Copland, Aaron, 1900-1990

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

Biographical notes:

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 = Music in the Twenties. The transcripts described in this collection were transcribed from filmed interviews recorded live at the WGBH studios in Boston, Mass. between 1964 Nov. 11 and 1965 Jan. 26. These unedited, preliminary tape recordings 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 by the National Educational Television network that at that time consisted of more than 90 affiliated educational TV stations in the United States.

From the guide to the Transcripts for, Music in the 20s, 1964-1965., (Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University)

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)

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http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6tn817d
Ark ID:
w6tn817d
SNAC ID:
83807452

Subjects:

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

Occupations:

  • Collector
  • Composers
  • Conductor

Places:

  • Brooklyn, NY, US