Georges Boulanger was born in Tulcea , Romania , on April 18, 1893 in the bosom of a family that devoted itself to music throughout six generations. Most of his family members were violinists, double bassists and guitarists. Together with his father, Georges used to play those instruments.
Since he was twelve, he studied at the Musical Conservatoire in Bucharest where a scholarship was given to him. Three years later, and while the young artist was playing Paganini , Leopold Auer , a famous violinist maker listened to Georges ´ performance. He was amazed at Boulanger ´s artistic aptitude. Under Auer ´s protection, Boulanger traveled to Dresden , Germany , where he was given classes throughout 2 years.
In 1910, when Boulanger was only seventeen, Leopold Auer considered his student´s musical education was finally completed. So, he gave him a present – a violin that would escort him till his last days. He also got an employment contract for him: Boulanger became the main violinist at one of the most important “Café Chantant” of St. Petersburg that was frequented by Russian aristocrats. There, late Russian czarist audience acclaimed him.
It was in Russia where Boulanger developed the extremely unique style of all his works: “light music” – a mixture of gypsy music, Balkan folklore and Viennese waltzes. It was also in Russia where he met his greatest love: Ellionorr Paulson , a young Estonian intellectual girl. She was a lawyer and medicine student.
In 1917, due to a series of political changes in Russia , Georges came back to Romania where he served in the Armed Forces. Simultaneously, he taught music and wrote compositions. During his stay in Romania , Georges maintained copious correspondence with Ellionorr , who was living in Estonia together with her parents. They loved each other so much that they decided to meet in Berlin in 1922/13. There, they started a new life together. Ellionorr was Boulanger´s big love – she became his wife and they had two daughters: Nora and Georgette . Following family tradition, Nora turned to be a well-recognized musician and composer.
Boulanger arrived at Berlin with his violin, compositions and score. Berlin was one of the most Unterhaltungsmusik (Light Music)-producing cities. There existed hundreds of places where one could listen to this musical style in addition to dancing sites, cafés, hotels, cabarets and any other live music facilities displaying orchestras and a Stehgeiger (the violinist playing while wandering around the tables). All Russian aristocracy who had already acclaimed Boulanger used to frequent Berlin´s FÖRSTER Restaurant.
1926 after playing for
the first time before
a radio broadcasting
signed a contract with
Bote & Bock
for editing seven
works, among them, Avant
de Mourir ,
which was, later on,
known as My
(as edited with Kennedy´s
letters). In 1958, this
work was placed in the
1 st position of American
ranking during a 21-week
period. Currently, these
works are a portion
of sound tracks of some
films, such as, Black
Eyes , Malcolm
X , Ocean Twelve,
My Father,The Curious
Case of Benjamin Button.
In 1927 Boulanger was included as conductor in the telephone directory. During that time, billboards of different hotels and music halls announced “ Boulanger plays today! ”
In 1928, he performed at Savoy and Claridge . Three years later, together with his 11-musicians orchestra, he made a tour among the most important European cities. He started to be known as an artist not highlighting the amount of his compositions but their quality.
He recorded for several labels and he reached his European career´s zenith in 1935-36. He was turned into a legend in Germany .
Throughout World War II, he stayed in Germany because he never wished to go to the United States . However, when he realized the nazi´s truth, it was too late
In 1945, while already staying in Mecklenburg, a zone occupied by the Red Army, American soldiers released Boulanger from that Berlin area, once they became aware that he was the famous My Prayer ´s composer.
As his parents and parents-in-law were already dead, in 1948, he decided to travel to South America . He signed a contract with Copacabana Palace Hotel ( Rio de Janeiro , Brazil ). In Brazil , he worked profusely and was, at last, well acknowledged. He traveled throughout all Brazilian country until he got his first performance contract in Argentina , at Radio Belgrano broadcasting station. He lived in Argentina until his death (June 3, 1958). He died in Olivos City .