Boulanger, Nadia


Boulanger, Nadia

▪ French composer and teacher
born Sept. 16, 1887, Paris, France
died Oct. 22, 1979, Paris
 conductor, organist, and one of the most influential teachers of musical composition of the 20th century.

      Boulanger's family had been associated for two generations with the Paris Conservatory, where her father and first instructor, Ernest Boulanger, was a teacher of voice. She received her formal training there in 1897–1904, studying composition with Gabriel Fauré (Fauré, Gabriel) and organ with Charles-Marie Widor (Widor, Charles-Marie). She later taught composition at the conservatory and privately. She also published a few short works and in 1908 won second place in the Prix de Rome competition with her cantata La Sirène. She ceased composing, rating her works “useless,” after the death in 1918 of her talented sister Lili Boulanger, also a composer.

      In 1921 Boulanger began her long association with the American Conservatory, founded after World War I at Fontainebleau by the conductor Walter Damrosch (Damrosch, Walter) for American musicians. She was organist for the premiere (1925) of the Symphony for Organ and Orchestra by Aaron Copland (Copland, Aaron), her first American pupil, and appeared as the first woman conductor of the Boston, New York Philharmonic, and Philadelphia orchestras in 1938. She had already become (1937) the first woman to conduct an entire program of the Royal Philharmonic in London.

      In the late 1930s Boulanger recorded little-known works of Claudio Monteverdi, championed rarely performed works by Heinrich Schütz and Fauré, and promoted early French music. She spent the period of World War II in the United States, mainly as a teacher at the Washington (D.C.) College of Music and the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Md. Returning to France, she taught again at the Paris and American conservatories, becoming director of the latter in 1949.

      In addition to Copland, Boulanger's pupils included the composers Lennox Berkeley (Berkeley, Sir Lennox), Easley Blackwood (Blackwood, Easley), Marc Blitzstein (Blitzstein, Marc), Elliott Carter (Carter, Elliott), Jean Françaix (Françaix, Jean), Roy Harris (Harris, Roy), Darius Milhaud (Milhaud, Darius), Walter Piston (Piston, Walter), and Virgil Thomson (Thomson, Virgil). Her influence as a teacher was always personal rather than pedantic: she refused to write a textbook of theory. Her aim was to enlarge the student's aesthetic comprehensions while developing individual gifts.

Additional Reading
Alan Kendall, The Tender Tyrant, Nadia Boulanger (1976); Léonie Rosenstiel, Nadia Boulanger: A Life in Music (1982); Don G. Campbell, Master Teacher, Nadia Boulanger (1984); Bruno Monsaingeon, Mademoiselle: Conversations with Nadia Boulanger (1985, reissued 1988; first published in French, 1980).

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Boulanger, Nadia — (1887 1979)    composer, professor of music    Born in Paris, Nadia Boulanger was a remarkable musician (she was the first woman to win the grand prix de Rome, 1913) and, during a quite brief public career, dedicated her life to teaching music.… …   France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present

  • Boulanger, Nadia (-Juliette) — Nadia Boulanger. born Sept. 16, 1887, Paris, France died Oct. 22, 1979, Paris French music teacher and conductor. Having studied composition with Charles Marie Widor (1844–1937) and Gabriel Fauré, she stopped composing in her twenties (after the… …   Universalium

  • Boulanger, Nadia (-Juliette) — (16 sep. 1887, París, Francia–22 oct. 1979, París). Nadia Boulanger, directora de orquesta francesa. Profesora de música y directora de orquesta francesa. Aunque estudió composición con Charles Marie Widor (n. 1844–m. 1937) y Gabriel Fauré, dejó… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Boulanger,Nadia Juliette — Bou·lan·ger (bo͞o läɴ zhāʹ), Nadia Juliette. 1887 1979. French music teacher of several modern American composers, including Virgil Thomson and Aaron Copland. * * * …   Universalium

  • Nadia Boulanger — in 1925 (Juliette) Nadia Boulanger ([ʒy.ljɛt na.dja bu.lɑ̃.ʒe]; 16 September 1887 – 22 October 1979) was a French composer, conductor and teacher who taught many composers and performers of the 20th century. From a musical family, she… …   Wikipedia

  • Nadia Boulanger — Nadia Boulanger. Nadia Boulanger, compositora, directora de orquesta y profesora francesa (1887 1979). Biografía Nadia Boulanger nació en París en 1887. Fue alumna del compositor francés Gabriel Fauré, amigo de la familia. En 1918 dejó de… …   Wikipedia Español

  • BOULANGER (N.) — BOULANGER NADIA (1887 1979) Professeur, chef d’orchestre et compositeur, née à Paris, Nadia Boulanger y fait ses études musicales (classes d’écriture, d’orgue et d’accompagnement) au Conservatoire national supérieur de musique, où elle est… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Nadia-et-Lili-Boulanger — Fondation internationale Nadia et Lili Boulanger La Fondation internationale Nadia et Lili Boulanger subventionne de jeunes musiciens par le biais de bourses d’études qu’elle finance grâce à des dons et subventions. Elle est placée sous l’égide… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Nadia Boulanger — Nadia Boulanger, 1925 Nadia Juliette Boulanger (* 16. September 1887 in Paris; † 22. Oktober 1979 ebenda) war eine französische Komponistin, Pianistin, Dirigentin, Musiktheoretikerin und pädagogin …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Boulanger (Homonymie) — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom.  Pour les articles homophones, voir Boulenger (homonymie) et Boullanger (homonymie) …   Wikipédia en Français


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.