Meet Lili Boulanger | Composer Biography for Kids -

Learn about French composer, Lili Boulanger, with a popsicle stick theater production from the Music Academy. It's one of many online piano lesson resources for kids that we've created to make learning fun.

Meet Lili Boulanger | Composer Biography for Kids (Lesson Transcript)

Meet Lili Boulanger.

Lili was born in Paris, France in 1893.

France is the home of the Eiffel tower, famous artists like Claude Monet, and LOVE.

LOVE... Yuck!

Lili was born into a musical family. Her mom was a singer and her dad was a pianist and a teacher at the Paris Conservatory.

At the age of two, Lili's talent for music was apparent when her parents discovered that she had perfect pitch. It was also at this age that Lili contracted pneumonia, which weakened her immune system for the rest of her life.

When Lili was three years old, her dad died, but music remained an important part of Lili’s life.

Because Lili's heath was poor and she wasn't able to attend school regularly, her mother and her older sister Nadia devoted themselves to Lili's education. By the age of 16 Lili entered the Paris Conservatory to study composition and quickly proved herself to be a gifted composer.

Lili composed constantly despite her struggles with her health. She earned top marks from her teachers at the Paris Conservatory and she was awarded the Prix Lepaulle. The public performances of her music that followed caused Paris to take notice of her remarkable talent.

In 1912 Lili entered the Prix de Rome competition, which her father had won in 1835. Unfortunately, she was forced to withdraw from the competition when she collapsed from illness during her performance.

Determined to succeed, Lili entered the Prix de Rome competition again in 1913 and submitted her cantata, Faust et Hélène. Her composition not only impressed the audience, it won over the jury. An overwhelming 31 out of 36 Académie des Beaux-Arts members voted to award Lili the Prix de Rome, making her the first woman to receive the award.

Lili Boulanger died in 1918, at the age of 24, having made a significant contribution to the musical world. Her sister Nadia honored Lili by establishing The Lili Boulanger Memorial Fund, a prize in composition which continues to this day.

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