MarÃa Grever (1894â€“1951) was the first Mexican female musician to become a successful composer.
Maria Joaquina de la Portilla Torres was born to a Spanish father and Mexican mother in Mexico. After spending much of her childhood in Spain, she returned with her parents to Mexico at the age of 12. She studied music in France, with Claude Debussy among her teachers. In 1916 she married Leo A. Grever, an American oil company executive, and moved to New York City where she lived for the rest of her life.
Grever was said to have possessed a perfect pitch and wrote most of her songs in one key. Her first piece of music, a Christmas carol, was composed when she was four years old. She wrote her first song when she was 18 years old, "A Una Ola" ("To a Wave"), and it sold three million copies. In 1920 she began work as a film composer for Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox movie studios. Grever wrote more than 800 songs â€” the majority of them boleros â€” and her popularity reached audiences in Latin America, Europe, and the United States. Grever's first song hit was "Jurame" ("Promise, Love"), a habanera-bolero. Other famous songs.