Augusta Holmès was a pianist and composer of Irish origin. Her parents were against her taking up music. As a child prodigy she sang, played the piano and started to compose under the name Hermann Zenta. She studied with César Franck. Her only opera was performed thirteen times at the Paris Opera House, as well as at Covent Garden Opera in London, the Dublin Opera House and the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
Camille Saint-Saëns was in love with her, but she did not marry him.