Lili, first a student of Nadia and then of Paul Vidal, Georges Caussade, and Gabriel Fauré—the last of which who was greatly impressed by the young woman's talents and frequently brought songs for her to read— was greatly affected by the 1899 death of her father; many of her works touch on themes of grief and loss. Her work was noted for its colorful harmony and instrumentation and skillful text setting; aspects of Fauré and Claude Debussy can be seen in her compositions, and Arthur Honegger was one composer influenced by her innovative work. Jazz pianist Herbie Hancock has said she is one of his favorite composers.
Her life and work were troubled by chronic illness, beginning with a case of bronchial pneumonia at age two that weakened her immune system, leading to the intestinal tuberculosis (now called Crohn's Disease) that cut short her life at age 24. Though she loved travel, completing several works in Italy after winning the Prix de Rome, her failing health forced her to return home, where she and Nadia organized efforts to support French soldiers in World War I. Her last years were also a productive time musically as she labored to complete works previously left unfinished. Boulanger was buried in Paris, in the Cimetière de Montmartre, leaving unfinished the opera La princesse Maleine on which she spent most of the last years of her life.
Alphabetical listing of all musical works
|Clairières dans le ciel (Boulanger)|
|Hymne au soleil (Boulanger)|
|Les sirènes (Boulanger)|
|Pour les funérailles d'un soldat (Boulanger)|
|Soir sur la plaine (Boulanger)|