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date: 20 August 2019

Bonis, Mélanie (Hélène) [Mel-Bonis ]locked

  • Judy Tsou


[Mel-Bonis ]

(b Paris, Jan 21, 1858; d Sarcelles, Seine-et-Oise, March 18, 1937). French composer. She used the pseudonym Mel-Bonis. Born into a middle-class family, Bonis began piano lessons at an early age and made remarkable progress. A family friend, Professor Maury of the Paris Conservatoire, introduced her to César Franck in 1876. The following year she was admitted to the Conservatoire, where she studied harmony with Ernest Guiraud and the organ with Franck. She won second prize in harmony and accompaniment in 1879, and first prize in harmony a year later. Claude Debussy and Gabriel Pierné were also students during her years there.

Bonis married Albert Domange in 1883, and for about ten years devoted herself to raising a family. She began composing regularly in about 1894, writing more than 300 compositions, most of which were published. Among her works are 20 chamber pieces, 150 works for piano solo, 27 choral pieces, and organ music, songs and orchestral works. Her music was warmly praised by Camille Saint-Saëns, Célestin Joubert and Pierné. Already unwell, she suffered acutely the death in ...

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Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, 8/1992
B. Pazdírek: Universal-Handbuch der Musikliteratur aller Zeiten und Völker (Vienna, 1904-10/R)
A.I. Cohen: International Encyclopedia of Women Composers
The New Grove Dictionary of Women Composers