Born on April 19, 1892 to Arthur and Marie-Desiré Taillefesse.
Saint Maur Des Fossés, Ile-de-France, France
November 7, 1983 in Paris
Also Known As:
Her real name was Germaine Taillefesse, but she later changed her surname to Tailleferre. She was a French composer and the only female member of Les Six
; a title given by the critic Henri Collet to a group of young composers during the 1920s. The other members of Les Six
were Georges Auric (1899-1983), Louis Durey (1888-1979), Arthur Honegger (1892-1955), Darius Milhaud
(1892-1974) and Francis Poulenc
(1899-1963). Their works were inspired by the music of Erik Satie
Type of Compositions:
She wrote ballet scores, chamber music
, children's songs, television and film scores, operas
, orchestral music and piano works.
Her initial musical influence came from her mother who taught her piano. She then entered the Paris Conservatory where she honed her skills as a composer. It was at the said conservatory in 1912 where she met other would-be members of Les Six
She was married twice; first to caricaturist Ralph Barton in 1925, and then to lawyer Jean Lageat in 1932 with whom she had a daughter named Françoise.
Most of her compositions were published after she died. Her notable works include her ballets: "Le Marchand d'Oiseaux," "La Nouvelle Cythère," "Parisiana" and "Paris-Magie;" her operas: "Zoulaïna," "Le Marin de Bolivar," "Il était un Petit Navire," "Dolores," "La Petite Sirène" and "Le Maître;" and her film scores for "B'anda" and "Le Petit Chose."
Although she didn't receive much support from the men in her life, (her father and two husbands), Tailleferre continued to compose. Her other works include: "Petit Livre de Harp de Madame Tardieu" which was dedicated to Caroline Tardieu; Assistant Professor of Harp at the Paris Conservatory, the "First Violin Sonata" which was written for the French violinist Jacques Thibaud, the "Concertino for Harp" which was dedicated to her husband Ralph Barton and "Parfums" which was written for Monte Carlo.
Tailleferre became friends with composer Maurice Ravel
. In fact, it was Ravel who convinced her to enter the Prix de Rome Competition. It has also been written that she became friends with Charlie Chaplin; her first husbands' close friend.
Tailleferre and her daughter fled to Philadelphia during the German Occupation of France. She returned to France in 1946 after the war.
Some of her other works are: the "Concerto Grosso," "Harp Sonata," "Concerto for Flute, Piano and Orchestra," "Sonata for Clarinet Solo," "Concerto for Two Guitars and Orchestra," "Sonata for Two Pianos," "Sérénade en La mineur" and "Sonate Champêtre."
Listen to Isabelle Moretti performing "Sonata for Harp" by Germaine Tailleferre courtesy of YouTube.