Anne-Louise Boyvin d’Hardancourt Brillon de Jouy was born into a wealthy Parisian family in 1744. Celebrated by contemporary music historian Charles Burney as “one of the greatest lady players of the harpsichord in Europe,” she hosted regular salon concerts in her Parisian home where she performed her own compositions on the harpsichord and fortepiano. Her soirées were frequented by an array of prominent musicians including Luigi Boccherini, who dedicated a set of six sonatas to her. Much of what is known about Anne-Louise comes from surviving correspondence with her friend and sometime neighbour Benjamin Franklin, who admired her greatly.
Despite composing almost ninety works, mostly chamber music, she seemingly had no ambitions to publish her works or perform publicly; music was a private pastime to be shared with family and friends, as it was for other women of her social class. Her salon concerts came to an end with the French Revolution, after which she had to keep a low profile and attend to the safety and needs of her family. She died in 1824 in Villers-sur-Mer, Calvados, in Normandy.
– Rona Nadler