructive.
As a pianist, her repertory included music by the "ancient masters" Scarlatti, Handel and Bach, then Haydn and Mozart, reaching to the "moderns" of her day including Beethoven, Field, Weber, Meyerbeer, Berlioz und Liszt.
Both as pianist and composer, she was well known in the social and artistic circles of Geneva. She once noted in her diary: "J'ai un tiers consacré de ma vie à la musique" ("I have a third of my life dedicated to music"; journal no. 3, probably 1806). She died in Prégny, near Geneva, aged 49.
A Seat At The Piano welcomes you to pull up a bench and join our generous family of supporters! If ASAP has helped you, please consider donating to help us keep growing. Click here to donate.