Cécile Louise Stephanie Chaminade (1857–1944), French pianist-composer
, was born in Paris
where, a prosperous career having been predicted for her from the age of eight by no less an authority than Georges Bizet
, she later studied at the Conservatoire
under Benjamin Godard
. In 1901 she married the music publisher Louis-Mathieu Carbonel
; he died six years later. She was awarded the Légion d'Honneur
Chaminade's more than 350 compositions are characterised by charm, wit and a gift for melody rather than by any great complexity or depth. Her technical mastery of the pianoforte idiom enabled her to write beautiful solo pieces of deceptive simplicity, and it is for these, although she wrote many songs and also ventured into orchestral music, that she is best remembered.
Chaminade's best-known piano works include Valse-Caprice (Op. 33), La Lisongera (Op. 50) and her Six Études de Concert (Op. 35) of which the second, Automne, was probably her most popular composition of all. Her greatest orchestral work is the ballet Callirhoe.