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Symposium on Nadia Boulanger


The Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam located in Potsdam, NY will be hosting a Symposium on Nadia Boulanger (1887-1979) on Friday, April 22nd and will run through Saturday, April 23rd. A distinguished composer and frequent Crane visitor, Nadia Boulanger's music has remained largely unperformed until now. This symposium will feature lectures, classes, concerts, and films all related to the life and works of Nadia Boulanger.

Guest Appearances will be made by:

Professor Jeanice Brooks: Jeanice teaches at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom and is author of the book, The Musical Work of Nadia Boulanger: Performing Past and Future Between the Wars (2013).

Kimberly Francis: Kimberly Francis teaches at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. She is author of the book Teaching Stravinsky: Nadia Boulanger and the Consecration of a Modernist Icon.

Complete Symposium Schedule

Schedule of Public Events:

Friday, April 22nd:

2pm, Wakefield Hall: Showing of the film Mademoiselle byBruno Monsaingeon. In conjunction with this film, there will be a performance of Boulanger's Lux Aeterna and Pie Jesu by a small ensemble as part of a recreation of the memorial service for Lilli Boulanger, Nadia's younger sister.

Pieces performed by Colleen Skull, soprano

Michelle Martin-Atwood, organ

Jessica Suchy-Pilalis, harp

3pm-5pm, Wakefield Hall: Panel Discussion with Jeanice Brooks and Kimberly Francis

World Premeire of 3 Boulanger piano pieces, MS 19517 I, II, and III

Performed by Professor Franois Germain

Talk by Jeanice Brooks on her book, The Musical Work of Nadia Boulanger: Performing Past and Future Between the Wars

Talk by Kimberly Francis on her book, Teaching Stravinsky: Nadia Boulanger and the Consecration of a Modernist Icon

Saturday, April 23rd

10am-12pm, Wakefield Hall: The Unknown Nadia Boulanger: Recording from the Crane School of Music Archives, 1939-1962

This event will feature rare and unheard recordings of Nadia Boulanger, presented by Gary Galo, Audio Engineer Emeritus at the Crane School of Music.

5pm-6:30pm, Wakefield Hall: French-speaking institution lecture TBA

7:30pm, Snell Theater: Lecture Recital: Complete Mlodie of Boulanger

This concert will feature Boulanger's works performed by the entire Crane Vocal and Piano Faculty.

12 pieces from Boulanger's original manuscripts will be performed, which will be the American premiereof these works.

We hope that you would join us in celebrating the life and works of Nadia Boulanger for this rare and extraordinary weekend of events.

More Information on Nadia Boulanger:

The New Grove Dictionary of Music calls Nadia Boulanger "the leading teacher of the 20th century." She had such luminaries as Aaron Copland, Virgil Thomson, Walter Piston and Elliott Carter in her classes, and was an organist, conductor, musicologist, lecturer and critic, with which she gained international fame.

At nine years of age she began her studies at the Conservatoire National de Paris. She won first prizes in harmony, fugue, organ and "accompaniment" (including the art of sight-reading ). As a twenty year old student of Gabriel Faur she received for her cantata "La Sirene,"the second prize at the prestigious Prix de Rome competition.

Boulanger's first song was composed at age fourteen, and her last at thirty-five. After she accepted a position at the American School of Music in Fontainebleau, she no longer composed but still taught the most important composers of her generation. The Centre International Nadia et Lili Boulanger in Paris has made twelve manuscripts of unpublished Mlodies of Nadia Boulanger available for the Crane School of Music. The early works still reflect the influence of her teacher, Gabriel Faur. The subsequent sound is modern, harmonious experimental and individual without exceeding the limits of tonality.

Should you have any questions, concerns, or inquiries regarding this symposium, please do not hesitate to contact Donald George at, Morgan Cluck at, or William Zino at