Nadia Boulanger is perhaps the 20th century's most influential music teacher. While a composer and conductor in her own right-indeed, she was the first woman to conduct major symphonies in Europe and the U.S.-Boulanger is best known for her list of illustrious students, including Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Philip Glass, and Quincy Jones.
One reader of the post rightly pointed out a not-so-glaring irony in the way Boulanger has been remembered. While celebrated as a powerful woman in music, in a sea of more famous men, her many distinguished female students go unmentioned. Most people have never heard of former Boulanger students like Grazyna Bacewicz, Marion Bauer, Louise Talma, Peggy Glanville-Hicks and Priaulx Rainier.
Also, not many have heard of Lili Boulanger, Nadia's sister, a child prodigy who died at 24, after composing two dozen innovative choral and instrumental works and becoming the first woman to win the Prix de Rome in 1913, at the age of 19, for her cantata Faust and Hélène, with lyrics, by Eugene Adenis, based on Goethe's Faust.
Some of these composers might have disappeared entirely were it not for the work of archivists. Learn about these rediscovered figures and much, much more at the BBC's Celebrating Women Composers, one of many such projects making it harder to plead ignorance of women's presence in classical music.