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Marguerite Monnot
Marguerite  Monnot

Marguerite Monnot

MARGUERITE MONNOT was a French songwriter and composer, best known for having written many of the songs performed by Édith Piaf (“Milord,” “Hymne à l'amour”) and for the music in the stage musical Irma La Douce. As a female composer of popular music in the first half of the twentieth century, Monnot was a pioneer in her field. Classically trained by her father and at the Paris Conservatory where her teachers included Nadia Boulanger, Vincent d’Indy, and Alfred Cortot, Monnot made the unusual switch to composing popular music after poor health ended her career as a concert pianist at the age of eighteen. Soon after writing her first commercially successful song, “L'Étranger”, in 1935, she met Édith Piaf, and in 1940 they became the first female songwriting team in France, remaining friends and collaborators throughout most of their lives. Monnot worked with some of the best lyricists of her day, including Raymond Asso, Henri Contet, and Georges Moustaki, and she also knew and collaborated with musicians and writers like Charles Aznavour, Yves Montand, Boris Vian, and Marlene Dietrich. In 1955, she achieved major success with her setting of Alexandre Breffort's book Irma la Douce, which was translated into English and had long runs in London and on Broadway.

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