Happy Birthday Aaron Copland

On this Monday, November 14, 2022, we say Happy 122nd Birthday, Aaron Copland!

Aaron Copland [Nov. 14, 1900 – Dec. 2, 1990]

Known as the “Dean of American composers“, Aaron Copland was born in Brooklyn, NY, in the first year of the 20th Century. He lived 90 years until December 2, 1990 where he was living in New York City.

From the official Aaron Copland website: “Copland began to think about finding a distinctively American sound. “There is a French-sounding music, a German sound, why not American? We had done it in ragtime and jazz, but not in the kind of concert music I was interested in.” … “Copland’s primary goal was to compose the best music he could. A quality of excellence is evident in all his work, from a wide range of abstract concert music to collaborative works for radio, film, ballet, and opera. He had a secondary goal: to promote the cause of American music and to increase performance opportunities for composers. Copland was at the center of activities in the world of contemporary music for decades. His efforts helped establish American music on the world scene, and his leadership and dedication as a “good citizen” set an example for composers that followed after him.” … “when he got down to composing, it was musical ideas that generated his decisions. The result was a “Copland sound” that is recognizable in all his work. It is a sound that became synonymous with the finest values of America to the world.” 

From Aaron Copland-Wikipedia: “He is best known for the works he wrote in the 1930s and 1940s in a deliberately accessible style often referred to as “populist” and which the composer labeled his “vernacular” style. Works in this vein include the ballets Appalachian Spring, Billy the Kid, and Rodeo, his Fanfare for the Common Man, and Third Symphony. In addition to his ballets and orchestral works, he produced music in many other genres including chamber music, vocal works, opera and film scores.”

As we honor the birthday of one of the giants of American composers, Aaron Copland, please turn up the volume and enjoy a few of his great works.

“Hoe Down” from Rodeo:

Appalachian Springs:

Symphony For Organ and Orchestra:

Fanfare for the Common Man:

Billy the Kid Suite:


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