Copland, Aaron, 1900-1990

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1900-11-14
Death 1990-12-02
US
English

Biographical notes:

Dedicated to the Boston Symphony Orchestra on the occasion of its fiftieth anniversary. Composed 1928-29. First performance by the Boston Symphony orchestra, Boston, February 19, 1932, Serge Koussevitzky conducting.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Symphonic ode / Aaron Copland. 1928-29. (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 45204736

Copland was born on Nov. 14, 1900 in Brooklyn, NY; studied in Paris with Nadia Boulanger, 1921-24; returned to the US in 1924, and his first major work, Symphony with organ, premiered the following year; headed the composition dept. of the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood (1940-65), serving as chairman of the faculty (1957-65); made frequent international appearances as a conductor; awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964; wrote many articles and books; compositions include Music for the theater (1925), Dance symphony (1929), El Salón México (1936), Billy the Kid (1938), Rodeo (1942), A Lincoln portrait (1942), Appalachian spring (1944), Third symphony (1946), Music for a great city (1964), and Inscape (1967); he died on Dec. 2, 1990 in North Tarrytown, NY.

From the description of Collection of motion picture music, ca. 1941-1949. (University of California, Los Angeles). WorldCat record id: 41598041

Composer.

From the description of Reminiscences of Aaron Copland : oral history, 1976. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 309730108

American composer.

From the description of Aaron Copland letter to Michael Druck, 1979 June 6. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 713835744

From the description of Aaron Copland letter to Robert Breuer, 1976 July 30. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 713835723

From the description of Aaron Copland autograph letter to Mr. Cooper, 1977 Jan. 19. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 713835716

From the description of Aaron Copland letter to Arnold Weissberger, 1960 Aug. 26. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 712645232

From the description of Aaron Copland autograph letter to [Edward?] Jablonski, 1952 Mar. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 712645228

From the description of Aaron Copland letter to Mr. Mortimore, 1964 May 29. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 712645233

From the description of Aaron Copland autograph letter to Clinton, 1945 Oct. 12. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 712645225

From the description of Aaron Copland autograph letter to Arnold [Weissberger], 1945 Apr. 12. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 712645223

From the description of Aaron Copland answer to Look magazine poll, 1951. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 712645226

From the description of Aaron Copland autograph letter to Andrew Ponder Greene, 1947 Apr. 22. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 712645227

From the description of Typewritten letter signed, dated : Peekskill, N.Y., 9 August 1978, to Francis S. Mason, 1978 Aug. 9. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270564617

From the description of Typewritten letter signed and Autograph note signed, dated Peekskill, N.Y., 20 November 1970 and [n.d., 1978?], to Joan Peyser, 1970 Nov. 20. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270992274

From the description of Aaron Copland letter to Herbert Haufrecht, 1967 June 27. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 712645234

From the description of Aaron Copland oral history. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702165276

From the description of Aaron Copland letter to William Targ, 1972 Feb. 8. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 713835726

From the description of Aaron Copland letter to Mr. and Mrs. E. Heller, Jr. 1975 Mar. 10. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 713835720

From the description of Aaron Copland letter to Michael Druck, 1977 Apr. 25. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 713835738

From the description of Aaron Copland letter to Herbert Haufrecht, 1971 May 20. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 713835729

From the description of Aaron Copland letter to Vance Morgan, 1980 Apr. 17. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 713835743

From the description of Aaron Copland letter to Michael Druck, 1977 June 10. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 713835739

From the description of Aaron Copland letter to Michael Druck, 1978 Jan. 31. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 713835741

From the description of Aaron Copland letter to Michael Druck, 1977 Aug. 9. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 713835735

From the description of Aaron Copland letter to Ken Stuart, 1974 Dec. 20. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 713835725

From the description of Aaron Copland autograph letter to Mr. Bean's class, 1969 July. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 713835731

From the description of Aaron Copland letter to Suzanne Thorin Perlongo, 1977 May 26. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 713835733

