Aaron Copland

Composer, Pianist, Conductor
Distinguished 20th-century composer who brought a melodic, richly textured sophistication to his occasional film scoring. Like the Soviet composer Prokofiev, his work had a distinctly national flavor, perhaps best ... Read more »
Born: 11/13/1900 in Brooklyn, New York, USA

Filmography

Music (44)

The Bay 2012 (Movie)

"Grover's Corner From 'Our Town'" (Song Performer)

The Bay 2012 (Movie)

"Grover's Corner From 'Our Town'" (Song)

Copland's America 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Music

Drop Dead Gorgeous 1999 (Movie)

conductor("Fanfare for the Common Man") (Music Conductor)

He Got Game 1998 (Movie)

("John Henry" "Appalachian Spring" "Rodeo: 'Hoe-Down'" "Down a Country Lane" "The Red Pony: 'Grandfather's Story'" "Our Town" "Music for Movies: 'New England Coutryside'" "The Red Pony: 'Dream March' and 'Circus Music'" "Letter From Home" "Orchestral Vari (Music Conductor)

He Got Game 1998 (Movie)

(Music)

Talk to Me: Americans in Coversation 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Music

Thomas Hampson: I Hear America Singing 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Music

Sunchaser 1996 (Movie)

("Appalchian Spring") (Song)

Atlanta Symphony Golden Anniversary 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Music

Disney's Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Music

Opening Night -- Masur and the Philharmonic 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Music

Songs of Freedom 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Music

The 1991 Miss America Pageant 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Music

Shout 1991 (Movie)

("Appalachian Spring") (Performer)

Shout 1991 (Movie)

(Music)

The Concert For Peace From Oslo 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Music

National Memorial Day Concert 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Music

Piano and Partners 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Music

A Capitol Fourth 1989 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Music

No One Dies Alone 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Music

Miles From Home 1988 (Movie)

("Appalachian Spring" "The Promise of Living") (Music)

A Capitol Fourth -- 1986 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Music

Love and Money 1982 (Movie)

("Concerto For Clarinet and String Orchestra" "Suite No 2-Overture") (Music Conductor)

Love and Money 1982 (Movie)

(Music)

Conversations With Willard Van Dyke 1980 (Movie)

music extract("The City") (Music)

Riding High 1979 (Movie)

("Fanfare for the Common Man") (Song)

American Ballet Theatre 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Music

Martha Graham Dance Company 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Music

Music From America: Rhapsody in Blue 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Music

Something Wild 1960 (Movie)

(Music)

Of Mice and Men 1938 (Movie)

(Music)

The City 1938 (Movie)

(Music)

Blast! (TV Show)

Music

The Chisholms (TV Show)

Music

The Heiress (Movie)

(Composer (Music Score))

The North Star (Movie)

(Composer (Music Score))

The Red Pony (Movie)

(Composer (Music Score))
Actor (3)

Aaron Copland: A Self-Portrait 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Amazing Grace: America in Song 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Actor

Copland Conducts Copland 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

Distinguished 20th-century composer who brought a melodic, richly textured sophistication to his occasional film scoring. Like the Soviet composer Prokofiev, his work had a distinctly national flavor, perhaps best exemplified in the folksy but still intensely dramatic music he created for "Of Mice and Men" (1939), "Our Town" (1944) and "The Red Pony" (1948).

Relationships

Harris Copland

Father
came to America c. 1870s from a village in the Polish/Lithuanian part of Russia

Sarah Copland

Mother
came to America with husband c. 1870s

Erik Johns

Companion
met in 1946 lived together for several years until 1954 wrote libretto fort Copland's sole full-length opera "The Tender Land" (1954) died on December 11, 2001 at age 74

EDUCATION

studied piano with Leopold Wolfsohn, Victor Wittgenstein and Clarence Adler

studied harmony, counterpoint and sonata form with Rubin Goldmark after graduating from high school

studied with Nadia Boulanger from 1921-24

Fontainebleau School of Music

1921

Boys High School

Brooklyn , New York 1918
graduated

Milestones

1967

Stopped composing

1951

First American composer to deliver the Norton lectures at Harvard

1940

Toured South America (toured again in 1947)

1939

First feature film score, "Of Mice and Men"

1939

Wrote first film score for the Ralph Steiner/Willard van Dyke medium-length documentary, "The City"

1932

Directed the First Festival of Contemporary Music at Yaddo, the artists' colony in Saratoga Springs, NY

1925

Premiere of his Organ Symphony

1921

Studied music in France

With Roger Sessions, organized Copland-Sessions concerts

Returned to US; received Guggenheim Fellowship

Composed first song for his mother at age 8

Bonus Trivia

.

He has won the New York Music Critics Circle Award for "Appalachian Spring" (1945)

.

Received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

.

He was awarded the Henry Howland Memorial Prize by Yale University in 1970.

.

Awarded the Gold Baton from the American Symphony Orchestra Leage (1978).

.

Received the Kennedy Center Award for "a lifetime of significant contribution to American culture in the performing arts" (1979).

.

"Aaron Copland gave American music its identity. While previous US composers sounded like their European elders, Copland broke free and created a sound of his own full of rambunctious rhythms, rugged folk-influenced melodies and widely-spaced harmonies that suggested a land of endless expanse and limitless possibilities." --David Patrick Stearns (USA TODAY, December 3, 1990).

.

"Most of 'Appalachian Spring' and a good part of my Violin Sonata were composed at night at the Samuel Goldwyn studios in Hollywood. An air of mystery hovers over a film studio after dark. Its silent and empty streets give off something of the atmosphere of a walled medieval town. This seclusion provided the required calm for evoking the peaceful, open countryside of rural Pennsylvania depicted in 'Appalachian Spring.' --Aaron Copland (quoted in NEW YORK TIMES obituary December 3, 1990)

.

Served as President of the American Composers Alliance in 1937-45.

.

He was awarded the Guggenheim Foundation's first music fellowship.

SIMILAR ARTICLES