Nadia Boulanger

French musician, conductor, and teacher

Juliette Nadia Boulanger (French: [ʒyljɛt nadja bulɑ̃ʒe] (audio speaker iconlisten); 16 September 1887 – 22 October 1979) was a French music teacher and conductor. She taught many of the leading composers and musicians of the 20th century, and also performed occasionally as a pianist and organist.

Juliette Nadia Boulanger
Nadia Boulanger in 1925
Nadia Boulanger in 1925
Background information
Born16 September 1887
Paris, France
Died22 October 1979 (1979-10-23) (aged 92)
Occupation(s)Teacher and conductor

She grew up in a musical family. Her first success was when she was at the Conservatoire de Paris. She believed, that she had no talent as a composer, she gave up that path. She became a teacher instead. As a teacher, she had a large influence on many young copmosers of the 20th century. Most of them were from the United States and other English-speaking countries. Among her students were people who later became important composers, soloists, arrangers and conductors. Some of them were Grażyna Bacewicz, Burt Bacharach, Daniel Barenboim, Lennox Berkeley, İdil Biret, Elliott Carter, Aaron Copland, John Eliot Gardiner, Philip Glass, Roy Harris, Quincy Jones, Dinu Lipatti, Igor Markevitch, Astor Piazzolla, and Virgil Thomson.

Boulanger taught in the US and England. She worked with music academies including the Juilliard School, the Yehudi Menuhin School, the Longy School, the Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music. For most of her life, she was in her family's flat in Paris, where she taught for most of the seven decades from the start of her career until her death at the age of 92.

Boulanger was the first woman to conduct many major orchestras in America and Europe, including the BBC Symphony, Boston Symphony, Hallé, and Philadelphia orchestras. She conducted several world premieres, including works by Copland and Stravinsky.

Honours and awards

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Potter 2001.
  2. Kendall, Alan (1976). The Tender Tyrant – Nadia Boulanger – A Life Devoted To Music. Macdonald and Jane's. p. 76.
  3. "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter B" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
  4. Hooker, Alan. "Griswold Awards Prize to Nadia Boulanger". Yale Daily News Historical Archive. Yale University. Retrieved 25 March 2021.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Spycket, Jerome (1993). Nadia Boulanger. Pendragon Press. p. 160.



Other websites