From the description of Aaron Copland autograph card to Andy, 1943. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 712645222

From the description of Aaron Copland autograph letter to Eva [Gauthier?], 1953 Dec. 10. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 712645229

Commissioned by the CBS, 1936. Composed 1937. First performed in a broadcast by the CBS Orchestra, New York, July 25, 1937, Howard Barlow conducting.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Saga of the prarie / Aaron Copland. [1937] (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 51462000

First performed in New York at the Metropolitan Opera, 16 October 1942; composed for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, choreographed by Agnes de Mille. Cf. New Grove opera.

From the description of Piano part for small orch. version of Rodeo : manuscript, [1942?] (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 612837559

From the description of Brass parts for small orch. version of Rodeo : manuscript, [1942?] (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 463650452

Commissioned by Paul Whiteman and the American Broadcasting System. Originally composed for small radio orchestra, 1944. First performance, ABC Philco Radio Program, 17 October 1944, Paul Whiteman conductor.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Letter from home / Aaron Copland. 1944. (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 45204701

Written at the request of Nadia Boulanger. Composed 1924; made into a version for orchestra alone, 1928. First performance by the New York Symphony Society, New York, Jan. 9, 1925, Walter Damrosch conducting, Nadia Bouolenger soloist.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Symphony for organ and orchestra / by Aaron Copland. 1924. (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 45204741

Composed 1940 for Sol Lesser's film production of Thornton Wilder's Our Town.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Concert sequence : from the film "Our Town" / Aaron Copland. 1940. (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 45204716

Epithet: composer

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000001219.0x0002b4

Aaron Copland, a 20th-century American composer of concert, theater and film music, wrote the incidental music for Orson Welles' play, The five kings. The five kings was Welles' adaptation of Shakespeare's Falstaff-centered history plays and was performed in 1939 in Boston, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. (see Mark Estrin's Orson Welles (Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2002), p. xxix). The play was a joint undertaking by the Theatre Guild, actor and director Orson Welles, and John Houseman's Mercury Theatre.

From the description of Aaron Copland's script for Orson Welles' The five kings, photographs and half sheet of a musical score, 1939-1991. (Indiana University). WorldCat record id: 429673825

Composed 1932-33. First performance Mexico, 23 November 1934, Orquesta Sinfónica de México, Carlos Chavez conductor. Later transcribed for string quartet, clarinet and piano under the title Sextet, 1937. Dedicated to Carlos Chavez.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Short symphony / Aaron Copland. [1933] (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 45204743

Aaron Copland (1900-1990) was an American composer. During the years 1964 and 1965 Copland wrote, conducted, narrated, and hosted a series of twelve television programs entitled "Music in the 20s." The typscripts described in this collection were transcribed from filmed interviews that were recorded live at the WGBH studios in Boston, Mass. between 1964 Nov. 11 and 1965 Jan. 26. These unedited, preliminary, interviews later formed the basis of the series of twelve half-hour television shows created by WGBH (Television station : Boston, Mass.). The shows were broadcast during 1965-1966, over the National Educational Television network of more than 90 affiliated educational TV stations in the United States.

From the description of Transcripts for Music in the 20s, 1964-1965. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 79463909

Commissioned by the Columbia Broadcasting System, 1940. Composed 1940. First performance by the Columbia Concert Orchestra, New York, Mar. 5, 1940, broadcast over the CBS, Howard Barlow conducting.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of John Henry / Aaron Copland. 1940. (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 45204693

Originally composed as the ballet "Rodeo," 1942. First performance (in ballet form) by the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, New York, Oct. 16, 1942, at the Metropolitan Opera House, Franz Allers conducting. First performance of orchestral suite at a Lewisohn Stadium Concert, by the Philharmonic-Symphony Society of New York, June 22, 1943, Alexander Smallens conducting.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Four dance episodes : from "Rodeo" / Aaron Copland. 1942. (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 45204730

Prominent American composer whose work includes the score for Agnes de Mille's ballet Rodeo.

