Hélène de Montgeroult

1764-1836

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Hélène de Nervo de Montgeroult (Lyon, 2 March 1764 – Florence, 20 May 1836) was a French pianist and composer. She was born into an aristocratic family and studied piano with Nicolas Joseph Hüllmandel and Jan Ladislav Dussek. She married the Marquis de Montgeroult who died as an Austrian prisoner in 1793.

Reportedly it was respect for her compositions that allowed her to survive the French Reign of Terror. A set of improvisations on La Marseillaise, performed for the Committee of Public Safety, earned her her freedom after she was imprisoned in the Revolution due to her aristocratic background. After her husband's death, de Montgeroult took a position at the new Paris Conservatoire in 1795 - the first woman professor ever to be appointed there - and taught for two years. Afterward she published two volumes of music.

from Wikipedia