Nadia Boulanger believed that one could not learn to be a true musician without first having thoroughly trained the ear and securely mastered the essential techniques of music. Only then can performers be truly free to seek their own interpretive voice and create a unique sound-world for the music they are performing.
Our story begins in 1995 when Philip Lasser and Narcis Bonet, close disciple to Nadia Boulanger, discuss the need to bring her teaching to a new generation of young American composers.
Philip Lasser, Michel Denis (Director of La Schola), David Diamond, and Narcis Bonet
In July 1996, the summer program is launched at La Schola Cantorum in Paris France, home to a rich musical history, with 6 student composers and guest composer David Diamond, himself a dedicated Boulanger student from the 1930’s.
The program begins to grow in reputation and by 1998, a Choral Conducting program is inaugurated under the Direction of Maestro Mark Shapiro.
Summer Class of 1997; Summer Class of 2014
A core curriculum is developed by Philip Lasser to engage Nadia Boulanger’s pedagogy while modernizing it for today’s student composer needs; compositional counterpoint twice a week; keyboard harmony twice a week; analysis masterclasses twice a week; musicianship classes; and Choir in which all students composers must sing works from the vocal repertoire as well as their own works written for the choir.
Summer 2008: Maxim Vladimirov, Narcis Bonet, Sofia Gubaidulina, Philip Lasser, Mark Shapiro, Michel Merlet
Annual visits to the Ravel House in Montfort L’Amaurie and trips to other historical musical sites in and around Paris gives further context to the tradition of lineage teaching.
The program is extended to include pianists and chamber musicians in 2004. Concerts, coachings and masterclasses given by internationally renown artists augment the instrumentalists curriculum, while the worlds foremost composers give lessons and masterclasses to the student composers.
Composers in Residence: David Diamond (1996-1997), Lukas Foss (2000), Michel Merlet (2004- 2015), Sam Adler (2002, 2004), Claude Baker (2005, 2006), Robert Beaser (2007, 2008), David Conte (2011 – 2015), Jonathan Dawe (2010, 2012), Sofia Gubaidulina (2008), Robert Xavier Rodriguez (2004), Byron Adams (2015)
Performers: Jean-François Antonioli, Michel Auclair, Bruce Brubaker, Frederic Chiu, Jessica Chow, Simone Dinnerstein (2007 – Goldberg Variations, 2010, 2014), Romain Garioud (2004), David Greilsammer (2004), Jean Frédérique Neuberger (2002), Henry Gronnier (2007-2015), Roy Howat (2004-2015), Scott Kluksdalh, Emil Miland, Emile Naoumoff, Matthew Odell, Regis Pasquier (2005), Jerome Rose (2005), Randall Scarlata (2015)