Nadia Boulanger

Nadia Juliette Boulanger ( born September 16, 1887 in Paris, † October 22, 1979 ibid ) was a French composer, pianist, conductor, and pedagogue Musiktheoretikerin.


Nadia Boulanger was the daughter of the composer, conductor and singing teacher Ernest Boulanger ( 1815-1900 ). She began to learn from her father organ and composition at the age of nine years. Later she was taught by Louis Vierne and went to the Conservatoire de Paris. As early as 1903 was Nadia Boulanger deputy organist for Gabriel Fauré at the organ of the church of La Madeleine. In 1904 she received at the age of sixteen first prizes in organ, accompaniment and composition, in 1908 the second prize in the large Prix de Rome in composition for their cantata La Sirene. In her apartment in the Rue Ballu they had a Mutin Cavaillé - organ.

The pianist Raoul Pugno (1852-1914) fought for Nadia Boulanger and led under their direction, their variée Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra. Also he composed jointly with it a number of works, such as the song cycle of Hellen hours ( heures claires ). After his death, Nadia Boulanger composed less and devoted himself more of pedagogy, orchestral conducting and the distribution of the work of her sister Lili Boulanger ( 1893-1918 ). From 1921 she taught at the École Normale de Musique and at the newly founded Conservatoire Américain in Fontainebleau. In the same year, she traveled to the USA where they henceforth gave master classes regularly for the first time. She became one of the most famous composition teacher of the 20th century.

She taught for example, the French composer Maurice Journeau, and several generations of American composers were among their students, including Aaron Copland, Gerardo Guevara, Astor Piazzolla, Quincy Jones, Roy Harris and Philip Glass. Among the many taught by her Polish composer find names like Bacewicz, Zbigniew Bargielski, Wojciech Kilar, Stefan Kisielewski, Zygmunt Krauze, Krzysztof Meyer, Marta Ptaszyńska, Kazimierz Serocki, Stanisław Skrowaczewski, Michał Spisak, Witold Szalonek, Antoni Szalowski, Stanisław Wiechowicz and Antoni Wit. Her greatest piano students Dinu Lipatti was, with whom she made ​​the first recording together in 1937. To date, probably unequaled their feed is the Brahms Waltz op 39 for four hands.

When she 1938, the Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted, they broke into a traditionally male domain. It was her first appearance outside of France and the first time that this orchestra played under the baton of a woman. Your reputation as a conductor grew, particularly in the context of modern works and old music, for they are very began.

During the Second World War she lived as a teacher in the United States. In 1946 she returned to Paris. They took up a professorship at the Conservatoire National, where she taught until her death. However, she found her perhaps the most important role as head of the Conservatoire Américain in Fontainebleau, an open, English-language summer academy with international standing.

Your apartment in Paris became the meeting place of the French musical world. In the " Boulangerie " (French, the bakery is called ) inverted, among other things, Aaron Copland, Maurice Ravel, Arthur Honegger, Leonard Bernstein, Rainier, Bacewicz and Thea Musgrave, where she gave instruction in harmony, composition, counterpoint, musical analysis and instrumentation.


From their works, the opera " La Ville Morte " is probably the best known. She wrote numerous songs and chamber works.


Discography (selection)

  • Songs and chamber music: Five mélodies (1909 ), Les Heures Claires (1909 ), Seven mélodies (1922 ) for mezzo-soprano and piano; Vers la nouvelle vie for piano (1916 ); Three Pieces for Cello and Piano (1913). Melinda Paulsen mezzo- soprano, Angela streets Huber Piano, Friedemann Kupsa cello. Toubadisc TRO - CD 01407th