Pauline Viardot [née García] (pronounced: [po.lin vjaʁ.do];July 18, 1821 – May 18, 1910) was a leading nineteenth-century French mezzo-soprano, pedagogue, and composer of Spanish descent.
Born Michelle Ferdinande Pauline García, her name appears in various forms. When it is not simply "Pauline Viardot", it most commonly appears in association with her maiden name García or the unaccented form, Garcia. This name sometimes precedes Viardot and sometimes follows it. Sometimes the words are hyphenated; sometimes they are not. She achieved initial fame as "Pauline García"; the accent was dropped at some point, but exactly when is not clear. After her marriage, she referred to herself simply as "Mme. Viardot".
She came from a musical family and took up music at a young age. She began performing as teenager and had a long and illustrious career as a star performer. Her three daughters also pursued careers in music performances.