Lili Boulanger, shooting star of 20th century classical music

The composer

Lili Boulanger is at the heart of this program broadcast on September 28, 1993, the second part of the series “Le Rythme et la raison”. At the microphone of Frank Mallet, Jean Françaix introduces listeners to the character and work of a shooting star of the

classical music of the 20th century: Lili Boulanger.

Jean Françaix recounts the tragic fate of Lili Boulanger, a genius composer who died in 1918 at the age of 24 from intestinal tuberculosis. His life was very intense and far too short, marked as much by illness as by his incredible musical talent. In 1913, at the age of 19, she became the first woman to win the Grand Prix de Rome for musical composition before a jury known for her misogyny.

Igor Markevitch: “It’s incomprehensible that Lili Boulanger is not better known”


Igor Markevichwho recorded in the 1960s at the initiative of Nadia Boulanger a certain number of works by Lili Boulanger for soloists, choirs and orchestras:It is incomprehensible that Lili Boulanger is not better known. We know her name but we treat her with great indifference. But he is a fascinating character. She is the first female musician to have reached such a high level. She is an endearing personality. At first it was a sort of prodigy of precocity. But she was in fragile health. She had a serious gaiety “.

Nadia Boulanger: “Lili spoke the inaccessible language of art”

His sister

Nadia Baker remembers this fragile, delicate little girl, often sick and enlightened by the pain of losing his father at the age of six. From childhood, she wanted to write a work in memory of her father. Her sister was aware of her very short destiny. ” She was taking care not to live longer but to be able to say what she had left to say, like the expression of the music that welled up inside her. She wrote because she had to speak. She spoke the inaccessible language of art. It was the work that counted. »

  • By Franck Mallet
  • With Jean Francaix
  • With in archive, the voice of Nadia Boulanger (teacher and conductor) and Igor Markevitch (conductor)
  • Directed by Marie-Cécile Mazzoni
  • Rhythm and reason – Lili Boulanger composer, 1893-1918: Part 2/5: Memories (1st broadcast: 09/28/1993)
  • Web edition: Documentation of Radio France
  • Archive Ina-Radio France

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