Guiomar Novaes was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil on February 28, 1895. One of nineteen children, Novaes began playing the piano at age 4 and was studying the instrument by 5. Two years later, she made her first public appearance and went on a tour of Brazil. In 1909, the Brazilian government funded her trip to Paris to compete for a conservatory scholarship. The judges, including Debussy, gave her top honors and she studied there under Philipp for two years. In 1911, she embarked on a succesful European tour, which was followed in 1915 by her American debut in New York. Novaes married Octavio Pinto, an architect, in 1922. Novaes was highly esteemed for the beauty of her tone and the spontaneity of her musical conceptions. Her repertoire emphasized Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann and Debussy. She died in Sao Paulo on March 7, 1979.