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Lili Boulanger (1893-1918)
1. Early promise
Monday 17 January 2005 12:00-13:00 (Radio 3)
Repeated: Monday 24 January 2005 0:00-1:00 (Radio 3)
Lili Boulanger was one of the most talented composers of her generation. She was born into one of the most distinguished musical families of the nineteenth century. Her father, Ernest, and grandfather, Frederic, were both teachers at the Paris Conservatoire, and her elder sister Nadia was also a composer and latterly a teacher of international standing. Her mother, Raissa, a charismatic Russian princess, had been a student in Lili's father's class at the Conservatoire. When her sister Nadia entered the Paris Conservatoire aged ten, young Lili accompanied her, and by the age of five Lili was sitting in on harmony classes and a year later was attending Louis Vierne's organ classes. By Nadia's own admission, what took years for her to learn about composition, Lili mastered in months. By the age of eighteen Lili Boulanger had decided she wanted to devote her energies to composition, and two years later she became the first woman ever to win the prestigious Prix de Rome competition with her cantata Faust et Helene.
Lili Boulanger: Renouveau