Mel Bonis (1858 - 1937)

Mélanie Bonis was initially allowed to play the piano in order to increase her value on the matrimonial market, and she was quite fortunate when family friends enabled her to attend the Parisian ‘Conservatoire’. In addition, her work as a composer was fuelled by the fact that her parents managed to find her an affluent husband. Free from financial hardships, Mel Bonis practiced music as a pleasant pastime, soon producing and disseminating her own compositions. Still, practicing music as a profession was unthinkable for a woman, which eventually lead to Mélanie Bonis changing her first name into “Mel“ in an attempt to blur her gender in front of potential publishers.