Nagia & Lili Boulanger

1W: Portraying Nadia and Lili Boulanger & Rebekka and Fanny Mendelssohn

2M: pianist and cellist OR pianist and singer OR pianist and violinist

3M: pianist, cellist, singer

“Sisters are different flowers from the same garden.” Author Unknown

“Of two sisters one is always the watcher, one the dancer.” Louise Glück

I would not have attempted this work without my muse—the remarkable Lynn Redgrave. I had the great fortune to work with her on Magdalena Bach’s Will, the family Bach through the eyes of Anna Magdalena, second wife of J.S. Bach. The experience was riveting, and when I mentioned my idea of Sisters of the Garden she seemed genuinely intrigued. I think that being part of a theater dynasty, and having a sibling named Vanessa, might have increased her interest.


The work is in four acts, one per sister. Each tells her own story, without knowledge of the other sister’s doing so. I like to think of this as counterpoint, a four-part fugue, four interconnected but independent voices.

The garden? The Mendelssohn and Boulanger sisters’ lives do not intersect—separated by time and country. The connective thread: not Berlin, nor Paris, but Rome’s Villa Medici! Viva Italia!!

And the strongest thread of all: gorgeous works by Fanny, Lili and Nadia. And Rebekka, the golden voice, the sound Fanny always had in her head as she completed her 100 songs.

Music: Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Lili and Nadia Boulanger