Music Recommendation

Lücker, A. (2023) 250 Komponistinnen : Frauen schreiben Musikgeschichte. Berlin: Aufbau Verlage.

Nadia Boulanger – the pioneering composition teacher

The list of her students is long and prominent: Leonard Bernstein and Igor Stravinsky remained devoted to her throughout their lives, she did homework with Maurice Ravel and young artists such as Philip Glass and Quincy Jones owed her a great deal. Nadia Boulanger (1887-1979) dedicated herself to music education, but was also a talented composer, pianist and conductor. With her piano student Dinu Lipatti, she recorded the Brahms Waltz op. 39 for four hands, which is probably unrivalled to this day. Boulanger conducted major American orchestras, usually as the first woman to do so. She influenced the musical events of her time like no other, was a teacher, friend and inspiration to many famous composers, musicians and intellectuals in the 20th century. Paul Valéry said of his friend: "She breathes, what we hear."
The author and film director Bruno Monsaingeon compared his book about Boulanger to editing sequences of a film whose screenplay was only written down after filming; published in French in 1981, the current translation offers an opportunity to (re)discover the exceptional talent of Nadia Boulanger.