Joséphine Boulay

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Joséphine Pauline Boulay (22 May 1869 – 5 August 1925) was a French organist and composer. She was born in Paris and studied music at the Paris Conservatoire with César Franck and Jules Massenet.[1] She was blind and became the first woman to win a first prize in organ at the Conservatoire in 1888.[2] She also won first prize in Faure's competition.[3] For thirty-seven years she taught piano and organ at the Institute for Blind Youths[4] She died in Paris.[5]


Selected works include:

  • Petit Carillon
  • Andante
  • Fugue
  • Prelude
  • 6 Motets à la Sainte Vierge et au Saint Sacrement for voice and organ or harmonium
  • Suite for violin and piano
  • Andante in E


  1. ^ Durand, Sébastien (2001). "Une femme d'exception dans l'ombre de l'Institution Nationale des Jeunes Aveugles : Joséphine Boulay (1869-1925)", L'orgue, n° 255, III-2001, p. 7-20.
  2. ^ Durand, Sébastien (2014). "Joséphine Boulay (1869-1925) in Compositrices françaises au XXe siècle vol. 2", Sampzon, Delatour.
  3. ^ Smith, Rollin; Vierne, Louis (1999). Louis Vierne: organist of Notre-Dame Cathedral.
  4. ^ The American organist: Volume 24. American Guild of Organists, Royal Canadian College of Organists, Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America. 1990.
  5. ^ Smith, Rollin (1997). Playing the organ works of César Franck.