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Featured Composer: Cécile Chaminade

Cécile Chaminade (1857-1944) was a French pianist and a prolific composer. She began her musical studies with her mother, but quickily studied piano, violin, and composition with famous pedagogues Félix Le Couppey, Marie Gabriel Augustin Savard, and Benjamin Godard. She began her professional touring career at the age of 18, becoming very popular in France, England, and eventually the United States.

Her oeuvre centered around character pieces and salon music, including dozens of works for the solo piano. Chaminade had many famous contemporaries champion her music, including Georges Bizet and Isidor Philipp.

Luckily for us, Chaminade is one of few female composers whose compositions were almost all published. She even recorded several piano rolls in the early 1900s, allowing us to hear her own interpretations of her music. Her music is not as widely performed today, but it should be.


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