Marguerite Canal

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Marie-Marguerite-Denise Canal (29 January 1890 – 27 January 1978) was a French conductor, music educator and composer. She was born in Toulouse into a musical family, and her father introduced her to music and poetry. She studied at the Paris Conservatoire in 1911, and after completing her studies, became a teacher at the Conservatoire in 1919.

In 1917 she became the first woman in France to conduct an orchestra, and won the Prix de Rome in 1920 with Don Juan. She died in Cepet, near Toulouse.[1][2]


Canal composed mainly for voice and instrument performance and was noted for songs. Selected works include:

  • Requiem, 1921
  • Sonata for Violin and Piano, 1922
  • Le Jardin de L'Infante (A. Samain)
  • Nell (Leconte de Lisle)
  • Ici bas tous les lilas Meurent (Sully Prud'homme)
  • Douceur du Soir (G. Rodenbach)
  • Un grand sommeil noir (Verlaine)
  • Ecoutez la chanson bien douce (Verlaine)
  • Il pleure dans mon coeur (Verlaine)
  • Don Juan, drama, 1920
  • Amours triestes, song cycle
  • Tlass alka, opera, 1922 (uncompleted)

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

  • Marguerite Canal (1890-1978) Songs, Sonata for Violin and Piano[3]


  1. ^ Sadie, Julie Anne; Samuel, Rhian (1994). The Norton/Grove dictionary of women composers (Digitized online by GoogleBooks). Retrieved 19 January 2011.
  2. ^ Uglow, Jennifer S.; Hinton, Frances; Hendry, Maggy (1999). The Northeastern dictionary of women's biography.
  3. ^ "Marguerite Canal". Retrieved 19 January 2011.