Boulanger, Nadia

BORN 16 Sep 1887, Paris - DIED 22 Oct 1979, Paris
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Montmartre Cimetière, 20 Avenue Rachel (division 33)

Nadia Boulanger was active as a conductor and a composer from an early age. She entered the Conservatory in Paris when she was ten years old and studied organ with A. Guilmant and L. Vierne as well as composition with G. Fauré and C.M. Widor. In 1908 she won the second prize at the Prix de Rome competition, but after a conflict with some of the judges she never entered this competition again. In 1912 she debuted as a conductor.

She loved her younger sister Lili dearly, but at the same time she felt she was in her shadow as a composer. After only one year at the Conservatory Lili easily won de Prix de Rome. After Lilli's early death in 1918 Nadia gave up composing and dedicated herself to the publication of Lili compositions. Lili has asked her to finish some of her works, but Nadia felt unable to perform that task.

She was the first woman to conduct symphonic orchestra's in London, New York and Boston. She taught at the Conservatoire Américain at Fontainebleau and she became it's director in 1950. Among her pupils were Daniel Barenboim, Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland.

• Father: Boulanger, Ernest
• Sister: Boulanger, Lili

Related persons
• was teacher to Bernstein, Leonard
• is brother/sister of Boulanger, Lili
• was pupil to Fauré, Gabriel Urbain
• was teacher to Lipatti, Dinu
• was teacher to Neveu, Ginette


The grave of Lili and Nadia Boulanger at the Montmartre Cemetery, Paris.
Picture by Androom (08 Mar 1995)


• Culbertson, Judi & Tom Randall, Permanent Parisians, Robson Books, London, 1991
Nadia Boulanger - Wikipedia

Bounine, Ivan Aleksejevitsj

Published: 30 Apr 2007
Last update: 25 Apr 2022