(No. 17 of the Black Composers series)
Chiquinha Gonzaga (1847-1935) was born and lived in Rio de Janeiro. She studied music as a child, and wrote her first composition at the age of 11. She spent her adult life as a piano teacher and performer, and eventually became a successful composer. She wrote over 2,000 pieces over the course of her lifetime, including the music for 77 theatrical works. In 1885, she became the first woman in Brazil to conduct an orchestra.