Germaine Tailleferre, classical music composer

Germaine Tailleferre image

Germaine Tailleferre


Germaine Tailleferre was the only female member of Les Six, the loosely-knit group of composers that formed around Jean Cocteau as a reactionary movement of the post-World War I era against Romanticism and the Impressionism of Debussy and Ravel. Tailleferre was born Marcelle Taillefesse on April 19, 1892 to a family that lived in the outskirts of Paris. She was exposed to music at a young age by her parents, yet her father thought music an unsuitable activity for a lady and refused to support her studies. She changed her name to Tailleferre to spite her father and eventually was able to win their support enough to enroll at the Paris Conservatoire. At the Conservatoire, she studied accompaniment, harmony, and counterpoint, and took prizes in each field. She also came into contact with Georges Auric, Darius Milhaud, and Arthur Honegger. In time, these young idealists were associating with fellow artists in the Montmartre and Montparnasse districts of Paris. With the addition of Louis Durey and Francis Poulenc, Les Six was formed and immediately thrust into the public view of the French capital by the articles of Henri Collet.

The 1920s was a particularly creative period for Tailleferre, and several of her most important works were written during this time. Though a member of Les Six, her music followed the tradition of Fauré and during this period she even took some lessons with Maurice Ravel. The following decade was even more productive. However, the outbreak of World War II forced to Tailleferre to flee her native country. By way of Spain and Portugal, she made her way to the United States where she resided in Philadelphia until the conclusion of the war. In 1946, she returned to her homeland. She continued to compose a wealth of music, though many of these work were not published until after her death. Increasing problems with arthritis made it difficult for her to compose in her later year. Yet, Tailleferre continued to compose until just a few weeks before her death on November 7, 1983.

Composer Title Date Action
Germaine Tailleferre La pernette se leve, from Chansons du Folklore de France 04/01/2009 Play Add to playlist