From the description of Correspondence, 1942-1980, with Agnes de Mille. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122465752

Composed 1933-35. Commissioned by the League of Composer, 1935. First performance (of 5th and 6th movements only) by the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, Minneapolis, January 9, 1936, broadcast over the NBC, Euguene Ormandy conducting. First complete performance by the Philharmonic Society of New York, New York, January 7, 1942, Dimitri Mitropoulos conducting.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Statements / Aaron Copland. [1935] (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 51462073

American composer, conductor, performer.

From the description of Audio materials, 1936-1990 [sound recording]. 1936-1990. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 35856040

Biographical Sketch

1900, Nov. 14 Born in Brooklyn, New York to Harris Morris Copland and Sarah Mittenthal Copland, the fifth and last child. 1914 Started private piano lessons with Leopold Wolfsohn, Brooklyn, NY; subsequently studied piano with Victor Wittgenstein and Clarence Adler. 1917 1921 Studied harmony and counterpoint with Rubin Goldmark in New York City. 1918 Graduated from Boys' High School in Brooklyn. 1921 Summer Studied at newly established American Conservatory at Fontainebleau near Paris. 1921 Fall First piano piece, Scherzo Humoristique (The Cat and the Mouse), sold and published by Durand. 1921 Fall 1924 Studied composition and orchestration with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. 1925 Wrote first of many articles for Modern Music. 1925 Jan 11 Symphony for Organ and Orchestra (1924) performed by the New York Philharmonic, with Nadia Boulanger as soloist and Walter Damrosch as conductor; later, performed by Serge Koussevitzky, who originally suggested the composition, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. 1925 Summer First stay at MacDowell Colony to work on Music for the Theatre, commissioned by the League of Composers, with the first performance scheduled in November with Serge Koussevitzky and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. 1925 1926 Recipient of Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, the first in music, which was renewed for the 1926-1927 season. 1927, Jan. 28 Copland performed his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (1926) with Boston Symphony, conducted by Serge Koussevitzky. 1927 1929 Wrote Symphonic Ode (1927-29) for the 50th anniversary of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1930; subsequently, revised the composition for the 75th anniversary of the orchestra in 1955. 1927 Began lecturing at New School for Social Research, New York City. 1928 1954 Joined League of Composers; later, in 1932, began serving on the Board of Directors. 1928 Assisted Alma Morgenthau Wertheim in establishing the Cos Cob Press which later became Arrow Music Press. 1928 1932 Co-founder with Roger Sessions of Copland-Sessions Concerts of Contemporary Music. 1929 Awarded $5,000 prize from the RCA Victor Competition for Dance Symphony (1925), based on portions of unperformed ballet Grohg. 1930 Wrote first extended piano work, Piano Variations. 1932 Organized first Festival of Contemporary Music at Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, NY, and the second one the following year. 1935 Taught composition at Harvard University while Walter Piston was on leave of absence. 1937 1945 Co-founder and president of the American Composers Alliance. 1938 1972 Co-founder and treasurer of Arrow Music Press, which incorporated the former Cos Cob Press. 1938, Oct. 16 First performance of ballet, Billy the Kid, written for Lincoln Kirstein and the Ballet Caravan. 1939 Published first book, What to Listen for in Music, based on lectures given at the New School for Social Research. 1939, Oct. 13 Elected president of American Composers Alliance. 