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CHAMINADE, Cécile (1857-1944)

Cécile Chaminade had to explore her talent for musical composition while maintaining her social status as the daughter of an upper-middle-class Parisian family. Although she showed a genuine aptitude for the piano and Bizet – a family friend – introduced her to Le Couppey (a professor at the Paris Conservatoire), her father did not want her to have a professional musical education, since it was not the done thing for a woman of her standing. However, the private lessons she had with Savard, Le Couppey and Godard provided her with a similar training to the one she would have had at the Conservatoire. As her parents regularly held a salon at their house, the young musician used their circle of acquaintances to obtain her first public performance at a chamber concert at the Salle Pleyel, in 1877. Initial support for her compositions dates from this time: in 1878, Le Couppey organised a concert devoted to her work and the Société Nationale de Musique programmed her Trio op.11 in 1880, and a Suite pour orchestre the following year. A private performance, at her parents’ house, of her opéra-comique La Sevillane (1882), then – in 1888 – public performances of her ballet Callirhoé, her dramatic symphony Les Amazones and her Concertstück for piano, firmly established her reputation. The death of her father and the need to provide for her family prompted her, from the 1890s, to give frequent international concert tours and sign publishing contracts which obliged her to produce at speed a large number of minor works which generally lack the harmonic sophistication of her early compositions.

    Images - 4
  • Cécile Chaminade
  • Cécile Chaminade
  • Cécile Chaminade
  • Cécile Chaminade (carte Guérin-Boutron)
  • Works - 11
  • Au Pays dévasté op. 155 (Cécile Chaminade)
  • Callirhoé (Cécile Chaminade)
  • Concertino for flute (Cécile Chaminade)
  • Danse ancienne op. 75 (Cécile Chaminade)
  • Écossaise op. 151 (Cécile Chaminade)
  • Sérénade aux étoiles (Cécile Chaminade)
  • Display more
    Theme - 1
  • Women composers
  • Symposia - 1
  • Les compositrices au siècle de Pauline Viardot (2013)
  • Study - 1
  • Launay, Florence – Marie Jaëll and the other women French composers from the end of the 19th century
  • Document - 1
  • Lettre de Cécile Chaminade à Martin-Pierre Marsick (sd)