Nadia Boulanger

1887 (Paris) – 1979 (Paris)

Widor and Fauré taught Boulanger. Saint-Saëns was a family friend (or family enemy, as it’s been put). She was a loyal friend of Stravinsky: Milhaud, Ravel and Poulenc were other composers close to her. She was deeply moved by Menuhin’s playing as a child, and taught at the school he founded. Among her own students were Copland, Glass, Bernstein, Carter, Ibert, Thomson and Jones: also Musgrave, Gismonti, Barenboim, Bacharach, Piazzolla (she told him to concentrate on the tango), Piston, Rorem and Bowles. She disapproved of Messiaën’s teaching, and advised Gershwin he could learn nothing from her.

Nadia Boulanger knew…