CapRadio Classical and Jazz is celebrating women in music all month long by featuring a different classical composer every weekday. Today's spotlight is on Cécile Chaminade.
- French composer and pianist Cécile Chaminade was born in 1857 in Paris. She first studied music with her mother, a singer and pianist.
- Her father disapproved of a formal education at a conservatory so she privately studied piano, violin and composition with individuals including acclaimed composer Benjamin Godard. By age eight she performed some of her own music for Georges Bizet who was impressed.
- Ten years later she gave her first public performance and her piano compositions, especially, soon became popular in France and abroad.
- She toured France many times while young and with her compositions growing in favor, made her first of many tours to England at about age 35. At about age 51 she toured the USA where sheet music of her piano pieces sold very well and was found in many homes.
- At about age 57 she was awarded France's highest order of merit, the Légion d'Honneur, a first for a female composer.
- Almost all of her music was published in her lifetime and sold well.
- Cécile Chaminade passed away in Monte Carlo in 1944.
- Ambroise Thomas once said of Chaminade: "This is not a woman who composes, but a composer who is a woman."
Also today: Anton Bruckner knew his Ninth Symphony would be his last (in fact he died before he completed the final movement) and he dedicated it "to the beloved God” that inspired him. Appropriately, then, the symphony is full of mystery, reverence and awe. A brand new recording (57 minutes!) of Bruckner’s Ninth with the Vienna Philharmonic is today’s Midday Masterpiece.