1940 1965 At request of Serge Koussevitzky, taught composition during first season of Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood; when Tanglewood reopened in 1946 after the war, Copland assumed many administrative positions in addition to teaching until his retirement in 1965. 1941 Published book, Our New Music, based on lectures at the New School for Research. 1941 Toured Latin America to lecture, perform and conduct on a grant made possible by the Committee for Inter-American Artistic and Intellectual Relations. 1942 Completed Lincoln Portrait, commissioned by Andre Kostelanetz, with text created by Copland from speeches and letters of Abraham Lincoln. 1942 Composed ballet, Rodeo, commissioned by Agnes de Mille. 1942 Completed the Fanfare for the Common Man from a request by Eugene Goossens who conducted the premiere in 1943 with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. 1942, May 8 Elected a member in the Department of Music of the National Institute of Arts and Letters. 1945 Awarded Pulitzer Prize and Music Critic's Circle of New York for Martha Graham ballet, Appalachian Spring (1944), commissioned by the Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Music Foundation. 1946, Jan. 24 Elected a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). 1947 Received Music Critic's Circle Award for Third Symphony (1944-46). 1947 1948 Wrote Clarinet Concerto commissioned by Benny Goodman and later choreographed by Jerome Robbins for the ballet Pied Piper (1951). 1947 Again, toured Latin America to lecture, perform and conduct under the sponsorship of the State Department. 1950 Won Oscar for the music score to the film, The Heiress (1949). 1950 Finished composing the Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson. 1951 1952 Appointed Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetics at Harvard University and delivered a series of six lectures, the first time that an American composer was named as a Poetry Chair. 1952 Published new book, Music and Imagination, based on Charles Eliot Norton lectures at Harvard University. 1953, May 26 Appeared before The House Committe on Un-American Activities (HUAC). 1954, Apr. 2 Premiere of full length opera, The Tender Land, by the New York City Opera Company. 1954, Dec. 3 Elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. 1956 Received Gold Medal in Music from the National Institute and American Academy of Arts and Letters. 1956 Received first of many honorary Doctor of Music degrees from Princeton University. 1960 Published fourth book, Copland on Music, which included reprints from previous publications and new material. 1961 Received the MacDowell Colony Medal for distinguished service in the field of music from the Edward MacDowell Association. 1961 1968 Served seven years as president of the Edward MacDowell Association. 1962 Premiere of Connotations commissioned by the New York Philharmonic for the opening of Philharmonic Hall (later Avery Fisher Hall) at Lincoln Center. 1964 Received Medal of Freedom, the "highest civil honor conferred by the President of the United States for service in peacetime," from President Lyndon B. Johnson. 1965 1966 Wrote, conducted and hosted series of 12 television programs, Music in the 20s, for National Educational Television. 1967 Composed Inscape which was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic to celebrate their 125th anniversary. 1968 Revised and enlarged earlier book, Our New Music, and published it under a new title, The New Music: 1900-1960. 1970 Awarded the Howland Memorial Medal from Yale University. 1975 1976 Interviews of Copland begun by Vivian Perlis for an oral history project in American Music at Yale University which became the foundation for a collaboration on a two volume autobiography, Copland: 1900 through 1942, first published in 1984, and Copland: Since 1943, first published in 1989. 1979 Bestowed Kennedy Center Honor along with other honorees Martha Graham, Henry Fonda, Ella Fitzgerald, and Tennessee Williams. 1986 Medal of the Arts conferred by President Reagan; also, awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by the House of Representatives. 1990, Dec. 2 Died at North Tarrytown, New York.

