Magdalena Maria Yvonne Tagliaferro was a Brazilian-born pianist of French parentage.
Magdalena Tagliaferro was born in Petrópolis, Brazil. Her father, who had studied piano with Raoul Pugno in Paris, was a voice and piano professor in São Paulo Conservatory. He was her first teacher.
The cellist Pablo Casals heard Tagliaferro play in São Paulo when she was eleven, and he encouraged her to study at the Conservatoire de Paris. She went to Paris with her parents. Her father arranged for her to play for Pugno, who was impressed and recommended her to Antonin Marmontel at the Conservatoire. She entered the Conservatoire in 1906 in Marmontel's class and was awarded the Premier Prix in 1907. Subsequently, she studied with Alfred Cortot and the two remained friends for the rest of his life. She developed a reputation for striving towards the realization of the musical ideals exemplified by Cortot: a perfect union of clarity and tenderness, inner strength and emotion and classical balance in shaping the works being interpreted.
During her studies at the Conservatoire, the director, Gabriel Fauré invited her on a short tour with him. Later, she performed many of his compositions.