The Reason Behind The Name

 Nadia and Lili Boulanger 1913 (public domain)

Nadia and Lili Boulanger 1913 (public domain)

 
 

The story of our name…

Joy and Laura chose the name The Boulanger Initiative to honor the work of two paragons of the 20th-Century classical music world. Nadia and Lili Boulanger were not only talented musicians and composers, but they also broke gender barriers on their way to great musical achievements. Both sisters were among the first few women to enter the prestigious Prix de Rome competition, and in 1913 Lili became the first woman to earn the coveted Grand Prix.

After Lili’s untimely death at the age of 24, her sister continued to promote her music and worked to keep her legacy alive. Nadia went on to become one of the most influential musical pedagogues of her generation, as well as the first woman to conduct the New York Philharmonic, and several other major U.S. and European orchestras.

With our tripartite focus on performance, education, and the commissioning of new music, we pay tribute to Nadia and Lili Boulanger and all that they accomplished, while at the same time acknowledging that we have much, much further to go.