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Louise & Lilli

Odense Symphony Orchestra

Farbverlauf im Hintergrund

Artistic Direction Anna Sophie Brüning

with Odense Symphonie Orchester, Danmark

Musician Henrik Skotte (Oboe, Solist)

Music by Lilli Boulanger (D´un matin de printemps),

Louise Farrenc (Sinfonie Nr. 3, g-minor),

Allessandro Marcello (Konzert für Oboe & Orchester)

Premiere January 2022


Like many other rather invisible female artists in the last centuries, Boulanger and Farrenc’s compositions only recently have been played more and more in concert halls around the world.

Lilli Boulanger was a Parisian-born child prodigy. Her father, being 77 years old when she was born, was a musician, as well as her mother, who was also a Russian princess. Her sister Nadia was one of the most important figures of the musical world in the first half of the 20th century, both as a teacher for theory and as a conductor. 
In 1912, Lilli Boulanger competed in the Prix du Rome, but during her performance she collapsed from illness. She returned at the age of 19 and became the first woman to win the famous prize. Not only was her composition fantastic, but also she must have prepared the orchestra in such a calm and highly professional way, that all the male colleagues must have looked nervous and ambitious. She suffered from a chronic illness that ended her life at the age of 24. Although she loved to travel and completed several works in Italy after winning the Prix de Rome, her failing health forced her to return home, where she and her sister organized efforts to support French soldiers during the World War. Her last years were a productive time musically as she labored to complete new works. The piece D´un Martin du Printemps is an explosion of energy and enjoyment of life finished just a few weeks before she died. 

Louise Farrenc was born in 1804 in Paris. She was the daughter and sister of two successful sculptors. She began piano studies at an early age with Cecile Soria, and continued her studies with Ignaz Moscheles and Johann Nepomuk Hummel. Given the talent she showed as a composer, her parents decided to let her also study composition with Anton Reicha, the composition teacher at the Conservatoire, although the composition class was open only to men at that time. In 1821, she married Arristide Farrenc, a flautist. Following her marriage, Farrenc interrupted her studies to give concerts throughout France with her husband. Highly unusual and modern for this time, she did not stop her professional life. Quite the contrary, she intensified her studies with Reicha, only briefly interrupted in 1826 when she gave birth to her daughter, Victorine, who also became a concert pianist but died in 1859 aged thirty-three. For thirty years she worked as a Professor of Piano at the Paris Conservatory, which was among the most prestigious music academies in Europe. Her symphonies, especially the third are more and more played, as well as her absolutely wonderful chamber music.

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