From the guide to the Aaron Copland Collection, 1841-1991, (bulk 1911-1990), (Music Division Library of Congress)



Biographical notes are generated from the bibliographic and archival source records supplied by data contributors.

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SNAC ID:
2721106

Subjects:

  • Ballets--Excerpts, Arranged
  • Waltzes
  • Ballets--Excerpts, Arranged--2-piano scores
  • Folk songs, English
  • Symphonies
  • Motion picture music--Piano scores
  • Puppet theater
  • Dance music
  • Operas
  • Piano trios--Scores and parts
  • Violin and piano music, Arranged--Scores
  • Musical analysis--20th century
  • Concertos (Clarinet with string orchestra)--Solo with piano
  • Composers--Miscellanea
  • Choruses, Sacred (Mixed voices) with orchestra--Scores
  • Monologues with music (Orchestra)
  • Piano trios--Scores
  • Violin and piano music--Scores and parts
  • Blues (Music)
  • Music--Manuscripts--Facsimiles
  • Songs
  • Monologues with music (Orchestra)--Parts
  • Harp music
  • String quartets--Scores and parts
  • Songs (Medium voice) with piano
  • Motion picture music--Scores
  • Symphonies--Scores
  • Television music--Scores
  • Music rehearsals
  • Incidental music--Scores
  • Ballets--Excerpts--2-piano scores
  • Violoncello and piano music--Scores and parts
  • Folk songs, English--Instrumental settings
  • Variations (Piano)
  • Orchestral music--Parts
  • John Henry (Legendary character)--Songs and music
  • Suites (Orchestra)--Scores
  • Suites (Pianos (2)), Arranged--Scores
  • Music appreciation
  • Television music--Parts
  • Theater--History--20th century--Manuscripts
  • Chamber music
  • Choruses, Sacred (Mixed voices, 4 parts), Unaccompanied
  • Piano music (Pianos (2)), Arranged--Scores
  • Trumpet with string orchestra--Scores and parts (solo)
  • Sonatas (Piano)
  • Harp--Orchestral excerpts
  • Composition (Music)
  • String nonets (Violins (3), violas (3), violoncellos (3))--Scores
  • Concerts
  • Musical sketches
  • Composers--Correspondence
  • Jazz--History and criticism
  • Operas--Vocal scores with piano
  • Organ music
  • Musicians--Correspondence.
  • Rondos (String quartet)--Scores
  • Concertos
  • Motets
  • Songs (High voice) with instrumental ensemble--Scores
  • Suites (Chamber orchestra)--Scores
  • Piano music (Blues)
  • Song cycles
  • Symphonies (Organ with orchestra)--Parts (solo)
  • Conductors (Music)
  • Jews--Music
  • Musicians--Caricatures and cartoons
  • Piano music, Arranged
  • Orchestral music--Scores and parts
  • Piano music
  • Piano music (Pianos (2)), Arranged--Parts
  • Symphonies--Scores and parts
  • Sonatas (Violin and piano)--Scores and parts
  • Orchestral music, Arranged--Scores
  • Ballets--Excerpts
  • Music--20th century
  • Music--Manuscripts
  • Symphonies (Organ with orchestra)--Scores
  • Songs (Medium voice) with brass ensemble--Scores
  • Ballets--Excerpts--Scores
  • Concertos (Piano)--2-piano scores
  • Songs (High voice) with piano
  • String quartets--Parts
  • Violin and piano music--Scores
  • Puppet plays
  • Puppets
  • Ballets--Excerpts, Arranged--Scores
  • Musicians--Interviews
  • Symphonies (Organ with orchestra)--Scores and parts
  • Concertos (Clarinet with string orchestra)--Scores
  • Composers
  • Conducting
  • Piano music (Pianos (2))--Scores
  • Radio programs, Musical
  • Radio music
  • Conductors (Music)--Interviews
  • Incidental music
  • Choruses, Secular (Women's voices, 3 parts) with piano
  • Ballets--2-piano scores
  • Composers--Archival resources
  • Ballets
  • Motion picture music--Scores and parts
  • Band music--Scores
  • Composers--Interviews
  • Orchestral music--Scores
  • Choruses, Secular (Mixed voices, 7 parts), Unaccompanied
  • String orchestra music, Arranged--Scores
  • Choruses, Sacred (Mixed voices, 8 parts), Unaccompanied
  • Lectures and lecturing
  • Ballets--Excerpts, Arranged--Parts
  • Music--Instruction and study

Occupations:

  • Composer
  • Composers.
  • Collector
  • Conductors.

Places:

  • United States (as recorded)
  • Royaumont, Seine-et-Oise (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
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  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
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  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Bournemouth, Hampshire (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
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  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Cuba (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • New York (State)--New York (as recorded)