Cecile Chaminade was a French composer and pianist. Born in Paris, she studied piano with her mother and was experimenting with composition from an early age. At the age of eight, she played some of her music to Bizet, who encouraged her and advised her parents to provide her with a musical education. At this time women were not allowed to study at the Paris Conservatoire, but Cecile did have private lessons in piano, violin and compostition. At 18, she gave her debut as a pianist and toured France, England and America, often performing her own works.