A woman composer who died 100 years ago today

A woman composer who died 100 years ago today


norman lebrecht

March 15, 2018

A memoir of Lili Boulanger.

... success led to a contract from the publisher Tito Ricordi in 1913, which assured her a fixed yearly income and resulted in the publication of her prize-winning cantata. In 1916, Ricordi further published


Read on here.


  • Stephen Maddock says:

    Wonderful composer. If only she had lived beyond the age of 24.

  • RW2013 says:

    Best woman ever mentioned here.
    Love her choral music.

  • Derek says:

    For anyone who would like to know more of Lili Boulanger, there is an opportunity to hear some of this talented composer’s works in a CBSO concert on 31st May 2018 (also includes Faure’s Requiem).

    If you can travel to Symphony Hall in Birmingham, why not give it a try?

  • Patricia says:

    Thanks for posting! France musique has some very good podcasts on both Lili and Nadia Boulanger, worth listening!

  • Robert Hairgrove says:

    Lovely performance of the Nocturne, thanks for posting this!

    She was such a prolific composer; how many other composers can show that many works completed by the age of 24 when she died?

    I was struck by the beauty of this piece, “D’un soir triste” completed the year of her death, which showed up in the associated links to the clip of the Nocturne:

    It shows her as a master orchestrator, and the music is better than what many of her contemporaries, who later became very famous, were writing at the time (IMHO).

    • John Borstlap says:

      That ‘D’un soir triste’ is a harrowing, beautiful work, fully-fledged mastery and with a strong individual voice, obviously Honegger has taken much from her idiom. Her life story is heartbreaking… had she lived, she would have been the most important french composer next to Ravel. Fortunately she had the chance to write quite a lot in her short time. It seems as if a whole life’s experience had been squeezed into a short time span, like Schubert’s.

      • John Borstlap says:

        PS: The group of famous composers in the twenties who made a name for themselves under the heading of ‘Les Six’ and with the pamphlettic help of Cocteau, are like little children next to Boulanger – except, perhaps, the later Poulenc who suddenly got serious when getting more wrinkled in WW II.