Students and faculty of the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music in Winchester will pay tribute to Nadia Boulanger in a concert Sunday at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater on the 100th anniversary of her birth.

Boulanger, the daughter of a Russian princess and of a Parisian professor of music, who died in 1979, helped shape contemporary American music. The celebration, which begins at 2 p.m., will feature works by Boulanger and several of her American students, including Robert Shafer, who now teaches at the Shenandoah Conservatory.

Her influence on American music began in 1921, when she helped to found the American Conservatory at Fontainebleau, a music school near Paris. In her first class at the school was an upstart young American, Aaron Copland, who would become America's leading composer. Since Copland studied with her, a long, diverse line of leading American composers traveled to Fontainebleau: Virgil Thomson, Walter Piston, Roy Harris, David Diamond, Leonard Bernstein, Elliot Carter, Philip Glass and Quincy Jones, to name a few.

"The most remarkable aspect of her pedagogy was {her desire} to get to know the student, and to get the students to know themselves," said Shafer, her former assistant. "That's how she attracted the great diversity of students."

Although Boulanger was a student of French composer Gabriel Faure, and a classmate of Maurice Ravel's, her early students created a new American music that turned away from Europe, drawing heavily on folk idioms.

"She always spoke of the fact that American culture was doomed to repeat the mistakes of the ancient Roman culture when they copied the culture of the Greeks," Shafer said. "But she was trying to challenge us to express through our own music things that were American, to look to our folk culture."

The program of chamber works at the Terrace Theater will complement this week's National Symphony Orchestra concerts, which also will be dedicated to Boulanger's centenary. Shafer and music director Mstislav Rostropovich will share the duties at the podium in works by Carter and Copland.

Boulanger also affected the American music scene as a performer, when she played the premiere of Igor Stravinsky's Dumbarton Oaks Concerto in Washington in 1938, and in 1923, when she performed the premiere of Copland's Organ Symphony.