Boulanger, Nadia. (1887–1979)
Signed Performance Program
Concert program from a February 11, 1939 performance with the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall. The formidable pianist, conductor and pedagogue has signed and inscribed in pencil "So gratefully / Nadia Boulanger" above the program listing. During the performance, she lead the orchestra through pieces by Szalowski, Monteverdi, Fauré, and Françaix before playing a piece by her late sister, Lili Boulanger, at the organ, and concluding the evening at the piano, joined by Jean Françaix for Mozart's Concerto for Two Pianos in E-flat major. Signed performance programs of Boulanger are very uncommon. 8 pp. Light vertical crease, else fine. 6 x 9 inches (15.2 x 22.9 cm.).
A force in the world of classical music in the early twentieth century, Boulanger was the first woman to conduct a number of major orchestras, including the London and Boston Philharmonic. In 1938, she became the first woman to lead the New York Philharmonic in a performance at Carnegie Hall, Antonia Brico having conducted a performance at Lewisohn Stadium earlier in the same year. After her first performance with the Boston Philharmonic, a reporter asked Boulanger how it felt to be the first woman to lead the ensemble. She replied, "I have been a woman for a little over 50 years and have gotten over my initial astonishment."