Hélène de Montgeroult

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Hélène de Montgeroult by Richard Cosway c. 1786 (lead mine, highlights of white - bequeathed to the Louvre by his son, Aimé Horace His of La Salle).

Hélène de Nervo de Montgeroult (Lyon, 2 March 1764 – Florence, 20 May 1836) was a French pianist and composer. She was born into an aristocratic family and studied piano with Nicolas Joseph Hüllmandel and Jan Ladislav Dussek. She married the Marquis de Montgeroult who died as an Austrian prisoner in 1793.

Reportedly it was respect for her compositions that allowed her to survive the French Reign of Terror.[1] A set of improvisations on La Marseillaise, performed for the Committee of Public Safety, earned her her freedom after she was imprisoned in the Revolution due to her aristocratic background.[2] After her husband's death, de Montgeroult took a position at the new Paris Conservatoire in 1795 - the first woman professor ever to be appointed there[3] - and taught for two years. Afterward she published two volumes of music.[4][5]


Selected works include:

  • Piano Sonata No. 9 in F sharp minor Op. 5 No. 3
  • Trois sonatas pour le forte-piano, collection
  • Cours complet pour l'enseignement du forte-piano, collection

Her works have been recorded and issued on CD, including:

  • Hélène de Montgeroult - La Marquise et la Marseillaise (12 May 2008) Editions Hortus
  • Hélène de Montgeroult (2017) Orchid Classics


  1. ^ Presto Classical
  2. ^ Jérôme Dorival, notes to Orchid Classics CD Hélène de Montgeroult (2017) ; "M comme Montgeroult",in Improvisaiton so piano, Jean-Pierre Thiollet, Neva Ed., 2017, p 79-82. ISBN 978-2-35055-228-6
  3. ^ Dorival (2017).
  4. ^ Sadie, Julie Anne; Samuel, Rhian (1994). The Norton/Grove dictionary of women composers (Digitized online by GoogleBooks). ISBN 9780393034875. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
  5. ^ Bowers, Jane; Tick, Judith (1987). Women making music: the Western art tradition, 1150-1950 (Digitized online by GoogleBooks). ISBN 9780252014703. Retrieved 6 January 2011.

External links[edit]