Germaine Tailleferre: The Effects of Critics and Historians on her Reception

Distinguished Guest Blogger Timothy Diovanni joins us again with a sequel to his previous article about Germaine Tailleferre, Malicious Men: The Harmful Effects of Tailleferre’s Father and Husbands on her Life and Career.     Imagine yourself in Paris in late May of 1923. You stand in front of the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, an ornate hall constructed ten years prior, in anticipation. Today’s performance includes the premiere of Le Marchand d’oiseaux, with music by Germaine Tailleferre, story, costume, and production by Hélène Perdriat, and choreography from Jean Börlin. The Eiffel Tower looms darkly to your left. You spot Darius Milhaud, here…

Composers You Should Know: Germaine Tailleferre

This past Tuesday, April 19, marked the 124th birthday of French composer Germaine Tailleferre.  She is remembered predominately for being the only female member of Les Six, a group of French composers (other members included Louis Durey, Arthur Honegger, Darius Milhaud, Georges Auric, and Francis Poulenc). Tailleferre attended the Paris Conservatory against her father’s wishes.  Her talent was evident from an early age, and she won many awards.  She composed throughout her life – reportedly even until a few weeks before her death.  Though much of her work is for chamber ensembles, she also composed several works for full orchestra, as…

Germaine Tailleferre and Les Six

Germaine Tailleferre has the distinction of being one of the only women who are regularly remembered in Music History courses—even if it is only due to her association with a group of men.  Tailleferre, with George Auric, Louis Durey, Arthur Honegger, Darius Milhaud, and Francis Poulenc, made up Les Six, a group of friends and composers who met at the Paris Conservatory and whose works were a reaction against Wagner and French impressionists. Tailleferre composed actively from 1909 to just weeks before her death in 1983, though many of her works were not published until after her lifetime.  You can see…