Hélène de Montgeroult’s life reads like a novel: showing a precocious musical ability as a child in pre-revolutionary France, she became fêted as one of the finest pianists and improvisers of her time. Imprisoned during an attempt to reach Naples at the time of the Revolution, she was able to return to France. She worked for the Institut National de Musique, only to be imprisoned again during the Reign of Terror. Finally freed for good, she was made professor of piano at the Conservatoire de Musique in Paris, the first woman to occupy such a position. Meanwhile, she managed to compose an important body of work for the piano as well as a complete method, including 114 études. British pianist Clare Hammond hails Montgeroult as “one of the most exploratory pianistic personalities of our time.” From her output, Hammond has selected 29 études that highlight the unique talent of this composer.