Chaminade, Cécile


Cécile Louise Stéphanie Chaminade (1857–1944), Paris, France 

French composer and pianist. Chaminade received her early musical training from her mother, who was a pianist. She composed about 400 works, almost all of which were published. She composed chiefly character pieces and melodies. Her music was very popular and she won a number of major awards. In 1913 she became the first woman composer to receive the Legion d’Honneur.

Another major achievement was her ballet debut, Callirhoë, which premiered in Marseille on March 16, 1888 and had over 200 performances. Chaminade’s great breakthrough came when the ballet was put on by the Metropolitan in New York. Yet her reputation declined during the 1900s; this was due partly to the decreasing popularity of the genres she worked in, but partly also to the general climate that prevailed for women composers during this period.


More information: Cécile Louise Stéphanie Chaminade ›

Links: Women of NoteDeutsche Grammophon


Music examples:

Konzertstück for piano and orchestra. Order the score here.

The Silver Ring and Ritournelle for voice