Skip to main content
Mélanie Bonis par Charles-Auguste Corbineau


1858 - 1937

Composer, Pianist

Date of birth:
Date of death:

The compositional career of Mélanie Domange, née Bonis, was in full swing in the twenty years leading up to the First World War. Her talents spanned nearly all the musical genres, with the exception of opera, and her most acclaimed works used her own favourite instrument, the piano; she often performed them herself in public. In addition to works for solo piano – including the first of her ‘Femmes de légende’ series, Phœbé, Viviane and Salomé, in 1909 – she also wrote chamber pieces in which the flute played an important role. Her Piano Quartet no.1 (1905), written in a Faurean vein, was her biggest success. Before achieving this belated fame – which enabled her to become the first woman on the committee of the Société des Compositeurs de Musique (1910) – Mel Bonis had long been confined to the domestic sphere. After she married the industrialist Édouard Domange (already twice widowed) in 1883, her duties as a stepmother and then as a mother kept her away from Parisian musical life, albeit without silencing her: after completing her studies at the Paris Conservatoire (1876-81, with Ernest Guiraud, Auguste Bazille and César Franck), she managed to have songs and piano pieces printed by various publishers. However, the Great War put an end to her public exposure as a composer, and she then devoted herself essentially to works of religious inspiration (for organ or voice) and teaching pieces. She left a large number of unpublished works that reveal a skilled composer and orchestrator, unjustly neglected in her lifetime.

Student of

Ernest Guiraud (portrait et autographe)



César Franck (portrait et autographe)

Composer, Organist, Pianist


Composer, Organist



publication date : 04/10/23